The INODEV Capstone Abroad is a competitive initiative started in 2021 for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Selected applicants will participate in a one-semester professional/research internship at a R&D center in Portugal.

The INODEV Capstone Abroad offers the opportunity to the meritorious candidates to carry out projects in several areas of applied and fundamental science, as well as humanities and social sciences.

INODEV’s initiative aims at building your capabilities throughout an international experience.

Why this program?

In our recent study, we observed an increasing demand from students to do their final year internship abroad, in order to gain international experience and to find opportunities to continue studies or start a career abroad. However, we have noticed that in many cases, students are having difficulty securing a meaningful internship.

With a view to training high-level professional with the skills and knowledge necessary to solve today’s global/regional/local environmental problems,

we have created the INODEV Capstone Abroad for improving the employability of meritorious Tunisian higher education students and recent graduates by providing them technical experience relevant to their studies and by developing the practical skills they will need for their future career.

In addition to the above objectives, the INODEV Capstone Abroad will culturally enrich the participants and softly introduce them to the new environment.

How is the program structured?

The INODEV Capstone Abroad is a competitive initiative, which is implemented following structured phases.

PHASE 1. First, INODEV collects project proposals, review relevance of the projects to ensure meaningful internship offers.

PHASE 2. INODEV publishes on its website https://student.inodev.tn/ the internship offers, the application procedures and eligibility requirements, and the selection criteria.

PHASE 3. INODEV reviews received applications and scores each student application based on criteria including, but not limited to, university

grades, extracurricular achievements, reference letter, etc. and ranks students based on their score.

PHASE 4. INODEV interviews the shortlisted applicants and assigns the internships to the selected ones. Subsequently, INODEV handles the internship logistics (internship contract, accommodation, visa)

PHASE 5. During the internship, INODEV monitors the progress of the project and the intern’s performance.

PHASE 6. The INODEV interns will be awarded with an Internship Certificate issued by the host entity.

Who can apply?

Will be eligible students aged 18 or older, actually enrolled in an institution of higher education, by registering on the appropriate form.

The intern is responsible for:

  • Apply through the form made available by INODEV;
  • Provide true and accurate information about their academic background and personal skills;
  • Be available for a selection process to be carried out by INODEV, in interaction with the host entity;
  • Commit to performing the internship with the highest standards of commitment and professionalism;
  • Work 40 hours per week on the research project;
  • Ensure the confidentiality of all information, technical, business or of any other nature to which has access during his/her internship period or because of it, agreeing to enter into written confidentiality agreements with all those involved, prior to the effective beginning of the internship activities;
  • Conduct all human and institutional relationships ethically;
  • Participate in the events associated with the program;
  • Comply with the Regulations provided and the spirit of the program.

Intern’s rights:

  • Sign an internship contract with the host entity;
  • Have a supervisor for the internship and an Individual Internship Plan;
  • Benefit from a personal accident insurance, which covers the risks of eventualities that during and because of the activities developed by the trainee, during the internship, as well during the internship, as well as for travel between home and the internship location;
  • Receive an internship certificate issued by the host entity, if you complete your participation in the INODEV Capstone Abroad program.

Logistics and student funding.

For this edition. INODEV oversees and provides 35% of the fund allocated to each selected capstone project. Funding covers:

  • Accommodation and daily stipend;
  • Medical insurance for the duration of the internship;
  • Coordination with host institutions’ administrative offices to ensure a smooth arrival and registration process;
  • Access to campus life infrastructures;
  • Compensation;
  • Professional skills courses;
  • Opportunities such as conferences, workshops, industry expos and tours, as well as other networking events;
  • Career development.

We are working to secure more funding for the INODEV Capstone Abroad program in future editions.

Find your capstone according to your field of study.

Biological Anthropology

Sub-discipline. Human osteology, paleopathology.

Project title. Anthropological study of the human skeletons inhumed from the Castle of Abrantes (Modern period).

Project description. This project aims to study the human remains, representing several individuals, recovered from the Castle of Abrantes in 2015. The main objective of this study is, by applying specific methods and techniques, to determine the biological profile (sex, age at death, stature and ancestry) of these individuals.

