Summer Internships in Digital Civics for Disabled People

In recognition of the under-inclusion of disabled people in the design, development and study of technology, EPSRC have funded a summer internship program attached to the Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Civics at Newcastle University. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to engage as a trainee researcher and team member of the varied projects based in the Digital Interaction Group; past projects have ranged from DIY assistive technology, to designing new systems for voting and community engagement. For this year, the projects in question will focus on disability rights and activism.

This scheme is open to UK Undergraduate Students or recent graduates (within two years of graduation) who self-identify as having a disability (broadly defined) who are currently between academic years of their current degree program. We are looking for applicants who have a strong interest in the potential for digital technology to be a force for good in wider society. Internships are available for applicants with a technical background (e.g. computer science), as well as those from wider academic backgrounds (e.g. health sciences, planning, social science, education, politics).

The deadline for applications is the 21st of June 2018. Internships are paid at a rate of £300 per week (tax free), and we’ll help to arrange accommodation in Newcastle for those who need it.

To apply, please complete this form and we’ll get back to you.

Please find below some Frequently Asked Questions about the Summer Research Internships for Disabled People. If you would like to know more, or have a specific query, please get in touch at

What research will I be doing if I am accepted?

We engage in a diverse range of research projects related to Digital Civics (see here for some examples). These range from DIY Accessibility onto Digital Democracy. We will discuss with successful applicants the most appropriate project for them to join that would fit with their particular interests. You’ll receive mentorship from experienced researchers within our group, as well as being a full part of our academic community for the time you are here. For this year, the projects in question will focus upon disability rights and activism.

What funding would I receive?

The internships are funded at a rate of £300 per week. As a scholarship, this is tax free. Of course, we’ll also fund any reasonable adjustments that you may need (including additional accommodation costs arising from your disability), as well as all research expenses.

Is my disability eligible?

Any disability that would fall under the Equality Act (2010) is included. This definition would include a very wide range of disabilities and impairment types, ranging from physical and sensory impairments, onto mental health conditions and specific learning disabilities. If you self-define as having a disability, then that is sufficient for us.

Do you make reasonable adjustments for successful applicants?

Absolutely. We will take all appropriate steps that we can to ensure that you can best take advantage of the opportunity we are offering. Normally we’ll discuss reasonable adjustments with you if you are successful, although if you would like to discuss this before you make your application, then we are happy to do so. Reasonable adjustments can extend beyond what has been already identified in an academic needs assessment. We are offering a summer research internship scheme, which is a different experience to a normal taught course, so we fully expect some applicants to have different needs compared to their undergraduate programme.

I am not currently undertaking an Undergraduate Degree program. Can I apply?

It depends upon your particular circumstances. For instance, we happily accept applications from recent graduates who are in between degrees, or applicants who are having a break (or interruption) from their Undergraduate degree program for disability related reasons. Otherwise, we would ask that you get in touch with us and we will be able to let you know.

I am interested in undertaking a PhD, is this scheme for me?

One of the goals of the undergraduate internships we are offering is to help diversify those who choose Digital Civics as a research career. We provide you with an opportunity to engage in academic research and to see if this would work for you. Of course, your time here would greatly help you in any PhD application you made at a later point.

Author: Liz Woodward

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