« Will I receive a fellowship if selected to participate to the program? »

Yes. Accepted students will receive a monthly living allowance of to cover their housing and living expenses. In addition, travel costs will be refunded on request, upon approval by the host lab, and costs related to the visa request might be partially covered (see question related to visa). The exact amount of the living allowance will be communicated to the selected students during the recruitment phase.

« What are the duration and dates of the summer internship? »

The E3 internship can last minimum 2 months, maximum 3 months. The dates of the internship are discussed during the selection process that takes place after the application period (i.e., from mid December till end of February). If your application is of interest to one or more laboratories, you will be contacted by them to fix an interview. During the interview you will discuss with the lab upon the start and end dates of your internship. Usually, internships start between May and October. The 2024 internships cannot start before May 1th 2024.

« I am currently enrolled in the second year of my Bachelor degree and I will complete my second year of Bachelor before summer. Am I eligible for the E3 program? »

Unfortunately not. To be eligible you must have completed at least your first two years of Bachelor at the time of the application, i.e., you have to provide the transcripts and GPA of your two years of Bachelor in the application form. Do not worry: you can apply next year!

« I will complete my Master before the summer break. Am I eligible for the E3 program? »

To participate in the E3 program you must have a student status at your home university (i.e., you must be enrolled in a Bachelor or a Master program) during the entire duration of the summer internship. The starting and ending dates of the internship are fixed by you and the host laboratory during the selection process: if you are uncertain about your graduation date, you can still apply, as long as you have a student status at the time of the application.

« I am a PhD student. Is there any way to come to EPFL? »

Yes, certainly, but not through the E3 program. You need to organize your internship yourself, and for that you may want to contact researchers or faculty directly. If you decide to do that, be sure to include enough detail on yourself and on your specific interests on the research work of the lab. Vague and generic letters have very small chances of success.

« Will you help with accommodation? Will I receive accommodation from EPFL? »

In principle you will be in charge of finding your accommodation. Yet, when offered a fellowship, the administrative personnel will almost invariably suggest a list of places where to look for it (student forums, billboards, student residences, etc.).

« Is an English certificate (IELTS, TOFEL, etc) required when applying?  »

English language certificates are not required but, if you have any, you can upload them as additional documents when applying. Most of the laboratories at EPFL use English to do research and for everyday life. French is the main language outside the campus.

« Can I see the list of projects? Can I choose my project before applying? »

There is no list of predefined projects and therefore there is no way to choose a project in advance. Projects are suggested by the faculty directly to admitted candidates and can be discussed directly to find the best match between your research interests and the faculty goals. You should choose carefully your interests in the application web site, because this will be important information for the faculty in the selection process. Please also list up to three preferred research laboratories where you would like to do your research. Take the necessary time to identify the right laboratories in order to increase your chances of acceptance. An online search tool to find specific labs is provided here.

« What is the GPA? »

The GPA (grade point average) is the average of your diploma grades expressed as a cardinal number.


« On the application form, shall I mention the GPA in a specific format? »

Specify the cumulative GPA at the time of application exactly in the format provided by your school on your transcripts, without attempting to rescale it to 0-100 or 0-4 or adapt it to any specific system.

« On the application form, shall I quote my Bachelor or my Master institution? And mention the Bachelor or the Master GPA? »

When you apply on the web, complete the form with the details of your current institution and Master program when completing the fields « Current program »,  » Current Institution », « Current Cumulative GPA », etc. If you have no Master GPA yet, write NA under « Current Cumulative GPA ». Additionally, use the fields « Previous program », « Previous institution », « Previous GPA », etc. to include your Bachelor data. In any case, upload all available transcripts.

« Shall I use a specific format for my CV? »

You can submit your CV in any layout, as long as it is a PDF file.

« I have just started the first semester of my Master, and the first exams will take place after the application deadline. Therefore, I cannot specify the transcripts and a GPA for the first year of Master when applying: is this a problem? »

This is not a problem. Specify the GPA of your Bachelor and provide the transcripts of your Bachelor. Use the comment fields in the application form to clarify that you have just started the first year of Master and do not have any grades yet for it at the time of the application.

« In the application form, I am not sure which preferred professors to select; what shall I do? »

You are asked to select up to three research domains you would like to do research in and up to three preferred research laboratories you would like to work with. Take the necessary time to identify the right laboratories in order to increase your chances of acceptance. An  online search tool to find specific labs is provided here.

« What documents shall I send with my application? »

Your CV, your complete transcripts, your statement of purpose (i.e., research statement), and a scan of your passport or national ID document (if you do not have a passport yet). Transcripts can be in any form your university provides them and should cover the whole of your academic career (Bachelor and Master so far). If you only have them in paper copy, please scan them. If they are not in English, please send both the originals and a translation (no need for the translation to be official, you can do it yourself). The only format we support is PDF.

« I do not have a passport yet and my national ID is not in English. Is the scan of my national ID ok to apply to E3? »

Yes, if you do not have a passport, please upload a scan of your national ID on the application portal. No problem if this document is not in English.

« Are the “statement of purpose” and the “research statement” the same thing? »


« I have recommendation letters; can I send them? »

Yes, we consider recommendation letters for this program, but they are not mandatory. We do not provide a separate platform to send recommendation letters and they simply have to be uploaded as an additional attachment: if this is an issue for your referee, do not worry, not uploading any recommendation letter will not have any negative impact on the evaluation of your file.

« I am late, my school is on holidays, official transcripts take time to process, my latest grades will be known only a few days after the deadline; can I have an additional delay to apply? »

No, whatever the reason. If the application web site is closed, we are sorry but it is too late and we cannot do anything for you. If you completed the application form but could not upload the documents on time, the same applies: too late.

« How will I know if I am accepted for the program? »

Usually, if admitted to the program after a first round of selection, you may receive an offer by a faculty member within two months from the application deadline. Around mid-March, unless you have been selected by a faculty member, you will receive a mail to inform you that the selection process is closed.

« Shall I expect issues with the immigration visa? »

If you are accepted in the program, EPFL will start the visa procedure and send you an invitation letter informing you about the steps to follow to obtain the visa. Unfortunately, we cannot anticipate issues related to the pandemic or current geopolitical situation concerning some countries, which could impact the delivery of visa by the authorities: the delivery of visas depends only on the competent authorities.

« Will I get any support for the visa request if needed? »

Yes, if you are enrolled in the program you will get assistance and instructions to file your visa request. Some embassies request the payment of fees when retrieving the visa: this will be at the student charge. Other costs related to the visa request process in Switzerland will be covered by EPFL.

« Do I need to have a valid passport to apply? »

You are requested to upload a scan of your passport or national ID document (if you do not have a passport) when you apply. If you are a non-EU/EFTA citizen, when offered a position by a lab, you will need to provide the scan of a valid passport. In order for your to obtain a visa, the passport must be valid till 6 months after the end date of your internship.

Are there uncertainties linked to the pandemic or the current geopolitical situation?

Due to the current geopolitical situation as well as the pandemic and uncertainties concerning their evolution (new health restrictions, or for instance, a further deterioration of the geopolitical situation), EPFL reserves the right to modify the E3 Internship Program participation conditions or even to cancel the event. EPFL cannot be held liable should this be the case.

More questions?

Write us if you cannot find above the information you need!