We have a small number of internships available annually to work within our research programmes. Internships require a six-month commitment and begin at the start of the academic year. We are currently welcoming applications for internships beginning in September 2022. Intern students will usually be part of a research project team but may also work directly with a senior member of staff. We aim to give interns experience of what it is like to work in an epidemiological research group and you will be involved in some of the following activities:

  • undertaking reviews of evidence
  • analysing data
  • reporting results
  • writing manuscripts
  • making presentations
  • participating in our regular activities such as journal clubs and literature review meetings.

You can read some reports of visits by previous research students below, or view a list of publications which our intern students have co-authored here.

To make an enquiry please contact epidemiology@abdn.ac.uk, stating your research interests, any achievments, and why you wish to undertake an internship with us.

Taalke Maria Sitter (University of Bremen, Germany)
September 2019 to February 2020

I am a Public Health undergraduate student at the University of Bremen and came to Aberdeen to do an internship with the Epidemiology group at the University of Aberdeen. This internship was part of my practical semester and I am very glad that I was able to spend it here.

During my time in Aberdeen I got the opportunity to learn the processes and methodologies of epidemiological research outside of a lecture theatre. I was involved in a systematic review about persistent postoperative opioid-use in Europe, and in the data analysis of perioperative pain in breast cancer surgery patients.  Additionally, I supported the team in preparing two new studies about perioperative opioid use and was involved in a grant application. I also participated in the regular weekly activities of the Epidemiology group at journal clubs and literature review meetings, which I always loved to attend. We often discussed various topics that were relevant to the group and that gave me the opportunity to grasp new ideas. (And there was cake at every weekly meeting! Interesting discussions and delicious cakes- what else could you want for a Tuesday morning?!).  Moreover, I had the opportunity to gain new research skills, not just by having practical experience, but also by attending various training opportunities at the university, such as the Good Research Practice for Health Care Research course. I always felt very welcome in the group and nearly every day I had a lot of fun.

Outside of work, I had a great time in Aberdeen as well. The city is known to be the ‘silver city by the golden sands’, but I must admit that I thought of Aberdeen more often as a grey city, it grew on me anyway. I enjoyed taking walks on the beach or along the river Don and discovering the coastline and the nature around the city. I met many Scottish and international people and found close friends. I spent my free time singing in the choral society, exploring Scotland at the weekend and taking holiday trips.

After my time in Aberdeen I am confident that I will pursue Epidemiology as my master’s programme, and I can picture myself engaging in a research career. 

Taalke Maria Sitter
September 2019 - February 2020


Renke Biallas (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany)
September 2019 to February 2020

During my postgraduate Public Health degree at  LMU Munich, I had to complete an internship at an institute or company working in the public health sector, which I decided to do at the Epidemiology Group of the University of Aberdeen.

At the Epidemiology Group, I was involved in two projects with different scientific methods: [1.] a systematic review and meta-analysis investigating the risk of new-onset inflammatory bowel disease in patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) [2.] a data analysis with a stepwise forward model approach to identify demographic, self-reported and clinical factors predicting the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Metrology Index (BASMI). I had already studied these methods at university but never actually applied them to conduct research. This was a very exciting and instructive experience which will certainly be useful for my subsequent career. I also gained knowledge in rheumatology, especially the care of patients living with axial spondyloarthritis. Apart from my research, I participated in the regular meetings of the group, such as literature review meetings, journal club and presentation meetings. These were always a good chance to discuss recent developments in research as well as to get to know my colleagues. The team is very welcoming and I enjoyed working with them as well as having very joyful lunch breaks with them.

Aberdeen is set in a very scenic landscape with breath-taking hills, coastlines and castles. The area is very easy to get around, so I managed to visit quite a few places; local attractions such as the Castle Trail, Stonehaven, Dunnottar Castle and the Cairngorms and also further afield to the Isle of Skye, Edinburgh and Glasgow. It was so interesting to live in Scotland and meet a bunch of incredible people. There are plenty of activities to do besides work. The university sports village offers a big range of different sports and activities. Additionally, there are a lot of student associations which you could join (e.g. archery, dancing, choir, global health and many more).

In conclusion I had a great internship. I learned a lot, saw many beautiful sights and met incredible people. I am certain that I will use the skills and experience I gained here to develop my future career in Public Health.

Renke Biallas
September 2019 - February 2020


Kaja Kristensen (University of Bremen, Germany)
September 2016 to February 2017

I was a visiting student from the University of Bremen completing an internship at the University of Aberdeen Epidemiology Group from mid-September 2016 to mid-February 2017. As part of my study in Public Health this internship helped me to orientate myself vocationally as well as to gain practical experience. I was very happy to be offered an internship with the Epidemiology Group as I heard only positive feedback about being an intern there.

During my stay I was involved in two projects: a systematic review about mediation pathways within the association between musculoskeletal pain and sleep problems, and a validation study of a modified Patient Reported Outcome Measure. Working on these projects was very exciting for me as I had never worked on scientific projects like these before. Nevertheless, I was always given enough time to read up on topics, models and methods and to prepare myself properly for the tasks. 

In addition to participating in the work of the Epidemiology Group I had the opportunity to attend some courses provided by the Student Learning Service. I learned more about critical thinking and reading, as well as how to write a literature review. I also found the seminars held by the Institute of Applied Health Sciences very interesting and informative. The covered a range of different topics such as data protection, patient centred research and analysing observational data at multiple time points.

The weekly Epidemiology Group meetings, where literature reviews, journal clubs or practice presentations were held, were very useful too. I particularly enjoyed the journal clubs where recent papers were presented by one of the group members and discussed by the group. Hearing others’ opinions and critical appraisals helped me to improve my epidemiological comprehension. Additionally, the atmosphere in the epidemiology group was very friendly. I shared my office with two lovely colleagues who were always helpful as well as my supervisor who I worked together with during the internship.

The necessary preparations for the internship, such as finding accommodation, applying for the ERASMUS studentship and registering as a student were easily made even from overseas. I also didn’t find it hard to settle in Aberdeen; living in a shared flat, I got in touch with other international and Scottish students quite quickly. Participating in some of the University’s societies like the Choral Society also helped me to make new friends. Additionally, Aberdeen is a very international city with exchange students and master’s students from all over the world. Thus, I not only learned about Scottish culture during my stay but also many other cultures, too.  During my stay in Scotland I had the opportunity to visit other places such as cities like Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness which were easy to reach by either train or bus and were a perfect destination for a weekend trip.

All in all, it has been an amazing time in Aberdeen. I am very grateful for having completed my internship in the Epidemiology Group. I am sure that I want to stay in the field of epidemiology as this internship was the one of the best experience of my whole studies.

Kaja Kristensen
September 2016 - February 2017