The Data Lab Academy Programme Funding Call for 2023-24

Scottish Universities are invited to apply to become part of The Data Lab Academy programme for AY 23-24, providing the opportunity for students to receive scholarships to participate in a programme of employability, networking and skills training alongside their academic studies, improving opportunities and better preparing them for the fast-paced and changing world of work.

Background

The Data Lab Academy programme differs from other academic courses as it focuses on applying academic knowledge to the world of industry, and on developing non-technical skills that are essential to becoming a data scientist. Around 1,000 students have benefitted from the programme since AY 15-16 and we have worked with every university which provides data courses in Scotland over that period.  You can view  the list of approved The Data Lab Academy courses for AY 22-23 here.

Students on our programme have access to our highly regarded employability enhancing, networking and skills programme which includes:

  • More than 50 hours of training spread across the academic year designed to maximise students’ employability.
  • Access to networking events with industry experts.
  • The opportunity to apply to undertake a paid industrial placement in Scotland.
  • An industry-sponsored residential ‘Innovation week’ challenge.
  • An interactive master class on Data Ethics.
  • Access to a network of expertise through The Data Lab MSc Alumni and The Data Lab Community.
  • Activities linked to digital badges to demonstrate skills in networking, employability, ethics and innovation and participation in the programme.

Entering the 2nd year of a two-year pilot in AY 23-24, The Data Lab Academy is continuing to support a wider range of students onto our programme through SFC funding and additional funding from new The Data Lab partners including Keboola, Accenture and Public Health Scotland.

Apply to join the Programme

Scottish Universities are invited to apply to become part of The Data Lab Academy programme for AY 23-24 through our annual review process. We invite applications for MSc and Integrated Masters courses in data, AI and related subjects.  Integrated masters students join the programme on successful completion of year 3 of their 5-year programme. Acknowledging that the demand for data engineering skills is high, we are keen to see new course applications from MSc and Integrated Masters courses in computer science and software engineering in addition to the more data and AI focussed programmes of study.

To be eligible to apply for students to join The Data Lab Academy, courses must be ready for delivery to commence in AY23-24.  Successful applications should demonstrate;

  • a strong focus on data science, data engineering, AI, software engineering and computer science with data elements e.g. Databases, Machine Learning, Cloud Computing/Cloud Technologies, SQL, NoSQL, Python, R.  Related courses eg data analytics, business analytics and STEM data orientated courses can also apply
  • innovation and creativity in course delivery;
  • high standards and the teaching of data ethics with responsible data science/AI embedded throughout the course;
  • a demonstrable commitment to maximising diversity in applicants (examples of initiatives to reach out to underrepresented applicants);
  • strong industry engagement; and
  • willingness (for new courses) and evidence (for existing courses) of strong engagement with The Data Lab Academy programme and support of The Data Lab Academy placement programme.

The course review and allocation process will remain the same as in previous years, with successful universities awarded scholarship numbers to select the best candidates for their course. We will prioritise courses which clearly meet The Data Lab Academy application criteria and provide strong evidence of industry relevance and demand for the skills being taught.

Where your university offers a suite of courses with shared core content, please submit one application eg MSc AI and MSc AI with Big Data should be considered, for the application process, as a single course with specialisms.

We will continue to ask that potential scholarship candidates identified by universities are required to complete a short application form for review and approval by The Data Lab Academy prior to scholarships being confirmed with students. This is to ensure that all successful applicants to the programme are committed to its aims and are best placed to maximise the opportunity, including the placement programme.

We normally only accept courses that commence in October.

Funding opportunities available

Scottish Universities are invited to apply for their students to gain access to The Data Lab Academy programme. You can apply for one or all funding options.

MSc students who meet SFC eligibility

Around 75 scholarships will support £6000 per student to cover MSc course tuition fees for The Data Lab approved courses for the academic year 2023-24.  Any shortfall between the University’s tuition fee and the £6000 scholarship must be met by the University, and not by the student or any other third party.  All students join The Data Lab Academy programme. Currently, funding from the SFC is not confirmed but we would expect to receive the same number of scholarships as last year. Refer to this SAAS advice (Eligibility Section) for guidance on who can be considered for a fully funded scholarship.

MSc students not eligible for SFC funding and Integrated Masters students

MSc students ineligible for SFC funding: We have a limited number of places for students on The Data Lab approved MSc courses who may not be eligible for SFC funding to join The Data Lab Academy programme. Students must be able to demonstrate the right to live and work (RTLW) in the UK.  Priority will be given to home students but tier 4 students may also be considered.

Integrated masters students: We are expanding the number of integrated masters places to around 20 for AY 23-25 (from 5 in AY 22-23).  To be considered for a place, students must have successfully completed the 3rd year of their integrated masters programme.

