Urban Data Science Corps

About

The University of Toronto School of Cities is offering the very successful Urban Data Science Corps (UDSC) program again in the summer of 2023.  

This internship program is offered by the School of Cities. The Urban Data Science Corps is an opportunity for U of T students interested in data and data science to work with real data issues in the public and non-profit sectors giving them experience and an opportunity to explore data science as a career path. 

The following are types of data research skills that students might be required to have knowledge in and/or work on: 

  • Data cleaning and wrangling
  • Database management
  • Knowledge of Excel, Python R and/or SQL languages
  • Familiarity with ArcMap, QGIS, or other GIS programs for spatial analysis
  • Familiarity with Salesforce or Quickbooks
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Data visualization
  • Statistical and regression analysis

Summer interns will work with organizations in building their capacity to collect, manage, and analyze their own data. 

All internships will run from May through August for a 12-week period and students will be paid for the program period.

Click here to apply


Training

The School of Cities (SofC) will conduct a three-day Data Bootcamp in May 2023 to introduce and review the skills you will be expected to use as an intern. There will be monthly check-in workshops that interns are expected to attend, and all interns will have a faculty mentor assigned to them for support. Faculty mentors will hold weekly office hours during the internship for mentorship and check-ins. The School of Cities will coordinate professional development sessions with the Data Sciences Institute and T-CAIREM.

How it works: 

  • Review all SofC research opportunities listed with their job descriptions
  • Pick your top three choices and apply online  
  • SofC selection committee will review all applications and match the student with the placement opportunity 
  • Students attend Data Bootcamp in May 2023 
  • Students attend mid-term workshops/check-ins (once a month) 
  • Opportunity to present research projects at the student showcase in August 2023 

Summer UDSC Internships 2023

The Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) is a project of the Toronto non-profit Clean Air Partnership that aims to build evidence and support for safer, more equitable streets for walking and cycling. Many American cities have analyzed the racial and demographic impacts of road violence. Those studies have found that people of colour, lower income residents, and older adults are disproportionately more likely to be seriously injured and killed by drivers. TCAT is looking for a data science intern to apply a similar demographic lens to road safety and traffic data in Toronto, analyzing the demographics of neighbourhoods that see the most fatal collusions, the impacts of Automated Speed Enforcement Cameras, and the parts of the city receiving the greatest road safety investments.  The main data skills needed are in data visualization and mapping. organization and data structuring using spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, for example. Programming tools that could help with such tasks would be an asset. Additional tasks might include assisting TCAT in its collaboration with the City of Toronto on specific projects, as needed. A background in transportation and policy evaluation would be an asset. 

Click here to apply

This project seeks to assess the impact of the changes on main streets in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Main streets have typically been a focal point for urban society. They are places where people congregate for a wide variety of reasons. The aim of this research project is to better understand the varying degree to which main streets have been impacted by the pandemic and what interventions have had the greatest impact to support long-term equity and future-proof the recovery of our main streets. This team of interns will use location-based service (cell phone) data to: 

  1. Develop and implement a methodology to measure and evaluate the impact of COVID on main streets in the GTHA by assessing their relative vitality before, during, and after the peak(s) of the COVID pandemic.
  2. Identify ‘types’ of main streets using multivariate regression and random forest classifiers that takes into consideration factors such as relative location, local socio-economic conditions, transportation, and local community assets.
  3. Use regression, cluster analysis and random forest classifiers to identify general trends in vitality across various types of main streets through the stages of the COVID pandemic.  

Click here to apply

Located in Toronto, Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services (Access Alliance) provides services and addresses system inequities to improve health outcomes for the most vulnerable immigrants, refugees, and their communities. The main data problem interns can expect to solve is to organize, update and operate a PowerBI dashboard to manage Access Alliance’s corporate performance measurement indicators. Interns will be tasked with updating the dashboard that automates Access Alliance’s data reporting efficiently, categorized by different departments. Furthermore, interns will also work on existing spreadsheets to visualize data for reporting key performance measurement indicators. The main data skills needed are in data organization, visualization, and report automation using spreadsheets (e.g. Microsoft Excel and Google Sheet), for example. Programming skills, as well as dashboard development and report automation skills using PowerBI, are required. Additional projects might include assisting Access Alliance with specific tasks, as needed.

Click here to apply

The Daily Bread Food Bank works towards long-term solutions to end hunger and poverty and runs innovative programs to support individuals living on low income and experiencing food insecurity. Daily Bread distributes fresh and shelf-stable food, and fresh-cooked meals to member agencies and food programs across Toronto and publishes the Who's Hungry report - an annual survey that provides qualitative data and analysis about food and income insecurity in Toronto to all levels of government and sector stakeholders. 

