Digitech PhD Industry Work Placement Programme

Host Organisation Guidelines for a Successful Placement   
In order to ensure that both Host Organisations and PhD students have the best possible experience during the Placement Programme, we ask all participating organisations to agree to the following set of terms and conditions which follow ‘best practice’ guidelines.  

Given the current situation with COVID-19 and the degree of uncertainty in the short and medium-term, for this year only The Data Lab asks that all projects confirmed have the potential to be delivered remotely. Should this be the case, 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.   

The University Court of the University of Edinburgh acting in its capacity as The Data Lab (The Data Lab) has been awarded funding by the Scottish Funding Council and DDI, to administer the Digitech Work Placements Scheme (the Scheme). The Scheme will pair University of Edinburgh PhD students 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.

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: 10 working days, 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 an employee of 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 10 days of working on the Project. The Placement start and end date shall be as agreed with The Data Lab. All Placements shall be completed by 31 July 2021.

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 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 (skills@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. Liability

5.1. 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.

5.2. 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.

5.3. 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.

5.4. 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.

6. General

6.1. 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.

6.2. 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.


Host Organisation Guidelines for a Successful Placement   

In order to ensure that both Host Organisations and MSc 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.  

Given the current situation with COVID-19 and the degree of uncertainty in the short and medium-term, for this year only The Data Lab asks that all projects confirmed have the potential to be delivered remotely. Should this be the case, 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.   

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 2020 is £8.72 for anyone aged 25 or over and the minimum wage for those 24 or under is £8.20. See https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

2.    The student’s terms and conditions of working and working pattern will be agreed upon 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 or MBN 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 upon 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 upon with the student and academic supervisor. 

4.    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.  

5.    Students coming from Europe may not have a NI number. HMRC are advising students that NI applications are not being processed at the moment. If this is going to cause a problem for your organisation, please let The Data Lab know.  (https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number

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 be regular meetings with the industrial supervisor and the student at least weekly. There should also be regular meetings (at least monthly) 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 a 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 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 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 Skills team at The Data Lab (placements@thedatalab.com) You will receive calls from The Data Lab before, during, and after the placement to check on progress and provide support.


10.  Please note that we use MBN Recruitment Solutions Ltd to assist us in arranging placements for students. Where you apply to become a host organisation, we may share the information provided (including your contact details) with MBN and they may contact you to take this forward. For further information about how we use personal data including contact details, please see our privacy policy: https://www.thedatalab.com/privacy-policy/


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 possible with your preferences.


GDPR Consent
This form collects information from Data Lab MSc students regarding their preferences for the placement section of their course. Your data will be held by The Data Lab. The data is collected to match students with available placement projects.  Data provided on this form will not be shared with actual or potential placement hosts.   This agreement does not impact the existing Studentship Agreement. 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/Student-Privacy-Agreement-Placement-Process.pdf


Additional analytics consent
If you give consent, the data from this form will also be analysed and used to make improvements to the matching process for this year’s process and for future cohorts; this may include training a machine learning algorithm using this data. Analysis of this data may be made public and used for promotional purposes. Any analysis of this data which will be shared outwith The Data Lab will be anonymised such that no students are identifiable from the presented context.



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.  

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 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. 

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.  

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.

If you are a company, public or third sector organisation and you have an idea for an Industrial Doctorate (PhD / EngD) project but you do not yet have a University Partner you can submit this form to outline your idea. The Data Lab will use this information to make relevant introductions to potential University Partners.

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

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

Personal information provided in application form will be processed by The Data Lab [University of Edinburgh] in order to keep the Applicant(s) informed of progress with the Application. This information will not be processed for any other purpose. 


The Data Lab aims to generate economic, social and scientific value to Scotland through the application of data science and AI.  To help achieve this, The Data Lab co-funds industrial doctorate programmes at Scottish Universities, in collaboration with Scottish industry or public sector organisations. These industrial doctorates are designed to support the development of data science talent at a PhD / EngD level, while facilitating collaboration between industry and academia through applied research projects. 

Funding for up to 50% of the programme cost will be provided, based on eligibility criteria with the remainder to be matched by an industry (or public / third sector) partner.    The project must be sponsored by at least one Industry Sponsor that has an operational base in Scotland.  

We are looking for applications from universities that have a proposed project with an industry or public sector partner.

There is no submission deadline for applications. The call is open to receive submissions at any time and we aim to respond to applications within 3 weeks of receipt. Applications will be reviewed by a panel and shortlisted applicants contacted to arrange a second stage interview. We aim to communicate final outcomes no later than six weeks following initial submission at which point successful applicants will be required to complete legal agreements following acceptance of the award. 

Please ensure that you have read the call guidance document carefully prior to completing the application.  This guidance details eligibility criteria and the information and evidence to be provided in the application form.

Personal information provided in this application form will be processed by The Data Lab [University of Edinburgh] in order to keep the Applicant(s) informed of progress with the Application. This information will not be processed for any other purpose. The form will be shared with third parties for reviewing purposes, but any reviewers external to The Data Lab will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement prior to viewing the application.   Data will be retained on record for a maximum of 5 years.

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