Next step

  • Apply using this form.
  • You can apply for any or all of the scholarship options.
  • The closing date for applications is 16 January 2023 at 24:00
  • Universities will be notified on the success or otherwise of their application w/b Monday 30 January 2023.

Information Session
We will hold an information on The Data Lab Academy programme, funding options and application process at 12:00 on Wednesday 7 December 2022. Please register here.

If you have any questions, please contact The Data Lab at TDL-Academy@thedatalab.com

This form is used by The Data Lab to process your application. Some of the details regarding your role/organisation will be shared with course teachers to help develop course content.

The Data Lab (administered from The University of Edinburgh) may share information about projects with the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and any other appropriate organisation in the interests of developing and promoting the Innovation Centres Programme.

TO BE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR THIS SCHOLARSHIP YOU MUST BE REFERRED BY THE UNIVERSITY/COURSE WHERE YOU INTEND TO STUDY.   

 Through our highly regarded and well established The Data Lab MSc programme, The Data Lab supports MSc students on a programme which focusses on applying academic knowledge to the world of industry, and developing the non-technical skills that are essential to becoming a data scientist. The Data Lab MSc programme

Scholarship includes:

  • A fully funded scholarship to cover tuition fees at on an approved The Data Lab MSc programme course at a The Data Lab      partner university
  • Sector-specific training in employability and communication skills*
  • Access to networking events including a launch and closing event with presentations from industry experts, data scientists      and The Data Lab Alumni and a Lunch & Learn programme throughout the year*
  • The opportunity to apply to undertake a paid industrial placement in Scotland
  • An industry sponsored innovation challenge*
  • Membership of The Data Lab MSc community platform with access to a network of expertise, mentoring and a jobs board*
  • Membership of The Data Lab MSc Alumni LinkedIn group
  • A certified MOOC on Data Ethics and Responsible Innovation*

*Core elements that must be completed by all The Data Lab MSc students (the time commitment is approximately 9 working days over a 12 month period)  See https://thedatalab.com/skills-talent/ for more details.

You have been recommended by a The Data Lab’s university partner for consideration by The Data Lab MSc for one of these scholarships. For us to make a decision on whether you meet our criteria, please complete the following form which asks for some information on you, and why you think you should be the recipient of one of our highly sought after scholarships.

The Data Lab Student Privacy Document sets out how The Data Lab will use the data you provide for the purpose of this application, including your rights under data protection law in relation to this personal information.  You can find the document here.


Host Organisation Guidelines for a Successful Placement


In order to ensure that both Host Organisations and Masters students have the best possible experience during the Placement Programme, we ask all participating organisations to agree to the following set of rules and regulations which follow ‘best practice’ guidelines.


We understand that employers will be operating in a number of different ways in regards to remote/hybrid working. If working mainly remotely, the student will be required to be in regular contact with the host organisation during placement (daily if required) and must be provided with access to the data and any specialist equipment required to deliver the project. 

If the project requires the student to work mainly/full-time in the office and remote work is not feasible please provide this detail when submitting your project form with reasoning. It is our duty to ensure that students are working in a safe manner at all time and are comfortable with the expectations in relation to work location.


1.  All students must be paid for their time working on this Project at a minimum of the National Living Wage. It is the Host Organisation’s responsibility to pay the student. (The National Living Wage from April 2023 is £10.42.)


2.  The student’s terms and conditions of working and working pattern will be agreed prior to commencement of employment, in line with the Host Organisation’s normal HR processes. This is usually 35-40 hours. There are a small number of students who would be interested in undertaking a placement on a part-time basis. If this is something that your organisation would be in a position to offer please get in touch with your allocated TDL contact to discuss.


3.  Project duration is normally 8-12 weeks and must end before the submission date of the student’s academic dissertation. Any time allowed during this period for writing up should be agreed with the student and academic supervisor in advance. If the project does not allow sufficient time for writing up, the project must end at least 2 weeks before the student’s submission date, to be agreed with the student and academic supervisor. The duration must be agreed by all parties prior to commencement.


4. Timing of placements:  for most students this will be May – August 2023.


5.  Any background checks, on-boarding, etc must be started as soon as the student has been identified and offered a Project. Please ensure any stakeholders (including external service providers) in this process are aligned as soon as possible and that the checks can be completed well in advance of the student’s start date.


6. An industrial supervisor/s should be identified (preferably a permanent member of staff) prior to the placement commencing. The student will also have an academic supervisor who will liaise with the industrial supervisor and the student. There should also be regular meetings (at least weekly) with the industrial supervisor, academic supervisor and student.


7. All technology and data resources for the Project should be sourced and accessible from the first day of student starting with your organisation. Delays in providing these resources will result in project delays which can seriously impact the student’s ability to complete the project and their MSc dissertation.