The Daily Bread’s Research & Advocacy (R&A) team produces regular research reports to support the call for eliminate food insecurity. The R&A team includes the Vice President, Research & Advocacy, a research analyst, and a policy and engagement specialist. Other students may also join the team during the contract. On-site or remote work is possible.  

In the city of Toronto, poverty is concentrated along several spatial dimensions. The GIS analyst intern will collect and review potential data sources and produce maps across multiple dimensions, as determined with the R&A team. The new maps may be used by Daily Bread staff and its agencies in advocacy efforts, media, political outreach, grant applications and more.  

Note: Daily Bread does not have a licensed GIS software in-house. 

Click here to apply

Maximum City brings together a multidisciplinary team to provide learning and engagement about urban related topics, such as climate change, and is located in Toronto. The organization is looking for a data science intern to help with analysis, including spatial of new data, building on the previous study group that last year’s intern worked on, to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected how children and youth in Canada play and engage in physical activity. Within this project, the intern would be analyzing how the role of the neighborhood environment reflects upon healthy movement behaviors and well-being. Another possible project relates to children’s independent mobility in the time of COVID-19. Additional projects related to these topics may arise as necessary. There won’t be a lot of data cleaning or organizing to be done, as the data will be ready for analysis. Interested students should have knowledge or familiarity of ESRI files, or a background in GIS. Any skills or previous experience in regression analysis and spatial analysis would be an asset.

Click here to apply

Second Harvest is Canada’s largest food rescue organization. They recover surplus, unsold food from across the supply chain and redistribute it to not-for-profits across the country also preventing it from ending up in the landfill. They are located in Toronto and are looking for a data science intern to help to better assess the impacts and reach of their food rescue and redistribution efforts through data and statistics.  

The goal of this internship position is to support with the collection, cleanup, management, and organization of data received through the annual Agency Survey. Knowledge of Microsoft Excel, strong data management skills and solid collaborative and communication skills are required. Some experience with Python, an understanding of database design concepts, dashboard development and report automation would be an asset. 

There also includes opportunities to provide basic descriptive statistics and visualizations for the organization’s end of year report.  

Click here to apply

The City of Toronto’s Transportation Data & Analytics Unit was established in 2019 and acts as a hub for data analytics, data science, data collection and data management within the City's Transportation Services Division. They are looking for a data science intern for the summer to work on Toronto transportation related projects. Working knowledge of Python and SQL is required for this position. Skills and experience in GIS, Jupyter Notebooks, data visualization and report writing are an asset. The role and expectations for the intern will be defined together with the team and student at the beginning of the internship, based on existing skills, knowledge and previous experience. This position has flexibility in projects for the intern to work on.

Click here to apply

The Ontario Digital Service (ODS) was founded in 2017 with a bold government-wide mission to build digital maturity and data capacity across government. Today, we are a dedicated group of coders, user experience experts, content designers, product managers, digital strategists, policy professionals and data experts with a focus on building simpler, better services for Ontarians. 

ODS is leading the development of a provincial data authority, an ambitious new initiative that can responsibly share public data for social and economic good. We are looking for data and policy interns to support this work by investigating and reporting on specific data challenges, including data security and data protection needs, specific needs for small and northern communities, and municipal data standardization. 

The main skills required for this internship are in data literacy, research and writing, analytical and political acuity. Additional tasks might include assisting ODS with stakeholder engagements and collaborations with ministry and industry partners on specific use cases, as needed. Knowledge of privacy, digital and data policy evaluation would be an asset. 

Click here to apply

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. How and when can I apply for the Internship? 

    A link to the application will be posted on this site beginning in December 2022.  

  1. Do I need a background in data to apply? 

    Yes – you should have a solid understanding of the technical requirements listed in the job descriptions 

  1. Can I choose which work placement I get? 

    You can select your top three work placements. Perspective interns will then be interviewed by one or more people from the SofC selection committee, and the committee will match students with the placements.

  1. How many positions can I apply to? 

    You can apply to a maximum of 3 positions via the online form to be posted shortly.

  1. Do I need to stay in touch with the faculty mentor? 

    It is to your advantage to have a faculty mentor during the summer placement. The mentor will have set office hours for meetings. 


Important Dates: 

  • Deadline to apply February 5, 2023
  • Data Bootcamp early May 2023 
  • Student showcase August 2023

Eligibility Requirements:  

  • Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada, or a foreign student with a valid student visa for the full summer term 

  • Registered (at the time of application) as a full-time U of T student in a bachelor’s degree or professional undergraduate degree program at a Canadian university/college.


Click here to apply

You may also be interested in the Summer Undergraduate Data Science (SUDS) Opportunities Program offered by the Data Sciences Institute. Learn more.