Host organisation guidelines


Host Organisation Guidelines for a Successful MSc Placement   

Inject some data science creativity into your organisation through The Data Lab MSc Industrial Placement Programme

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.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, 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 2020 is £8.72 for anyone aged 25 or over and the minimum wage for those 24 or under is £8.20. Please note that from 1st April 2022 the National Living Wage will rise to £9.50.)

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 2022. We also have a number of students who will also be looking for placements commencing in September, so please let your TDL contact know if that is of interest.

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 be regular meetings with the industrial supervisor and the student at least weekly. 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 issues 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

GOV.UK Apply for a National Insurance number
Apply for your first National Insurance number – you must have the right to work or study in the UK