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ScotDIST: The Scottish Data-Intensive Science Triangle

Student Placements

Industrial placements for ScotDIST PhD students

ScotDIST students do six month placements with industry as part of their PhD.  These placements can be with any company or organization in any non-academic sector, as long as there is a data science or data-intensive science focus of their placement project.  They can either be in a single six month placement or two three month parts.

By the time of their placements our students will have completed extensive training in traditional physics PhD subjects, giving them strong problem-solving and analytical skills.  They have also heavily studied the topic of modern data science, including modern programming, statistical methods, data exploration tools, and machine learning.  The industrial placements are designed to give companies access to this extensive skill base, and give the students experience of commercial and industrial data-driven world, and apply their skills to real world problems.

The student's salary during the placement is paid by the programme.  We ask for a contribution from hosts according to their size, starting from zero for start-up companies. In addition if a placement  is hosted a long way from their home  University then we may ask companies to make a contribution towards travel or subsistence cost.

We understand that IP concerns are particularly important for placement hosts, and will provide agreements to ensure that any IP generated during the placement stays with them.

If you have a potential placement for a ScotDIST student, or would like to learn more about the system, please contact our Director of Industrial Relationships, Dr Joe Zuntz (contact details below).  The general process is:

  • You write a short description of your potential placement.
  • ScotDIST circulates this among eligible students.
  • Interested students contact you directly, and you can assess their suitability for the placement.
  • You and the student agree the timing of the placement, and any other details.
  • We, you, and the student fill in a agreement regarding the placement.

Previous Placements

ScotDIST students have attended a placements at a wide variety of of companies and organizations, including in the following sectors:

  • Medical Research
  • Biostatistics
  • Manufacturing
  • Engineering
  • Space Technology Development
  • Engineering
  • Government
  • International Academic
  • Earth Observation



Dr Joe Zuntz

Director of Industrial Relationships

  • ScotDIST
  • Institute for Astronomy
  • Higgs Centre for Innovation

Contact details