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23 03, 2020

How to hire an intern


How to hire an intern

[Written by Sophia on 2019/01/14]

Lot’s of work and only 24 hours in a day. That’s why you need an intern or more than one. In order to do it efficiently and without getting in trouble with administration, there are a couple of things you need to be consider.

Table of content

  1. Approaches
  2. Job analysis
  3. Sourcing
    • Heading 2.1
      • Heading 2.1.1
  1. Screening and selection
  2. Desk space
  3. Payment
  4. Organization
    • Documents for Annette
  1. Links
  2. Literature


Two ways to go with ups and downs:

Passive (being wooed): Wait for people to contact the lab or you

+ little effort

– bit of a gamble whether the person is a good fit

Active (looking for people you need): Put out an ad with what you need

+ a bit of work

– more likely to find a person who is a good fit

Job analysis

  • What is the job I want the person to do (Main task, Side tasks, Project)
  • Knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics necessary to complete the tasks (language, programming, analysis, …)
  • What are the skills which are useful but not mandatory
  • What can you offer the person (be realistic)
  • Time Frame: Full-time, part-time, How many weeks, months
  • Can you offer to supervise a thesis following the internship
  • Specify which documents (e.g. CV, transcript of records, X-pages cover letter) you want until which date on which you base your decision to invite them for a telephone/skype call or personal interview.


  • Identify the target group (Students of which subject, Bachelor/ Master, the year)
  • Where do I find this target group: FU, HU, TU, Charité, Mind and Brain
  • Contact the respective institution: Mailing list, lecturers, teaching coordinators

Screening and selection

  • Try to give every candidate equal chance of proving their ability by asking roughly the same questions / giving same task
  • Figure out before meeting: What do you want to know from them?
  • Tell them when they are going to hear from you regarding your decision
  • Might be good idea to ask them to get back to you after xy days on whether they want to do the internship before you tell them your decision


  • In most of cases, you will not be able to pay your intern with money. In Germany the only way not to pay an intern is, when the internship is mandatory for their study
    • You need prove of that by the sending institution (Erklaerung A, signed and stamped by the sending institution, if not HU student)
    • You pay the person with knowledge, professional growth and a Confirmation of what they did in the internship and how well they did that
  • At least for longer internships, it’s a token of appreciation, if you give them a little something (e.g. book and a thank you card)

Work Space

Where your intern will be working depends also on where you work. There are 2-4 computers in the attic which are occupied by Finke lab interns. However, if you plan on using one of those, talk to the other lab members and how they are currently occupied. At least on one computer we have special rotation/ intern log-ins the person can use.

For the attic, the intern will need a key-card you can order from Laura (mb-office@hu-berlin.de). This will take a couple of days.

There are also interns at the Charité offices. Same thing applies about desk space – talk to your colleagues regarding availability. Depending on the office they will sit in, they will need either 70.105 or 725.1, which you can get from the Schlüsselverwaltung CCM.

Documents you need for Mind and Brain

The checked and signed Laufzettel (see attachemnts), including but not necessarily exclusively

  • If not Mind and Brain student: proof of mandatory internship (Erklaerung A)
  • Proof of liability insurance
  • Matriculation certificate
  • Hospitationsvereinbarung (signed by intern and Carsten)
  • Confirmation fireprotection (signed by intern)
  • Lab safety protocol they will be working in (signed by intern)
  • HU Keycard for Haus 1, Luisenstr. 56 with access to the rooms they will be working at
    • Contact Laura beforehand, otherwise you will have to open doors for them all day (mb-office@hu-berlin.de)
    • You will only get the keycard, if you hand out a copy of the completed Laufzettel
  • Internet access with HU account (usefull, if they stay for longer), CMS

All documents except for the MB_Laufzettel Praktikanten_Interns_Mitarbeiter.pdf can be found in the ZIP_folder_documents_1-11__18__and_3_x_extras and ZIP_folder_Praktika


MB_Laufzettel Praktikanten_Interns_Mitarbeiter

Zip folders


ZIP_folder_Praktika Ausschreibung Praktikant

Example of an ad I posted in German: Ausschreibung Praktikant

How to hire an intern2020-04-01T10:24:05+02:00
23 03, 2020

REDCap 101


REDCap 101

[Written by Johanna on 19/01/17]

Table of content

  1. General information
    • Access
    • Contact
  2. Overview
    • User rights
  3. Setting up your project
  4. How to import data
  5. How to export data

General information

REDCap = Research Electronic Data Capture

It is a secure web application for building and managing online surveys and databases. The administration is covered by Charité IT. The database has many fancy features which we can use four different studies conducted by us:

  • On- and offline use
  • Built-in calendar
  • Randomization module
  • Automated export procedures (SPSS, R, Stata, Excel)


This is the link to the log-in page:


REDCap is updated from time to time and hence the link changes. Remember to use the latest version! I will keep the link in the wiki updated.

The log-in details are your charité-username and password.


Should there be any issues with REDCap (or any other reason why we need support by an admin), we can use the REDCAP Admin Link on the website.

Andreas Hetey (Andreas.hetey@charite.de) set up our project. He has been very helpful.


Picture: REDCap1

This is how REDCap looks like. There are many great video tutorials, which explain all the functions. This is a brief summary video: https://redcap.vanderbilt.edu/consortium/videoplayer.php?video=redcap_overview_brief02&title=Brief%20Overview%20of%20REDCap&referer=redcap.charite.de.

You also have the possibility to download the app for mobile devices.

User Rights

Before you want to use REDCap, please write me a mail (johanna.klag@charite.de) so I can grant you the user rights you need.

Depending on what you need, reading and writing rights can be granted for the whole project or for specific parts only. You have to possibility to read only anonymized data. This might be especially helpful when you use REDCap to collaborate with other groups.

