External projects / going abroad

The preparation and application of an external research project or a research project abroad is similar to a research project within the UU/UMCU. You require an examiner from the UU/UMCU and the approval from the Board of Examiners. Your examiner and supervisor host institute both need to sign the PDF iconGeneral Application Form or PDF iconProfile Application form (open with Adobe Reader) and the GSLS Internship Contract (only your supervisor host institute) which you will find integrated in the above forms. For CSDB and Biosciences students, the application forms can be found in OSIRIS Case ('Zaak').

The GSLS Internship Contract requires the signature of the Research Project Coordinator as well. If a GSLS Internship Contract* is used, you do not need to collect this signature. If you apply via the general application form (PDF), submit the complete application form including the contract to the Master's Administration Office and the Research Project Coordinator will review and sign the contract afterwards. If you apply via OSIRIS Case, the GSLS Internship Contract appears, and will be signed, as part of the process (no further action from your side is required).
*If your institute is providing you with a different contract, please email it to science.internshipcontracts@uu.nl and submit the fully signed contract together with your application (either with the PDF form or in OSIRIS Case).

Questions regarding the Internship contract can be directed to:
science.internshipcontracts@uu.nl for students of the Faculty of Science.
researchprojectcoordinator@umcutrecht.nl for students of the Faculty of Medicine.

During your research project, stay in touch with your Utrecht examiner. You are obliged to give your final presentation both at the host institute and at the research group of your Utrecht examiner. Hand in your report at your Utrecht examiner for review. For more information on examination and procedures, please visit this page.

*Note: students from the CSDB and all Biosciences master's programmes participate in a pilot of which the entire procedure is digitized. More information can be found here.

If you would like to do a research project abroad, we strongly advise you to start nine to eleven months advance, since there are many things that have to be arranged before you leave. More information can be found below.

There is also a PDF iconGSLS Checklist Going Abroad for an overview of all aspects you should think of while organizing your research project abroad, you can consult the international officers or visit the website of the International Office of the faculty of Medicine or the website of the International Office of the Science faculty for more information.

Please take into consideration the safety of the region you are considering. The actual travel advice of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is leading. The website is in Dutch only, but the explanation of areas is clear. Orange and red areas are considered to be unsafe and students do not get permission to do their research in these areas. The situation in an area may change and accordingly the advice/decisions of the International Office.

For projects/internships abroad the general travel policy of Utrecht University is applicable. The UU follows the travel advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry has four security risks on which the travel advice is based, namely:

  • Green – no particular security risks
  • Yellow – beware, safety risks
  • Orange – only travel when necessary
  • Red – no travel

Internships abroad are only allowed in countries for which a positive travel advice applies (code yellow or green, see the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Orange- and red-coloured areas/countries are considered unsafe. In some countries, multiple security risks may occur, for example, both yellow and orange areas. Always contact the International Office to assess whether or not a country is considered safe. If you go abroad without permission from the International Office and against the rules of the UU travel policy, credits will not be awarded according to the rules of the UU and as described in the EER art 3.8.


Do you still want to travel abroad despite the UU travel policy? You can submit a formal request for an exemption. To submit an exemption request, your internship abroad must first be approved by the Board of Examiners. Afterwards, you can take the following steps:

  1. Contact the International Office to receive the exemption form. Do this preferably 2 to 3 months before your departure.
  2. Submit the completed form by e-mail to the Secretary of the GSLS, Shirrinka Goubitz, PhD (s.goubitz@umcutrecht.nl).
  3. The faculty committee will discuss your submitted request and will come to an agreement. For both the faculty of Medicine and the faculty of Science, the committee consists of the vice-dean of education, the programme director and the internationalisation policy officer of the faculty. The Code Orange/Red committee of Utrecht University advises the faculty committee about the safety risks of the destination.
  4. The outcome as decided by the faculty committee will be shared with you by the Secretary of GSLS by means of an official letter by e-mail. The aim is to share the decision within seven working days.
  5. Have you been given permission to travel? Make sure that the approval letter is included in OSIRIS with your internship abroad registration.
  6. Have you received no permission to travel and do you not agree with the outcome? Then you have the option to submit a request to the UU disputes committee via this website. Please note that it takes at least 5 weeks for a decision to be made by the UU disputes committee. You are not permitted to travel to the internship destination pending the decision of the faculty committee or the UU disputes committee.