Internship description. In this internship students will be introduced to the basic techniques and methods used in biological anthropology to study ancient human remains, namely: 1) cleaning, treatment and storage; 2) human osteology practice; 3) estimation of the minimal number of individuals; 4) estimation of the biological profile (sex, age at death, stature and ancestry); 5) writing a report; 6) preparation of a scientific publication based on the individuals studied.

Intern’s study level. Master / Engineering.

Intern’s field of study. Biological Anthropology; Biology; Health Sciences; Archaeology.

Intern’s skills. Independent; Results oriented; Fluency in English.

Duration. 4 months.

Starting date. January 2022.

Location. INODEV / Research Centre for Anthropology and Health.

Biological Engineering

Sub-discipline. Biotechnology, Biology.

Project title. Preserving bacteria with oligosacchardes and eco-friendly processes.

Project description. The project aims at developing new strategies to preserve lactic acid bacteria from laboratory to industrial scale.

The innovative approaches of the project lay on:

  • Producing oligosaccharides of original composition for protecting cells
  • Developing novel preservation process and evaluating the environmental impact of the whole system of production of micro-organisms from the laboratory to the industrial scale
  • Elucidating the mechanisms of bacteria preservation for defining relevant composition and structure of oligosaccharides
  • Developing high-throughput tools for the characterization and screening
  • Identifying the most promising strategies for industrial eco-friendly preservation of microorganisms by developing a multicriteria analysis (MCA) approach.

Internship description. The internship has been developed from the project and will be subject of R&D work.

Intern’s study level. Master / Engineering.

Intern’s field of study. Biological Engineering; Biotechnology; Biology.

Intern’s skills. Experience in field work and laboratory analysis is valuable but not mandatory; Fluency in English.

Duration. 6 months.

Starting date. January 2022.

Location. INODEV / Chemical Process Engineering and Forest Products Research Centre.

Biomedicine

Sub-discipline. Nano-medicine.

Project title. A nanotechnology-based solution for enhancing corneal permeability.

Project description. The project aims to set the ground for innovative therapies based on light-responsive nanoparticle, which will help improving health worldwide in patients affected by several ocular diseases.

Internship description. Safety issues arose when exposing the eye to radiation. We will evaluate the corneal and retinal damage induced by radiation using ex vivo porcine eyes. The potential morphological, celular and molecular changes will be analysed by histological staining, immunofluorescence, SEM and TEM.

Intern’s study level. Master / Engineering.

Intern’s field of study. Biomedicine; Biochemistry; Biotechnology.

Intern’s skills. Immunofluorescence; Basic laboratorial procedures; Fluency in English.

Duration. 6 months.

Starting date. January 2022.

Location. INODEV / Institute for Clinical and Biomedical Research.

Chemical Engineering

Sub-discipline. Materials Engineering; Biomedical Engineering; Biotechnology; Chemistry; Biochemistry; Biology; Pharmacy.

Project title. Circular (BIO)Economy & Green/Environmental technologies.

Project description. This overall project may include several specific research projects, namely in the following topics:
– New active ingredients and/or chemical precursors/biopolymers/bio-solvents for food, feed, cosmetic, nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, biomedical, and agricultural applications
– Alternative sources of lipids, sugars, proteins, fibres (marine, insects, microorganisms)
– Biodegradable & edible packaging materials
– Agro-Food 4.0
– Pulp & Paper and lignocellulosic materials: alternative applications for cellulose pulp
– Advanced Biorefinery, bioprocesses and bio-based products
– Energy and biofuels
– Biomanagement in Agroecosystems: bio-pesticides, bio-fertilisers and their formulations/delivery systems
– Biopolymers, biocomposites, and their value-added applications
– Climate change and innovative systems to control of vector-borne diseases
– Greener nanotechnology: nano-structuring using natural-origin raw materials
– Marine products valorisation (micro- and macro-algae)
– Valorisation of fisheries/aquaculture wastes/residues
– Coastal protection & stabilization
– Removal of micro-plastics from drinking and wastewater
– Biofiltration by bivalves for advanced treatment of water and wastewater
– New eco-friendly adsorbents
– Materials/nanomaterials for oxygen/CO2/gas capture, storage, delivery and separation
– Synthesis and processing of polymers using green technologies
– Nanotechnology in soil stabilization & remediation
– Eco-friendly binders involving nanomaterials and industrial wastes
– Ionic liquids as “greener” polymeric additives
– Advanced oxidation processes
– Bacteriology/virology environmental monitoring associated to novel removal technologies

Internship description. The applicant shall chose one of the topics. The project will be defined later.

