How to do an intership at DRCMR
The people involved in research at the DRCMR have many different backgrounds: MR technicians, radiologists, physicists, engineers, neurologists, psychiatrists, physicians, psychologists, (human) biologists, humanists, computer scientists, linguists, and chemists. We recruit interns from all these fields – as long as you have an explicit interest in neuroscience. Interns are involved in all facets of research e.g. study initiation and design, design of experimental tasks, performing experiments and data acquisition (e.g. brain scanning, neuropsychological tests etc), data and image processing, statistical analyses and writing up articles.
If you want to become an intern you should send an email to DRCMR introducing yourself and your interests. You can also choose to send an email directly to the group leader of the research group you would like to engage with. Then you will most likely be invited to a meeting, where you discuss what research is currently ongoing and where your help could be useful.
An intern will initially become a member of a research group associated with a supervisor. The student will be offered an office desk in one of the many student offices at the MR-department and will be placed in close proximity to his or her supervisor.
Trainees are expected to participate in:
The weekly Research meeting in which ongoing and new projects are presented and discussed,
- Regular (once/twice a year) courses in image and data analyses and MR technology
- Specific journal clubs
- Neuroscience educational course
- Personnel meetings
- Project specific meetings
- Meetings/lectures of interest at collaborating institutes
Morten, 26, is a psychologist working as a research assistant at the DRCMR. He, however, started his time at DRCMR by spending a semester working here as an intern.
As part of their master's programme all psychology student need to spend a semester doing an internship. For most students this would be the 9th semester, just before writing their master’s thesis. I instead ended up writing my master’s thesis in the 9th semester, meaning I would do my internship afterwards. Due to this I was very late when signing up for an internship. Signing up for DRCMR was a spur of the moment decision done just a few days before semester start. So no plans existed for what I was meant to do. Instead I just helped out where I could.
In retrospect it would have been a good idea to contact my supervisors early on, so that we would have had more time to come up with a number of tasks more fitting for the brief period I was here. I would also have preferred to do my internship here earlier as DRCMR would have been a great location to do my master’s thesis.
If you come from a nontechnical field, like I did, you may need to prepare for feeling very stupid, most likely for the majority of your stay. DRCMR is a highly technical research centre with a lot of engineers and physicists. But even the psychologists and medical doctors here work with highly complex software and hardware in order to answer their research questions. But, if you come in with a humble attitude then DRCMR also represents a unique learning opportunity, and the people working here are very nice, very patient and more than willing to help.
That said, it is also important that you are willing to work on your own, and make at least an attempt at figuring things out by yourself, as your supervisor will be busy with a number of projects at any given time, and will not have time to teach you everything.
Overall, though, an internship at DRCMR is an excellent opportunity to work with state of the art equipment, utilized on the cutting edge of neuroscience