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Ideas for Russia Labs

Call for Applications: Research Internship for Students at Ideas for Russia Labs

The Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom is pleased to announce that the Ideas for Russia Labs internship program is now open for student’s applications. We invite students interested in contemporary Russian politics, economy, and society to join our research teams.

About the Program

The Ideas for Russia Labs internship program is designed for students who have a keen interest in researching Russia. Participants will have the opportunity to work on research projects under the mentorship of reputable experts in the field.

The main goals of this program are to help participants to:

  • integrate into international scientific networks,
  • gain practical research experience,
  • improve employment prospects and career advancement opportunities.

This program is a key component of the Ideas for Russia initiative, launched in 2022 by the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom, in partnership with the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University and the Institute of International Relations in Prague. The primary aim of the initiative is to foster a community of scholars dedicated to the study of contemporary Russia.

Ideas for Russia Labs is built upon the foundation’s experience with previous initiatives, including the Russia: Known Unknowns scholarship program and the Fedor Stepun program and other initiatives supported by the foundation. It also leverages collaborative efforts with institutions such as Charles University, Ruhr University Bochum, and the Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum.

The program’s primary languages are English and Russian.


The program includes nine distinct laboratories, each managed by a mentor responsible for assembling a research group of 2-3 interns. These groups are formed through a competitive selection process and each pursues its own research project.

List of laboratories and mentors:

All laboratories within the program operate remotely, conducting meetings online. The anticipated meeting frequency is at least twice per month; however, the exact schedule will be tailored according to the preferences and needs of the project participants.

Mentors and interns will work together to develop intern’s research competencies, expand professional networks, and strategize their career trajectories in their respective fields.

The project outcomes, determined by the laboratory mentors and interns, will be disseminated in various formats. These may include blog posts, analytical notes, or peer-reviewed scientific articles, depending on the nature and scope of the research findings.

Program organizers may extend invitations to mentors and interns to engage in conferences, seminars, and other relevant professional events, further enriching the internship experience.

In December 2024, all teams from the Ideas for Russia Labs will showcase their project results at a workshop. This event will be conducted in a hybrid format, hosted in one of the European cities, allowing for both in-person and virtual participation.

The duration of the program is set for six months, commencing in July 2024. While the main program concludes in December, publications derived from the projects may continue to be released post-program.


All the interns will receive a one-time scholarship of $1000, awarded upon the successful completion of the program.

Eligibility Criteria

The Ideas for Russia Labs program welcomes applications from undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students. Specific eligibility requirements are set by the mentors and detailed in each laboratory’s description.

The program is open to applicants from all countries. However, due to the designation of the Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom as an “undesirable organization” by Russian authorities, individuals residing in Russia are unfortunately ineligible to apply.

Application Requirements

When applying, candidates must select the laboratory they wish to intern with and submit the following documents:

  • a curriculum vitae (CV),
  • a motivation letter, limited to one page.

The language requirements for the CV and motivation letter are detailed on the individual pages of each laboratory. 

Candidates may choose up to three laboratories; however, a separate application must be submitted for each.

The deadline for submitting applications is June 23, 2024, 23:59 CET.

Selection Process

Mentors will evaluate applications based on the candidates’ levels, skills, and motivation. In certain instances, candidates can additionally be invited for an interview.

All candidates will be notified of the selection results no later than July 1, 2024.

For any inquiries, please contact: [email protected]

How to Apply

To apply, please fill out the application form by June 23, 2024 by clicking the button below.

Please note that an internship at IFR Labs is not considered a Praktikum within the meaning of German law (MiLoG § 22).