MSc thesis & internship at Wildlife Ecology and Conservation

For more information about a MSc internship or thesis at WEC, please see our Brightspace page.

As a student you should first enroll yourself to the discoverable 'course' in Brightspace named 'Thesis and Internships Wildlife Ecology and Conservation'. Follow these instructions.

MSc thesis at WEC

This WEC thesis & internship Brightspace page (enroll first, see above) contains all the information you need about a thesis or internship at WEC. There, you will also find all documents and forms required for starting a thesis project at WEC.

The MSc-thesis offers the challenge to demonstrate your ability to set up and to carry out a scientific research project in a self-responsible and independent manner.

Find a thesis at WEC: topics BSc/MSc thesis & internships or contact the WEC MSc thesis coordinator.

This challenge includes to:

  • provide an adequate delineation and definition of your research topic,
  • build a sound theoretical framework for orientation of the research,
  • generate proper research questions and/or testable hypotheses,
  • generate proper research questions and/or testable hypotheses,
  • develop methodology fit for hypothesis testing,
  • collect data in a systematic and verifiable manner,
  • analyse the data critically and correctly,
  • present the results in a comprehensible manner,
  • draw sound conclusions based on a comprehensive discussion of the results,
  • show the contribution of your results to the development of the research topic.

Internship at WEC

The internship is a required element of the MSc program. You will be based as an intern at an organisation outside of Wageningen University. This organisation could be a research institute or a consultancy, an NGO or any other organisation where people work on ecological topics. It could be based in Wageningen, elsewhere in The Netherlands, or even abroad. In case you plan to do your internship abroad, check the WUR travel policy for students.

We prefer to organize the internship after you have fulfilled all requirements of your MSc including your MSc major thesis at the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Group, so that you have the best background and the largest experience that will make the internship a success for you and your receiving organization.

It is customary that you yourself identify your own internship topic and provider. This is often done by writing an email including a cover letter with a motivation and a CV. Applications are more successful if your motivation and previous experience is highlighted clearly. Since topics available at organisations change all the time, it is impossible for the research group to provide an up to date list of available topics. Only in rare cases the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Group is asked by an internship provider to facilitate in finding a suitable student for a certain topic.

Once you have identified a suitable topic, it is good to contact a WEC staff member well in advance to supervise your internship from the side of the University. It is your responsibility to find a suitable WEC supervisor. If you fail to find somebody, you can contact the Internship coordinator from WEC. The WEC supervisor can help you in shaping your internship to your desires and increase the quality of your internship, and checks whether the suggested topic fulfils the minimum requirements of an academic internship. The day-to-day supervision is, however, taken care of by the internship provider.

Types of internships

There are two varieties of the internship. In a research internship, you work on a single research project that is completed with a research report. In a professional internship, you contribute to different projects. You complete the professional internship with a set of deliverables and a context report. 

Pick your internship provider carefully. If you aspire a career in academia, it may be better to do your internship at a research institute or other university which increases chances to obtain a PhD candidacy. The nature of such an internship would therefore be almost equivalent to an MSc thesis. In such cases it is useful to consider the possibility of swapping the internship for a minor MSc thesis. Ask your study advisor for the procedure. The advantage in the latter case is that your WEC supervisor will be able to supervise you more intensively.  If you aspire a career outside of academia, look for possibilities at consultancy's, NGO's etc. This is the chance to build a valuable network. It is not uncommon that internship students are offered a (temporary) job after completion of their internship.

A list of internship providers where students have done their internship in the past, contacts within those organisations, and contacts within the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Group, can be found on Brightspace.