Number of interns. 3

Intern’s study level. Master / Engineering.

Intern’s field of study. Chemical Engineering; Materials Engineering; Biomedical Engineering; Chemistry; Biochemistry; Biology; Pharmacy.

Intern’s skills. Laboratorial and analytical skills; Computational skills; Fluency in English.

Duration. 6 months.

Starting date. January 2022.

Location. INODEV / Chemical Process Engineering and Forest Products Research Centre.

Sub-discipline. Chemical Engineering.

Project title. Green method to prepare sterilized biopolymers based aerogel.

Project description. This project will develop innovative sterilized aerogels from biopolymers obtained from marine and forest residues. In addition, an integrated process design will be developed based on supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) technology to produce aerogels by integrating three different processing steps: gelation, hydrogel/aerogel conversion, and sterilization. This integrated process ensures the introduction of porosity in the aerogel through the pressure cycles, essential for applications to replace bone tissue as an absorbable scaffold to treat injuries with significant tissue loss. The terminal sterilization in the end of process will guarantee the aerogel to be ready to use as tissue substitute in bone repair.

Internship description. The internship has been developed from the project and will be subject of R&D work.

Intern’s study level. Master / Engineering.

Intern’s field of study. Chemistry; Environmental sciences.

Intern’s skills. Experience in field work and laboratory analysis is valuable but not mandatory; Fluency in English.

Duration. 6 months.

Starting date. January 2022.

Location. INODEV / Chemical Process Engineering and Forest Products Research Centre.

Sub-discipline. Chemical Engineering.

Project title. High-performance silica aerogel nanocomposites for insulation under extreme temperature Space environments.

Project description. AeroXTreme project will develop new materials for high performance insulation in space applications. Silica and alumina-silica based aerogel nanocomposites reinforced with aramid fibers will be produced. These nanocomposites should exhibit excellent insulation performance (< 30 mW / (m K)) and thermal and structural stability under extreme temperature conditions (> 500 °C). They will be designed to be used as insulators in thermal protection systems of cryogenic tanks of launchers, in order to minimize evaporative losses of propellant and consequent loss of energy.

Internship description. The internship has been developed from the project and will be subject of R&D work.

Intern’s study level. Master / Engineering.

Intern’s field of study. Chemistry; Environmental sciences.

Intern’s skills. Experience in field work and laboratory analysis is valuable but not mandatory; Fluency in English.

Duration. 6 months.

Starting date. January 2022.

Location. INODEV / Chemical Process Engineering and Forest Products Research Centre.

Ecology & Environmental Engineering

Sub-discipline. Functional Ecology.

Project title. Soil functioning in terrestrial ecosystems under human management and climate change manipulation experiments.

Project description. Investigate the effects of different global change factors, such as climate change or atmospheric deposition, on soil functioning, with specific interest on the C, N and P cycling, and on the exchange of GHG between the soil and the atmosphere.

Internship description. Field work in Natural Parks and forest systems in Portugal. Participate in soil bioassays. Collect soil and greenhouse gas samples and use of ion exchange membranes and laboratory analysis of soil properties.

Intern’s study level. Master / Engineering.

Intern’s field of study. Biology; Agronomy; Forestry; Biochemistry; Environmental sciences.

Intern’s skills. Experience in field work and laboratory analysis is valuable but not mandatory; Fluency in English.

Duration. From 6 to 9 months.

Starting date. January 2022.

Location. INODEV / Centre for Functional Ecology.

Sub-discipline. Functional Ecology.

Project title. Ecologically relevant alternative and complementary ecotoxicity tools to be incorporated in environmental risk assessment (ERA) for chemicals registration.

Project description. The project will focus on the development and proposal of novel ecotoxicity tools, focused either on pertinent responses (like animal emigration to favorable environments with the consequent ecological death of the animal population at the impacted site) or on neglected groups of organisms (like fungi, which consequently are not fully protected under current ERA schemes), to be incorporated in tier 1 (simple and conservative testing) ERA.

Internship description. Follow a scientific path, testing hypothesis within the field of ecotoxicology, while acquiring experience with protocols for conducting (standard) toxicity tests with different groups of organisms.

