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Traineeship in Biology

  • 7.5 credits

During this advanced course you work as a trainee at a workplace outside of Stockholm University, where you use biological knowledge and skills that you have acquired during your education.

Applying your skills and knowledge at a workplace of biological relevance is a great way to gain work life experience. Traineeship in biology allow you the possibility to test your own abilities, try out a workplace and grow your professional network.

If you are not sure what you want to do next traineeship in biology is a way to spend some weeks in a workplace and find out if it is right for you. If you know exactly where you want to go next a traineeship is a way to get a foot in the door and to prove yourself to them.

Course evaluations show that students appreciate the opportunity to gain insight into a workplace. Overall satisfaction with the course is 4-5 (on 1-5 scale). Feedback also suggests that the format of the course means that you feel part of the group, not just a visitor, which gives you a good impression of what working there would be like.

Course aims

The aim of traineeship in biology is for you to gain both experience of working life in general, and experience in particular of a workplace in which biological knowledge is used. You are expected to apply the knowledge and skills that you have acquired during your education. The aim is also that you learn how work with biological aspects is organised and carried out at, for example, a company or an authority.

  • Course structure

    To be registered on the course you must first:

    • be admitted (placed as reserve)
    • had your workplace and supervisor approved by the examiner
    • attended an introductory meeting (see schedule)
    • had your work plan approved (hand-in two weeks before start of traineeship)

    Read More information to fins out where you can do the traineeship, how you find a work place and what to think about when you write the work plan.

    Teaching format

    Traineeship means that you take part, under supervision, in the work a company, authority or other work place. You should work the same hours as employees at the work place. What your work assignments are during the traineeship should be clear in your work plan. It is important that you interact with other parts of the work and other employees than just your supervisor. If this changes during the traineeship this must be approved by the examiner.

    Each day you will summarise and reflect on your day in your traineeship journal. At the end of the first week you submit the journal to the course coordinator for feedback. This way we are able to see that your journal meet the expectations and that the traineeship has got off to a good start.


    You present your traineeship in writing (the journal) and orally at a seminar. About three seminars are held each semester and teachers and students are invited to listen.

    The course is assessed by a committee which consists of the examiner and study councellor. The course is graded as either pass or fail.


    Cecilia Kullberg
    Phone: +46 8 16 4713
    Room: D550c

  • Schedule

    This is a preliminary schedule and is subject to continuous change. For this reason, we do not recommend print-outs. At the start of the course, your institution will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.

    Traineeship in biology 7,5 credits should be equivalent to 4,5 full time work weeks. The course does not have set start and end dates, but you should apply for the course the period that best fits when you plan to do the traineeship. Which weeks you will work and what workhours you should keep is an agreement you make with your supervisor, these are then specified in the work plan which must be approved by the examiner.

    Before you start your traineeship, and preferably before you find a workplace, you should attend an introductory meeting (see course structure). Dates for introductory meetings and presentations are listed in the schedule below.

  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    Traineeship in Biology does not have any official literature. Depending on your traineeship you may be expected to read different forms of literature, if so, this is something that you will discuss with your supervisor.

  • More information

    The traineeship in biology is conducted at a workplace where biological knowledge is relevant but where research is not the main work, e,g,. the Enivronmental Protection Agency, Public Health Agency or the Natural History Museums public work (compare Research traineeship below).

    Traineeship in Biology is offered as 7.5 and 15 credits. You can take both courses (7.5and 15 credits) but you have to be at different workplaces, and you can only count a total of 15 credits toward your degree (including Research traineeships).

    Traineeship in Biology (BL8007)

    Traineeship in Biology can be conducted in Sweden or abroad. As a student at Stockholm University, you can apply for funding through Erasmus+ to complete a work placement/traineeship at a company or organisation in a country participating in the Erasmus+ programme.

    Research traineeship

    If you want to do a traineeship at a biological institution, e.g., here at Stockholm University, Karolinska Institute or one of the research departments at the Natural History Museum, then you should take one of our research traineeship courses. If you are unsure which course you should take please contact the examiner (see Course structure).

    Research Traineeship in Biology I (BL5031)

    Research Traineeship in Biology II (BL5032)

    Advanced Research Traineeship in Biology I (BL7060)

    Advanced Research Traineeship in Biology II (BL8061)

    The work place

    It is your responsibility to find a workplace and a supervisor, BIG does not provide details of traineeship opportunities. Although you might wish that we supplied a list of traineeship places, there are very good reasons why we choose not to. This is an excellent opportunity to practice job-hunting skills. And students that have completed the course agree, they feel it encourages them to get involved and take responsibility for their career.

    To get the most out of the course, you need to think hard about what your personal aims are with the course, and what workplace might help you achieve those goals. As well as how to contact your workplace, is there a traineeship position you can apply for, someone in your network that can support you, or make direct contact with you intended supervisor?

    The work plan

    The work plan is an agreement between you, your supervisor and the examiner, to ensure that your work during the traineeship is relevant to the course. Writing the workplan is an opportunity for you to acquaint yourself with the workplace, your supervisor as well as their expectations of your work. It is, therefore, important that you draw up the work plan in consultation with your supervisor, while you write the plan independently.

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