The ONS Data Journalism Intern Scheme offers post-graduate students interested in data and journalism an opportunity to spend a month gaining invaluable experience in the newsrooms and offices of some of the UK’s leading media and data organisations.

As the national statistical institute for the UK, the ONS believes better statistics leads to better decisions. We believe public data can do great public good and want to see that data used, consumed and understood by as many people as possible.

Data journalism is still a relatively new discipline in the media and we have seen first-hand how journalists, with the right training and experience, can help unlock data and make it accessible and relevant to the public at large.

The scheme

Six successful students* will receive expenses of £2,500, paid for by the ONS, and will spend four weeks with one of the following:

  • BBC News Data and Visual Journalism Unit – London

  • BBC Data Journalism Hub – Birmingham

  • Trinity Mirror data journalism team – Manchester

  • The Telegraph data journalism team – London

  • Press Association data journalism team – London

  • ONS Digital Visual.ONS team – Newport

Students will take up their internship between July and August.

Who are we looking for?

You have a love of data and understand the value it brings to audiences when it is unlocked by journalists and turned into stories and visualisations. You are familiar with the key issues of the day and how public data can empower people to make decisions when it is presented in accessible forms and with important context.

You are at least 18-years-old and a student on a post-graduate journalism scheme at an accredited UK university, or you have completed your post-graduate course in the academic year 2015 to 2016. We will accept both full-time and part-time students.

It is the individual student's responsibility to ensure that they are legally permitted to work in the UK.

The ONS will ask for proof of your accreditation or attendance on a post-graduate journalism course.

How do you apply?

You can apply for the scheme via Civil Service Jobs. You will be required to provide a CV and a cover letter which includes links to at least one editorial project or story you have been involved in that is data-driven, and some background about how the idea was developed and how you used data in your journalism.

We would also like to see outlines for three high-quality story ideas that use ONS data, either wholly, or in conjunction with other data sources.

The ideas should:

  • reflect demonstrable audience need and interest

  • show consideration for the different approaches to how the story could be told

  • demonstrate your ability to take a data set, find stories and articulate them effectively, thinking about the best form that story should take

The opening data for applications is Monday 3 April 2017 and the closing date is Friday 28 April 2017.

All successful applicants should be prepared to accept the internship in any one of the 6 organisations. We will not accept preferences of location and organisation.

How are applicants selected?

A panel of judges from each of the media organisations taking part in the scheme together with the ONS will make the selection.

A long-list of candidates will be invited to a video interview between 8 and 12 May. You must be able to take part in the interview via video conference (for example, Skype or Hangouts) in that week.

Successful candidates will be informed on 16 May and will then be invited to make arrangements with the media organisation with whom they will spend a month.

What are the time scales?

Entries open 3 April 2017
Entries close 28 April 2017
Video interviews 8 to 12 May 2017
Successful candidates notified w/c 15 May 2017
Candidates start internship between start of July and end of August 2017

Things you need to know

Successful candidates will be paid the expenses before they take up the internship at a date to be arranged with the ONS. If the successful candidate does not take up that internship, for whatever reason, they will have to repay the ONS.

Unsuccessful candidates will be notified via email.

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