Internship Programme Recruitment FAQs

  • How does the internship work and how is it structured?

The Programme operates on an annual basis, with interns employed on 12-month, full-time, fixed-term contracts from Sept-Sept. They are employed as LIDA staff members, though their project PIs and wider teams may be drawn from across various University faculties. One of the advantages of the LIDA Internship Programme is that it gives academics from different schools and disciplines the opportunity to collaborate together and thus promotes interdisciplinarity and knowledge exchange.

Each intern completes two 6-month projects which run Oct-March and April-Sept. Most projects will have a PI and Co-I(s), and an external partner as well (see next question for more on external partners).

Interns commence their internship with a rigorous week-long induction of training; meeting LIDA researchers; talks from LIDA partners and LIDA intern alumni.


  • What external partners have collaborated on the LIDA Internship Programme and on what kinds of projects?

Since its inception in 2016, the Internship Programme has seen collaborations with a diverse range of LIDA partners including fashion brand Burberry, gaming industry partner Improbable Worlds, Leeds City Council, the United Nations and World Trade Organisation, NHS Teaching Hospital Trusts, local police forces as part of the N8 Police Research Partnership and Safer Leeds, and smart cities alliance Connected Places Catapult.

Details of previous intern projects can be read here, and details of current intern projects can be read (links within individual interns’ biographies) here.

A large number of projects in the 2021/22 Programme will naturally be related to Covid-19 data analytics, in connection with LIDA’s founding role in the Emer2gent Alliance. These projects will be themed variously from Health Data Analytics to examining the socio-economic and consumer ramifications of the pandemic.

Each intern will broadly be expected to:

  • Undertake quantitative analysis on core datasets;
  • Plan and manage their own research activity in collaboration with the project investigators and other members of the research team;
  • Meet with clients and partners where relevant to the project, in support of LIDA’s partnership-building efforts;
  • Actively participate in LIDA research meetings and seminars;
  • Generate outputs, including research papers, case studies, presentations and other materials for publication.


  • What subject backgrounds are we looking for on the Programme?

You will be a graduate – from undergraduate, Master’s or PhD – in a relevant field and will have excellent numerical skills that may have been gained in the context of quantitative social science, computing, mathematics/statistics, medical bioinformatics or population studies. Previous interns have come from BSc/BAs, Master’s, PhDs relating to the fields of Geography, GIS, Bioninformatics, Fluid Dynamics, Consumer Analytics, Health Analytics, Psychology, Mathematics, Political Sciences, Engineering and Computing.

You may also be a career changer who comes from one of these backgrounds.


  • Is the internship start date flexible?

Unfortunately not. Owing to the fact that interns are recruited as a cohort, who undertake their training and project work together and to the same timelines, these internships have a fixed start date of 27th September 2021 and end date of 26th September 2022.


  • Can I undertake this internship whilst also studying full time or part time?

Unfortunately not, as the role is full time (35 hrs per week) for the duration of the fixed-term 12-month internship. You will be a full time employee of the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics at the University of Leeds for the duration of your fixed term contract.

  • Given the Pandemic, will I be remote working and what will that look like?

We can offer no certainties of course at the moment as it is hard to predict the virus and      government policy/advice in reaction to this, but please be aware that currently we expect these internships to commence with a hybrid working approach in September (i.e. working from home some of the time, with meetings, supervisions, and training taking place online or on campus as appropriate), with a full-time return to campus anticipated from end of 2021.

However, this situation may well change and all successfully appointed interns would be expected to have the flexibility to respond to these changes, i.e. be able to take up their physical posts based within LIDA in Leeds ready for the start of their internships in September.

Under normal circumstances, interns would be based on Leeds University campus at LIDA and be expected to spend the majority of their time at the Institute; however, some time working at other Schools or Institutes and/or the premises of project partners is sometimes encouraged to broaden exposure to other networks and ways of working.

Learn how current intern Simon Leech has been tackling remote working here and former LIDA intern Natalie Nelissen’s top tips for remote working here.


  • Can candidates from outside of the UK apply?

The Programme welcomes applications from those outside of the UK. Please bear in mind that you will need to show proof of right to work in the UK in order to be able to be appointed for these internships.


  • What does the application process look like, and how can I find out the status of my application?

Once your application has been submitted online, it will be reviewed by the shortlisting panel and you will be notified of the progress of your application – whether it has been successful or not – via the online recruitment system Stonefish through which you submit your application.

Please log in and check the status of your application online. Note that decisions on whether your application has been shortlisted or not will only be made after the closing date for the internship vacancies on 4th July 2021. Please allow up to four weeks after this date to hear about the final outcome of your application.

Interviews for these internships are expected to be held online at the end of July and, if invited for interview, you will be sent full joining instructions as well as information on how you should prepare. Candidates will be given a presentation task to prepare for interview, followed by a series of questions.


  • What does a day in the life of a LIDA Data Scientist intern look like?

If you’re wondering what kinds of work our interns get involved with at LIDA, please read the personal viewpoints from current and previous LIDA interns below:

Simon’s approach to Hybrid Working, the New Normal?

Sam’s beginner’s masterclass on NLP and Text Analysis

George and Stuart’s tracking of people’s mobility under lockdown

Alex and Tom’s work on Free School Meals Nationally and for the Bradford area

Holly’s Viewpoint on Track and Trace apps under Covid-19

Natalie’s Intern life, the Pandemic and Everything

Vijay’s Thoughts on the LIDA Internship Programme

Holly’s Improving lives through Big Data

Claire’s Attending the Women in Data conference

Francisco’s An introduction to the LIDA internship

Luke’s Secondment to SoCal 

Kevin’s Day in the Life 

Alex’s Life as a Data Scientist Intern


  • What kind of training and research dissemination opportunities are provided on the Programme?

Each intern benefits from a training, travel and subsistence budget per project which is exclusively for their use. It is expected that project supervisors work with their interns to identify relevant and useful training courses and conferences for them to attend, which will not only be applicable to their project, but also to their wider development in the field of data science. Interns and supervisors are encouraged to proactively seek out conference opportunities for the intern to attend and present papers.

Interns are provided with public speaking and presentation training to equip them in delivering research presentations. Interns will have the opportunity to present on the progress of their projects at key points throughout the Programme through the LIDA Seminar Series, as well as at conferences relevant to their project disciplinary field.


  • How will this internship help me develop a career in data science and analysis?

The LIDA Data Scientist Internship Programme was founded in 2016 because LIDA recognised the growing and unprecedented demand for skilled data scientists within industry, where       demand far outstripped the supply of qualified data scientists. This Internship Programme     focuses on developing emerging data science talent and bridging the gap between data analytics in academia and industry.

Previous LIDA interns have gone on to work as data scientists in industry organisations such as Covance, The Oakland Group, The Data City and The Floow. Others have gone on to work in data science in the public sector at NHS Digital, DWP, ONS and Leeds City Council. Some decided to stay in academia to become research software engineers at academic institutes, and to pursue PhDs in data science and analytics. You can read some of our current and former interns’ testimonials on the Programme on our website here.

One former intern currently completing her PhD at LIDA, Natacha Chenevoy, won an international award in 2018 (at the recommendation of the Lancashire Police Constabulary) for her work on the internship project investigating hate crime by looking at police incident report and Twitter data.


Key People on the LIDA Data Scientist Internship Programme

Programme Director and LIDA Director of Research & Innovation: Prof Alejandro Frangi

Programme Co-ordinator: Kylie Norman,

Programme Admin Assistant: Karen Fletcher,

Partnerships Lead: Paul Evans (LIDA Research & Innovation Development Manager),