Data Scientist Development Programme

Data Scientist Development Programme

What is the programme?

Our award-winning data science programme is an opportunity for graduates and career changers looking to pursue a career in data science.

It provides on-the-job training and experience in the form of a fixed 12-month, paid role.

The data scientists own the delivery of two 6-month projects, working on real-world problems with real data across Health, Environment and Societies.

They work with external partners across the public, private, charitable and education sectors. They also work with leading scholars, and the wider LIDA and University of Leeds research community.

What will I learn?

You will build skills and knowledge in…

  • statistical analysis
  • data visualisation
  • research methods
  • computer programming
  • critical thinking

You will also receive on-site and external training opportunities with your own allocated budget.

Setting you up to succeed

The programme offers early career data scientists the opportunity to hone their expertise working on real-world data and topical research questions, whilst giving academics and LIDA’s partners the chance to harness new talent in finding novel ways to solve data problems. Since it began in 2016, it has provided 61 paid interns with hands-on experience and ownership of projects drawn from the fields of social science, health and engineering, using data science for public good.

It provides an outstanding opportunity to develop skills that are in high demand within industry and academia, both nationally and globally, within a growing, state-of-the-art facility. We have dedicated health, environment and societies communities at LIDA, as well as programmes for Artificial Intelligence, Statistical Data Science, Immersive Technologies, Machine Learning and Data Science Infrastructures.

The main duties of the LIDA Data Scientist include:

  • Helping to advance research activity across each of LIDA’s constituent areas: AI, Health Informatics, Urban Analytics, Statistical and Mathematical methods, and Visualisation and Immersive Technologies;
  • Undertaking quantitative analysis on core datasets; e.g. data wrangling, data linkage, data scraping, modelling and analysis; dealing with missing data;
  • Planning your own research activity in collaboration with the project investigators and other members of the research team;
  • Meeting with clients and partners in support of LIDA’s partnership-building strategy;
  • Participating in and presenting at LIDA research meetings and seminars;
  • Delivering written outputs, including blog articles, case studies and contributing to research papers;
  • Attending and representing your project at relevant conferences through poster presentations or giving papers.

How to apply


Our 2022-23 cohort registration window has now closed.

Applications for the 2023-24 cohort will open May 2023, with roles set to commence September 2023.

Further information will be added here closer to the time, but if you would like to be contacted directly when the window reopens, then please join our waiting list.

With cohort numbers increasing every year, this is a popular data scientist programme, so to avoid missing out we recommend joining the waiting list.

Three (3) data scientists sat at computers talking

Equality, diversity and inclusion

award winner stamp

We’ve committed to Positive Action Recruitment in the programme for the next 5 years. This ensures our research is conducted by a diverse group of people, which enriches our research and provides more opportunities to people from all cultures and backgrounds.

We reserve positions for black and minority ethnic people on the programme every year, increasing diversity in the data science workforce and enriching our programme, because we do much better data science work when we have representation from lots of different cultures on the programme.

We won an award this year for our contribution in the area of equality, diversity and inclusion and are now guiding other departments and universities to implement this positive change.


The DSDP is a great way to partner with LIDA on short-term research projects, as well as building data science capacity in line with the Government’s AI Roadmap. We partner with public, private and third sector organisations, some of our recent collaborators include Sainsburys, the NHS, Burberry, Southwest Water, Enterprise Car Club and the Alan Turing Institute.

Do you have a research question or data challenge, but no time or expertise to tackle this in-house? Please get in touch with us at if you’re interested in partnering with us on the programme.

Find out more about the programme

Further reading