Changing travel advice during the stay abroad

If the travel advice changes to a negative travel advice during your stay abroad, the International Office of the faculty will contact you. Together we will examine whether it is safe enough to stay. If the UU advises an urgent recall to leave the country of your internship, but you still want to stay, you can submit an exemption request according to steps 1 to 6 as described above.

Arranging an alternative

If your exemption request is not honoured, discuss the options for completing your study programme with your programme coordinator. Contact both the Utrecht examiner and your programme coordinator when you have to come back to the Netherlands during your stay abroad due to a changing travel advice. If you are in need of a conversation with a confidential advisor as a result of this process, please contact your study advisor. For advice and help see also the chapter Advice and Counselling.

After the approval of the Board of Examiners, the International Office also has to approve your internship. Therefore, you need to register your research project in OSIRIS ‘Stay Abroad’.

How to: In OSIRIS, students can find the ‘Stay abroad’ menu. In this menu they can go to 'New Request' and then make a selection for 'Internship/ (field) research/other stay abroad'. Upload a pdf of the approval e-mail of the Board of Examiners. This approval is sent by e-mail to you by your research project coordinator directed at your supervisors (export it to PDF). The OSIRIS registration will normally be approved within five working days by the International Office.

It is required that students register their research project in OSIRIS, because:

  • Once their registration in OSIRIS has been approved, they are automatically insured for liability by Utrecht University.
  • After approval from the International Office, they can request an Erasmus+ grant within Europe, if applicable.
  • International Office checks applications for public transportation compensation (OV-vergoeding) by means of this application.
  • In case of emergency, natural catastrophes or terroristic attacks, the UU can check the students’ location and contact them if necessary. (The primary contact for calamities will remain the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the relevant Embassy, but the UU is of the opinion that it also has a duty of care in these cases.)
  • The Visa mobility regulations have changed since last year. The UU has to report Non-EU students to whom the outgoing mobility applies to IND (Immigration & Naturalisation Service) at least thirty days before their departure. IND has indicated that they will maintain this measure, which means that the UU is prone to substantial fines and could even lose its recognition as a referent if we don’t follow these protocols. The visa desk even uses this as a basis for selection, that is, if the data in OSIRIS are correct.

Once your OSIRIS registration has been approved, you can apply for ‘OV-vergoeding’ (for Dutch students only). Also, you can ask for a confirmation letter for your stay abroad, that can be used for several purposes (application for visa, grants, proof of registration for your host institution). Ask for this letter by e-mail via Study Information Point (STIP, for students at the faculty of Medicine) or at International Office Faculty of Science (for students at the faculty of Science). You can pick up the confirmation letter 1 working day after your request by e-mail.

Make a budget overview: besides the regular travelling costs (flight ticket, housing, visa etc.) you sometimes need to pay a fee at the institution.

To finance (part of) your study abroad some financial support is available. You are responsible for arranging your own grant(s). Make sure you apply for a grant at least six months in advance. To obtain a scholarship you often need to get permission from the student dean (also called student counsellor) after first obtaining approval from the Board of Examiners.

For the academic year 2022-2023, Utrecht University offers the Travel Green Grant (of max EUR 185 each) for students who choose to take the train or bus to their European internship destination. Take a look at the Travel Green Grant webpage to learn more about the rules and the application procedure.

If you are considering an Erasmus+ scholarship (for projects within Europe), your application request in OSIRIS Student should be completed at least three months before the deadline. For more information on the Erasmus+ scholarship, please visit the Erasmus+ website.

More information on scholarships can be found at the general UU website, the website of the International Office of the Science faculty and the website of the International Office of the Medicine Faculty. Deadlines for the different scholarships are also posted on the Facebook page of the International Office of the Medicine Faculty.

More information can also be found on: 

You also have to check your insurances. You are obliged to arrange your own insurances (health care, medical repatriation, personal liability, and -if applicable- accidents in and outside the workplace). A document to get you started in arranging your insurances is available here.

On this website you will find specific pre-departure information. Topics such as applying for visa, getting advice on vaccinations and arranging accommodation abroad are mentioned.

The GSLS has a Blackboard community where you can find reports with experiences from fellow students who performed their research project abroad. Just returned from a research project abroad? Please share your experiences and advice on practical matters with other GSLS students via our Blackboard community 'GSLS Research Abroad'. Answer the questions about your experiences on this form and send it to international.office@umcutrecht.nl. If you do not see the community, but would like to contribute: please send an e-mail to your International Officer.