Research internships are aimed at discovering new technologies and insights or improve the existing ones, by working under a professor or mentor. They are different from industrial internships, as they rely more on theory and reason behind a concept rather than delivering a product. The focus is more on ‘why?’. Also, the stipend is not very high.
They are, however, a good opportunity to enhance your knowledge, skills and concepts in the chosen field. Many times, the work could also culminate into a research paper. For an undergraduate thinking to pursue a research-oriented post-graduation, such internships add great value to your profile.
Some of the institutions with summer internships opening every year are(the list is non-exhaustive):
1.IIT’s: Delhi, Bombay, Kanpur, Roorkee, Mandi, Hyderabad, Ropar, Kharagpur, Gandhinagar etc. Some of these are open to second year students as well, while others are strictly for third or fourth year. Almost all IIT’s open their portals around February or March, for various domains. Complete details may be found on their respective websites.
2.IAS Fellowship: This is a centralised fellowship, that provides opportunities at IIT’s, IIsc Bangalore and various other institutions. The applications open in February (www.ias.ac.in)
3.IIIT’s: Hyderabad, Allahabad, Delhi, Bangalore
4.NIT’s: Rourkela, Jalandhar, Hamirpur, Calicut, Allahabad, Surathkal, Trichy
5.Other organisations: ISRO, DRDO, Microsoft, Adobe, CSIR, IBM
6. Foreign opportunities: DAAD(Germany; apply in Nov/Dec), University of Tokyo, National Tsing Hua University(Taiwan), National University of Singapore, University of Malaysia etc.
All the above require filling an application form, with some also requiring Statement of purpose. You need to shortlist the domains/professors where you want to apply.