8. Any IP agreements/restrictions and/or NDA requirements should be discussed and resolved before the placement commences. IP normally resides with the company with the stipulation that the student has access to the elements required to complete their dissertation. The academic supervisor will be the main point of contact on IP and NDA issues.


9. Any concerns over the Project or the students’ performance must be raised, in writing, immediately with the student’s academic supervisor. If these concerns are not addressed satisfactorily by the academic supervisor, this should be escalated at the earliest opportunity in writing to the Placements team at The Data Lab. You will receive calls from The Data Lab before, during and after the placement to check on progress and provide support.


10. Should the student be offered further employment by your organisation within 12 months of the placement completion, a fee will be incurred payable directly to The Data Lab:

  • Public and third sector organisations – £0
  • Start-ups – £1000
  • Private sector SMEs – £2500
  • Private sector Other – £5000

The Data Lab reserve the right to amend these fees at their discretion. Income generated from fees is not for profit and will be used to further develop and sustain The Data Lab Masters Programme, enable the continuation of scholarship funding and industry placements in the future. If the student leaves the role within the first 3 months of further employment, your organisation will be eligible for a full rebate of the fee.


11. The Host Organisation agrees to provide all information and assistance as reasonably required by The Data Lab for the purposes of The Data Lab assessing the success of the programme, promoting the programme or as required for reporting to its funders, this shall include but is not limited to, the provision of a case study in relation to the Project.


12. For further information about how we use personal data including contact details, please see our privacy policy. The information submitted via the Project form will be stored on a third party platform for the purposes of matching, but no personal data will be transferred.


GOV.UK National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates
The National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates: age, apprentices, previous years

The University Court of the University of Edinburgh acting in its capacity as The Data Lab (The Data Lab) is administering the PhD Work Placements Scheme (the Scheme). The Scheme will pair PhD students from Scottish Universities with eligible organisations to carry out a project for the organisation, relevant to the student’s PhD research area and interest. The costs of the student’s time will be paid for by The Data Lab directly to the Student.

These terms and conditions (the T’s and C’s) apply to all organisations who agree to provide a placement as part of this Scheme (the Host Organisation).

1. Definitions

1.1. The following words and phrases shall have the following meanings in these T’s and C’s:

Placement: the secondment of the Student by The Data Lab to the Host Organisation on the terms of these T’s and C’s.

Project: the data science work to be carried out by the Student during the Placement, the details of which shall be as set out in the project form submitted by the Host Organisation.

Placement Period: Up to 10 working days (max 70 hours), being the period which the Placement shall last.

Student: means the University of Edinburgh PhD student which the Host Organisation has agreed to provide a placement to for the purpose of undertaking the Project.

2.  The Placement

2.1. The Student shall be engaged by the University of Edinburgh and shall be seconded to the Host Organisation for the Placement, subject to these T’s and C’s, for the purposes of assisting the Host Organisation to carry out the Project.

2.2. The Placement shall encompass 70 hours (10 days) of working on the Project. The Placement start and end date shall be as agreed with The Data Lab. The end date must be within 8 weeks of the start date.

2.3. All technology and data resources for the Project must be sourced and accessible from the first day of the commencement of the Project.

2.4. The Student should not be assigned work which does not relate to the Project during the Placement Period.

2.5. The Host Organisation shall appoint a supervisor (the Supervisor) to supervise the Student and act as the main point of contact for The Data Lab and the Student throughout the Placement Period. The Supervisor shall provide support to the Student to enable the Student to carry out the Project.

3. Reporting

3.1. The Data Lab may share information in relation to the Host Organisation’s participation in the Scheme and the Host Organisation agrees to provide all information and assistance as reasonably required by The Data Lab for the purposes of The Data Lab supporting the Student, assessing the success of the Scheme, promoting the Scheme, or as required for reporting to its funders, this shall include but is not limited to, the provision of a case study in relation to the Project.

3.2. Any concerns in relation to the Student’s performance must be raised, in writing, with The Data Lab (placements@thedatalab.com).

4. Compliance

4.1. The Host Organisation shall comply with all applicable rules and regulations in relation to its engagement with the Student and the Project.

4.2. During the Placement, the Host Organisation shall fulfil all duties relating to the Student’s health, safety and welfare as if it was their employer.

4.3. The parties acknowledge and agree that each party acts as an individual data controller in respect of their processing of the Student’s personal data. The Host Organisation shall comply with all applicable data protection laws in processing the Student’s personal data.

5. Confidentiality

5.1. If the Host Organisation requires a confidentiality undertaking from the Student, a letter of confidentiality shall be provided.

