Students can choose to do an internship in an organisation for one semester (12 weeks) or one full academic year (24 weeks). They spend three days a week contributing to an innovative project during this period. Internships can begin in February or September and involve one or two students.
DURATION OF INNOVATION INTERNSHIPS
Innovation projects last 12 or 24 weeks, with students working on the project three days a week on average. During this period, students will also follow (a limited number of) courses and must take exams. We would like to stress that the student, mentor and coach must make clear agreements, prior to the internship, about the exact duration of the internship, holidays, working days and hours.
We realise that the content of many of these projects is often confidential. That is why it is important to remember that the content and coaching is the organisation’s responsibility throughout the project. This also means that intellectual property for products, materials and research resulting from the project is retained by the organisation providing the internship. This is explicitly set out in the internship agreement. Naturally this means that universities supply no input whatsoever in terms of project content. However, should it appear that such input is preferred, then the option always remains open to make specific arrangements for this.
The innovation project is an internship, i.e., a learning process for students. This means there can be no obligation of result. At the start of the innovation project the coach, mentor and student must make clear agreements about the deliverables. Ultimately, though, the emphasis in the final evaluation is on the learning and working process for the student, rather than on the outcome of the innovation project. It is therefore vital that an innovation project not be subjected to a critical evaluation.
The organisation is expected to provide a mentor for substantive guidance and supervision. At least one hour a week should be set aside for mentoring. At the same time, the universities will assign a coach to provide the student with process-based guidance. For a one-semester internship, the coach, mentor and student will meet three times (kick-off, mid-term and feedback meeting). For internships that run for an academic year, two progress meetings will be added.