Setting up your project

Right now, we established the REDCap database for the LE-project only.

Officially, you need to sign an agreement with the Clinical Research Unit of BIH to set up a project for a new study.  They ask for basic information regarding data protection, voting of the ethics committee, etc.

When setting up a new project, follow the steps under “project setup” which are quite self-explanatory. Should there be any specific questions, feel free to ask!

How to import data

There are three ways to import your data:

  1. Fill out the questionnaires online. This is very easy. Drop-down options, radio buttons etc. are shown as such. Should you enter an invalid number, you receive a warning immediately. (picture: redcap_import1)
  2. Surveys can be sent to the study participants automatically via mail. Their answers are imported in REDCap but can be modified afterwards.
  3. Use the data import tool to import your data (.csv format). The tool guides you through the process and generates error or warning messages should your data not meet the requirements. This process is quite foolproof! (pictures: redcap_import2 and redcap_import3)

How to export data

REDCap offers the possibility to have a look at basic statistics directly in REDCap (distribution of a sample, mean and max values). These images can be downloaded.

To export an entire data set, you should use the export tool. You can select between all data or specific instruments or events. When it comes to the export format, you have the choice between .csv (raw data or labels) or a format, which is fitted for a statistical program (SPSS, SAS, R, Stata). XML output is also possible.

You are good to go!

REDCap has tons of great video tutorials, check them out!

REDCap 1012020-09-14T16:10:11+02:00
23 03, 2020

Reimburse travel costs from study participants


Reimburse travel costs from study participants

[Written by Johanna on 2019/07/24]

Table of content

  1. What do we reimburse?
    • Travel costs
      • By car
      • By train
      • By plane
    • Hotel costs
  2. Prepare the documents
  3. Send it to Zentraler Rechnungseingang
  4. Common problems and questions

What do we reimburse?

These criteria might be different for every study. Regarding the LE-study, we follow these rules:

Travel costs

Travel costs are fully reimbursed (journey there and back)

  1. By car: When a patient arrives by car, we either reimburse the costs for the gas (receipt from the petrol station) or we estimate the costs with a travelling allowance of 0,20€/km.

Travelling allowance:

  1. Go to https://www.falk.de/routenplaner?data=eyJncCI6IjUyLjUxNjY5MywxMy4zOTk5OTQiLCJneiI6MTJ9
  2. Type in the home address of the patient and Charité address (Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin) to calculate the route.
  3. Chose the shortest route and go to “Details”.
  4. Falk Routenplaner already offers the possibility to also calculate the costs of the travel (“Kosten”).
  5. Type in 0,20€ as “Reisekosten” (travel expenses).
  6. Print it with Strg+P (tick only the box for “Optionen”), we do not need the map and the precise route description).
  7. Because we reimburse the journey there and back, take the calculated costs times two J
  1. By train: We reimburse tickets in second class.
  2. By plane: If the costs for the plane ticket do not exceed the costs that we would reimburse by car, this works as well.

Regarding accompanying persons: If a patient says that the participation of the study is only possible when she is accompanied by another person (partner, parent, friend, etc.), we normally also reimburse the costs for the second person under the same conditions. Inform Carsten about that.

Hotel costs

Hotel costs are reimbursed for people for whom it is not possible to arrive and depart at the same day due to a long journey. Inform Carsten if this is the case. Hotel costs are reimbursed up to 60€. Regarding accompanying persons, see above.

Hotels that are close by:

Mikon Eastgate

Motel one

Riverside City Hotel

The patients are responsible for booking the hotel.

Prepare the documents

You find the form in the _LE_Orga-Folder.

Filling out the form is quite self-explanatory: Fill in the name and the address of the study participant and the banking details. If possible, fill in everything you can on the computer. There are many illegible numbers and letters when some people do it handwritten.

Example see here:

As it already says on the form, we have to attach all receipts and tickets to the form. For that, scan the form with the original signature and all the tickets/receipts. Merge all the images into one pdf-file  (Very important! Otherwise, your request will not be processed).  You can use pdf24 or any other program you like.

Send it to Zentraler Rechnungseingang

Send a mail to zentraler-rechnungseingang@charite.de and attach the ONE pdf to the mail.

The text could sound like this:

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

Könnten Sie bitte die Erstattung der Kosten von unserer Studienteilnehmerin XXX übernehmen? Das DM-Konto ist wie angegeben XXX.

Herzlichen Dank!

Beste Grüße,


Normally, the money is transferred to the bank account of the study participant within 5-7 weekdays. Keep in mind that Carsten has to approve it first.

Common problems and questions

Should there be problems with the reimbursement, something like this happens:

  1. You forgot the attachment/ some information is in the wrong format/ something is missing: You get a mail from Zentraler Rechnungseingang saying that they cannot process your request. Do it again J
  2. The banking details are wrong: Carsten gets a message and forwards it to you.
  3. The patient writes a mail and complains about the money not being there: Write a mail to kreditorenbuchhaltung@charite.de and ask for updates. If Carsten is on holiday or there are other reasons why he might not have approved it: Ask Carsten.

Contact person for the case that you desperately want to talk to somebody:

Marina Erxleben from Geschäftbereich Finanzen normally takes care of our money: Geschäftsbereich Finanzen Tel. 672488

You can find all the information also in intranet: https://intranet.charite.de/fi/download_und_service/finanz_und_rechnungswesen/kreditorenbuchhaltung/

(I just read that they have different criteria mentioned there regarding the name of the document. I never followed these (and never had problems) but you might do that in the future. Also, the documents seem to have been updated.)

Reimburse travel costs from study participants2020-04-01T10:24:46+02:00