Intern’s study level. Master / Engineering.

Intern’s field of study. Environmental sciences.

Intern’s skills. Natural Sciences and Environmental Sciences; Fluency in English.

Duration. 6 months.

Starting date. January 2022.

Location. INODEV / Centre for Functional Ecology.

Industrial Engineering

Sub-discipline. Modeling & Simulation.

Project title. Immersive Systems Simulation.

Project description. Today’s production systems are already reasonably sensorized, allowing the collection of much data in near-real time. However, the value they generate, or if we prefer, the degree of “intelligence” of these systems is still low. In this context, the merging of the digital and physical worlds enables unprecedented product and process innovation. Products are more innovative and intelligent, but also more complex, and the way they are produced and placed on the market will be profoundly changed.

Internship description. This project focuses on studying, developing, and testing immersive simulation models of complex systems. The simulation of these systems – larger and more complex -, inevitably results in more complex models. In turn, the models developed and their execution require a more robust data structure (digital-twin) as well. And when running the models, one must also consider additional complexities related to multiple dimensions of analysis, different scales (temporal and spatial), and different levels of fidelity. The following will be studied, analyzed, validated and modeled: i) production processes, ii) logistics systems, iii) work cells and iv) production lines.

Intern’s study level. Master / Engineering.

Intern’s field of study. Industrial Engineering.

Intern’s skills.

REQUIRED SKILLS
1. Mastery of written English (the dissertation shall be written in English);
2. knowledge in the area of operations research;
3. strong interest in solving complex problems.
CORE COMPETENCIES
1. ability to structure and solve complex problems;
2. fluency in object-oriented programming languages;
3. interest in multidisciplinary projects;
4. strong interest in solving complex problems using simulation and optimization tools.

Duration. 6 months.

Starting date. January 2022.

Location. INODEV / Centre for Mechanical Engineering, Materials and Processes.

Materials Engineering

Sub-discipline. Materials Engineering; Biomedical Engineering; Biotechnology; Chemistry; Physical Chemistry; Biochemistry; Pharmacy.

Project title. Functionalization and structuring of materials & Model-based engineering.

Project description. This overall project may include several specific research projects, namely in the following topics:
– Materials/nanomaterials for environmental applications
– Materials/nanomaterials for space applications
– Materials/nanomaterials for industrial applications
– Materials/nanomaterials for agro-industrial & food applications
– Advanced biomaterials, drug delivery systems and nanosystems
– Design/synthesis of biologically active molecules and Tissue Engineering scaffolds
– Multifunctional stimuli-responsive electroactive biomaterials
– Synthesis, processing and scale-up of biopolymers using green technologies
– Sterilization of biomedical materials using supercritical CO2
– Bio-based biodegradable plastics
– Degradation of plastics
– Pharmacognosy and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
– Industrial Big Data Analytics
– Value Chain Integration
– Multi-site Integration of Mass and Energy
– Optimal design of experiments
– Modelling of complex reaction networks
– Systematic design methods
– Molecular modelling & simulation
– Multiphase modelling and experimental monitoring
– Smart Forest & Forestry 4.0 – Digitalization and Data Analytics in Forestry

Internship description. The applicant shall chose one of the topics. The project will be defined later.

Number of interns. 3

Intern’s study level. Master / Engineering.

Intern’s field of study. Chemical Engineering; Materials Engineering; Biomedical Engineering; Chemistry; Biochemistry; Pharmacy.

Intern’s skills. Laboratorial and analytical skills; Computational skills; Fluency in English.

Duration. 6 months.

Starting date. January 2022.

Location. INODEV / Chemical Process Engineering and Forest Products Research Centre.

Sub-discipline. Materials Enginnering, Chemical Engineering.

Project title. Innovative composites with powder incorporation resulting from limestone cutting sludge.

Project description. The project DUST + aims to develop composites based on stone powder from the residual sludge that result from the processing of limestone incorporating hydraulic or polymeric binders. A new sludge decanting system will be designed, which will allow the replacement of the flocculant products currently used by others of biological origin. The compositions for the new composites will be defined, studying and experimentally optimizing the physical, mechanical performance, and durability of the resulting materials. In particular, specific composite compositions will be developed for 3D printing and/or projection applications.

