Apprenticeships, internships and FÖJ

Not everyone likes chemistry, Elisabeth Schütte does. That is why she trained as a chemical laboratory technician at IGB. Meanwhile, she is employed in the IGB Department of Chemical Analytics and Biogeochemistry, and in 2019 she has been awarded a three-year BMBF grant for further training to help her start her career. | Photo: Volkmar Otto


We offer the following apprenticeships at IGB:

  • Office Manager
  • Computer Science Expert subject area: System Integration
  • Chemical Laboratory Technician
  • Biology Laboratory Technician
IHK label for excellent training quality

IGB was awarded the IHK label for excellent training quality. For the latest calls for applications, please consult our Job Portal. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact our Personnel Office.


Unsolicited applications: Each year, we offer a limited number of internships. These can be either mandatory internships (for pupils and students) or voluntary internships for a duration of up to four weeks. Longer periods can also be arranged on a case-by-case basis. Interns can be deployed in any of IGB’s research departments. Please send your application dossier, containing a letter of motivation, Curriculum Vitae and certificates, as a single pdf file by email to the secretary’s office of the department that interests you:

  • (Dept. 1) Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry >
  • (Dept. 2) Community and Ecosystem Ecology >
  • (Dept. 3) Plankton and Microbial Ecology >
  • (Dept. 4) Fish Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture >
  • (Dept. 5) Evolutionary and Integrative Ecology >

Our secretaries will then forward your documents to the relevant members of staff. After reviewing whether we will be able to accept you for the specified period, we will contact you. We look forward to receiving your application at any time of the year!

In addition, we regularly offer students from Germany and abroad internships on the topic of 'Ecosystem services of inland waters and floodplains'. Suitable branches of study include biology, hydrology, geoecology, environmental sciences, geography and environmental economics. No payments are made for internships. The range of tasks includes:

  • Involvement in interesting interdisciplinary research projects on the topic of ecosystem services and freshwaters
  • Tackling work elements on these projects by carrying out research, preparing and analysing data, drawing up a report text, and helping to organise events
  • Expert support, with the option of undertaking independent work, with regular feedback from the team
  • Engagement in a motivating working environment and an international research group

Bachelor or master's thesis

IGB offers the opportunity to write your Bachelor or Master’s thesis, provided that both sides express a mutual interest and a suitable topic is available. Please contact the relevant scientists from the departments.

Voluntary ecological year (FÖJ)

Young people also have the opportunity to serve a voluntary ecological year at IGB, starting on 1 September each year. In this context, we work closely with the supporting organisations Jugendwerk Aufbau Ost (JAO), the Vereinigung Junger Freiwilliger (VJF) and the Internationale Jugendgemeinschaftsdienste (ijgd). Volunteers can choose to engage in various working groups in any of the following areas:

  • Breeding and reintroducing the sturgeon/aquaculture
  • Fish behaviour/individual behaviour, swarming behaviour and animal welfare
  • Fish diseases/ecotoxicology
  • Fish diseases/parasitology
  • Analysis of water samples 
  • Supporting laboratory and field experiments with aquatic plants and periphyton

Tasks include daily animal care, feeding and cleaning, as well as laboratory work related to preparing experiments, sampling, processing and treating samples, analysing water and independently conducting other minor laboratory analyses. Data acquisition and maintenance as well as preliminary data analyses are also among the tasks to be completed in most of the research teams. In the course of the year, the opportunity may also arise to participate in field work for several days. In addition, all volunteers are warmly invited to attend scientific lectures and presentations which are held once or twice a week. Our volunteers gain insight into:

  • scientific work for career guidance
  • laboratory skills, experimental field work, handling chemicals
  • the responsible handling of laboratory animals
  • independent experimental setup and sample treatment
  • involvement in experimental procedure, data acquisition and data evaluation

Your contact person at IGB is Asja Vogt. If you are interested in serving a Voluntary Ecological Year at IGB, please first contact one of the above mentioned supporting organisations.

Contact person

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