6. Liability

6.1. The Data Lab does not provide any warranty or guarantee in respect of the quality or accuracy of the Student’s work or in relation to the Student being able to undertake or complete the Project.

6.2. Other than to the extent expressly set out in this Agreement, The Data Lab accepts no liability, financial or otherwise, for expenditure or liabilities arising out of, or as a result of, the Host Organisation’s engagement with the Student, except to the extent that responsibility for such liabilities cannot lawfully be excluded.

6.3. The Data Lab shall not be responsible for any costs, claims or liabilities arising as a result of any act or omission of the Host Organisation and the Host Organisation hereby indemnifies The Data Lab against any costs, claims or liabilities suffered or incurred by The Data Lab as a result of any action, claim or complaint brought by the Student or a third party against The Data Lab arising out of or in connection with the acts and omissions of the Host Organisation.

6.4. The Host Organisation shall maintain in full force with a reputable insurance company for the Placement Duration adequate insurance cover for any loss, injury and damage caused by its engagement with the Student.

7. General

7.1. No addition, amendment, modification or waiver of any term of these T’s and C’s shall be effective unless it is in writing and signed by each of the Parties.

7.2. These T’s and C’s shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Scotland. The Parties agree that any dispute arising under these T’s and C’s or in connection with it will be decided in the Scottish Courts which will have exclusive jurisdiction in any such matter.

Following the launch of your online training course, The Data Lab are required by our funders to collect specific data for a period of 3 years in order to demonstrate the impact that courses have had. 

You should have already completed a Project Closeout Report following the launch of your course.  If you have not already done so please contact skills@thedatalab.com.

This form is required to provide impact data for iterations of your course that have run since you submitted the closeout report and should only include data for course runs that you have not already submitted data for.  

 The Data Lab (administered from The University of Edinburgh) may share information about projects with the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and any other appropriate organisation in the interests of developing and promoting the Innovation Centres Programme.   

This form is to update The Data Lab on your progress in developing your online course.

The Data Lab (administered from The University of Edinburgh) may share information about projects with the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and any other appropriate organisation in the interests of developing and promoting the Innovation Centres Programme.  

Following the launch of your online training course, The Data Lab are required by our funders to collect specific data for a period of 3 years in order to demonstrate any impact that courses have had. 

Following submission of this form you will be contacted to schedule a project completion meeting to allow us to discuss and formally close off the project and agree how data will be collected for the remaining duration of the 3 year reporting period.

We look forward to learning about the impact of this project.

The Data Lab (administered from The University of Edinburgh) may share information about projects with the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and any other appropriate organisation in the interests of developing and promoting the Innovation Centres Programme.  

This form is to update The Data Lab on the progress of the Industrial Doctorate project.

We will prompt you to complete this form after every 6 months.

The Data Lab (administered from The University of Edinburgh) may share information about projects with the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and any other appropriate organisation in the interests of developing and promoting the Innovation Centres Programme. 

If you have an idea for a Industrial Doctorate (PhD / EngD) project but you do not yet have an Industry Sponsor you can complete and submit this form to provide an outline of your idea. The Data Lab will use this information to make relevant introductions to potential Industry Sponsors.

You can choose to make the information provided in this application private or publically available. 

This application is for the sole purpose of matching University Partners with Industry Sponsors. It is not recognised as a submission and it will not be reviewed by the Reviewing Panel.

This form should be completed to accompany your CV when applying for an industrial placement.  The form is used to collect information to allow The Data Lab to match you to a suitable placement, taking into account preferences such as location and working pattern, etc. When completing this form please try to be as flexible as possible with your preferences.


Application to the programme does not guarantee you will be selected for a placement.  Applicants will be selected on a best match basis to the projects provided by industrial partners. 


Privacy Policy
This form collects information from students regarding their preferences for the placement as part of The Data Lab PhD Placement Programme. Your data will be held by The Data Lab. The data is collected to match students with available placement projects.  Please see our privacy notice for information about how The Data Lab uses your personal information in relation to the provision of industrial placements. The privacy notice is available at: https://www.thedatalab.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/PhD_Placement_Student_Privacy_Policy.pdf


Evaluation and Feedback
Due to nature of this project as a pilot, we are keen to obtain detailed feedback from both students and organisations participating in the programme, to enable evaluation and future planning.  It is assumed that by participating in this programme, you will provide feedback on request of your experience and any benefits/impact as a result of undertaking a placement through the programme.  This may be in the form of questionnaire, blog, case study as relevant to the project.


Payment
Prior to commencing placement, the expected time commitment and outputs will be mutually agreed upon between the student, the host organisation and The Data Lab.  Payment will be made on completion of the project subject to the student providing evidence of the time spent working (through timesheets) and delivery of the outputs to the required standard as agreed.




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