Internship description. The internship has been developed from the project and will be subject of R&D work.

Intern’s study level. Master / Engineering.

Intern’s field of study. Chemistry; materials engineering.

Intern’s skills. Experience in field work and laboratory analysis is valuable but not mandatory; Fluency in English.

Duration. 6 months.

Starting date. January 2022.

Location. INODEV / Chemical Process Engineering and Forest Products Research Centre.

Mathematics

Sub-discipline. Numerical Analysis and Optimization.

Project title. Solving large linear systems for Optical Coherence Elastography for imaging retina mechanical properties.

Project description. The research project involves a multidisciplinary team and consists in the development of a optical coherence elastography technique for imaging the mechanical properties of the retina. The task of the project in which the intern will be integrated aims to build a robust mathematical model for the reconstruction of the mechanical properties of the elastic medium (retina).

Internship description. Many computational, scientific or industrial models, particularly in emerging areas such as big data, involve the resolution of large linear systems. Thus, the development of efficient methods (algorithms) for finding their solution is central to applied mathematics and of great practical relevance. In this particular project, we will focus on the large system that appears for computing the numerical solution of the elasticity system using the finite element method. The intern will explore different topics related the linear system, namely: complexity, sparsity and structure, direct methods (LU and Cholesky factorizations), iterative methods (Gauss-Seidel and SOR), conjugated gradient method, preconditioning. The objective is to obtain a comparative study of different approaches and to propose a methodology able to efficiently solve the linear system.

Intern’s study level. Master / Engineering.

Intern’s field of study. Mathematics; Applied mathematics.

Intern’s skills. Knowledge in Linear Algebra and Numerical Methods; Experience in Matlab or Python; Fluency in English.

Duration. 6 months.

Starting date. January 2022.

Location. INODEV / Centre for Mathematics.

Sub-discipline. Numerical Analysis and Optimization.

Project title. Numerical methods for partial differential equations in finance.

Project description. The project consists on the development of numerical methods for linear and nonlinear models from the financial context.

Internship description. The Black-Scholes model in Finance is based on several idealized assumptions of the financial market. If we relax some of these hypotheses, nonlinear extensions of the Black-Scholes equation can be derived and models of integral-differential equations can appear. These integral partial differential equations require specific numerical treatments and are currently a very active area of ​​investigation. Thus, the purpose of this study is to investigate how a specific model appears and to develop appropriate numerical techniques that allow to determine the solutions of the equations involved.

Intern’s study level. Master / Engineering.

Intern’s field of study. Mathematics; Applied mathematics.

Intern’s skills. Math prerequisites in linear algebra, differential equations, probability, stochastic calculus; Basic programming skills; Fluency in English.

Duration. 6 months.

Starting date. January 2022.

Location. INODEV / Centre for Mathematics.

Physics

Sub-discipline. Environmental Physics.

Project title. Online Teaching and Assessment of Environmental Physics.

Project description. Environmental physics is understood as the physics connected with analysing and mitigating environmental problems. It draws on most sub-disciplines of physics and provides a way of making physics relevant.

Internship description. The internship aims to provide the student with training in teaching (e-learning, b-learning) and online assessment of Environmental Physics contents. The work plan will include the development of an online posgraduate course in Environmental Physics.

Intern’s study level. Master / Engineering.

Intern’s field of study. Physics; Geoscience.

Intern’s skills. Problem solving; Learning content’s authoring; Conducting and analyzing student’s surveys; Creation and management of online tests; Course evaluation; Fluency in English.

Duration. 6 months.

Starting date. January 2022.

Location. INODEV / Centre for Earth and Space Research.

Ready to start

your journey?

  1. Application form duly completed; [Download]
  2. Copy of personal identification document or passport, which expressly sets out the applicant’s nationality;
  3. Transcript of the last two academic years;
  4. Copy of diplomas/education certificates/training;
  5. Reference letter from a professor;
  6. Cover letter
  7. Curriculum Vitae
  8. Proof of proficiency in English (if applicable).

Note: In the event of pre-selection, the applicant must submit/deliver the originals of the documents referred until the interview day.

Applications for the INODEV Capstone Abroad must be submitted to the following email address [email protected] with the subject intern_first name last name_capstone acronym.