The Urban Data Science Corps (UDSC) is a summer internship program offered by the School of Cities. UDSC presents an opportunity to undergraduate students at U of T who are interested in data and data science to work with real data issues in the public and non-profit sectors and explore data science as a career path.  

Summer interns work with organizations to help them build their capacity to collect, manage, and analyze their own data. Students will gain experience in, and may be expected to have some knowledge of: 

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

All internships are paid and run for 12 weeks, from May through August. 

How it works

  • Undergraduate students from across U of T apply to UDSC during the winter semester. Students review the available work placements and indicate their top 3 choices. Applicants must have a solid understanding of the technical requirements listed in the job descriptions.  
  • Prospective interns’ applications are reviewed by one or more members of the School of Cities’ selection committee, and are matched with a participating organization by the School.  
  • A faculty mentor is assigned to every participant, and students must attend monthly check-ins with their mentor throughout their internship. Mentors also schedule weekly office hours throughout the summer for UDSC meetings.  
  • A mandatory 3-day Data Bootcamp is held for all interns in May, to introduce and review the skills they will be expected to deploy during their internship. 
  • Students have the opportunity to showcase the project they worked on at an event held in August.  
  • The School of Cities coordinates professional development sessions throughout the summer with the Data Sciences Institute and T-CAIREM

Summer 2024 UDSC internship opportunities  

Access Alliance provides accessible, community-governed, inter-professional primary health care services, including health promotion, illness prevention and treatment, chronic disease management, and individual and community capacity building.

The intern will be expected to organize, update and operate a PowerBI dashboard to manage Access Alliance’s corporate performance measurement indicators. They will be tasked with updating the dashboard that automates Access Alliance’s data reporting efficiently, categorized by different departments. They will also work on existing spreadsheets to visualize data for reporting key performance measurement indicators. The primary data skills required are data organization, visualization, and report automation using spreadsheets (e.g. Microsoft Excel and Google Sheet). Programming skills, dashboard development and report automation skills using PowerBI, are required. Additional projects might include assisting Access Alliance with specific tasks, as needed.

The Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) is a non-profit applied research organization dedicated to achieving healthy urban development. CUI helps public and private sectors build capacity for informed, creative decisions, shape public policy and implement the best community practices.

With over nearly three decades of experience in Canada and internationally, CUI applies knowledge to visualize data and organize information to better understand city builder relationships. They generate insights and recommendations to inspire action with a focus on solutions for the built environment that balance human, ecological and economic impacts.

CUI has offered students and recent graduates exposure to authentic urban planning work that improves their employability, interpersonal skills and transition to the workforce. The CUI intern can expect to work with project teams to help support ongoing project work and the conceptualization of future work.

Student intern can expect to do the following: 

  1. Support work with Applied Solutions Lab staff
  2. Collect and analyze data
  3. Employ knowledge of planning and policy to support CUI’s projects
  4. Prepare concise and well-structured written documentation including developing visualizations
  5. Work with CUI staff and other interns to achieve strategic and program goals

Daily Bread Food Bank works towards long-term solutions to end hunger and poverty by running innovative programs that support individuals living on low income and experiencing food insecurity. Daily Bread also distributes fresh, shelf-stable food, and fresh-cooked meals to member agencies and food programs across Toronto.

The Daily Bread’s Research & Advocacy (R&A) team produces regular research reports to advocate for the elimination of food insecurity and poverty. 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 Research Analyst intern will collect and review potential data sources and produce a variety of maps, 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.

Additional tasks include, but are not limited to conducting literature reviews, surveys/interviews with food bank clients, data analysis on food bank client demographics and trends. The intern will also be responsible for supporting the development and implementation of advocacy campaigns.

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

Located in Toronto, Maximum City brings together a multidisciplinary team to provide learning, engagement and policy development on urban related topics.

Maximum City is looking for a data science intern to help with survey development, spatial mapping, dashboard visualization, and data analysis to better understand how children and youth experience major sporting events, such as the Men’s FIFA World Cup 2026. Within this project, the intern would be helping in the development stages of surveying, mapping, and dashboard visualization for multiple North American cities.

Additional projects related to these, and other topics may arise as necessary, including analysis and coding of qualitative data sets. Interested students should have knowledge or familiarity of Esri software, or a background in GIS. Work for this role would occur mostly in a remote setting.

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, they work alongside colleagues in the Ministry of Public and Business Service as a dedicated group of coders, designers, product managers, policy professionals and data experts to deliver simpler, better services for Ontarians.

ODS leads a wide range of digital and data initiatives, including the development of a provincial data authority, an ambitious new initiative that can responsibly share public data for social and economic good. They are looking for data and policy interns to support this work by investigating and reporting on specific data challenges, including municipal data standardization, product usage analytics, and much more.

The primary skills required for this internship are in data literacy and analytics, 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.

Located in Toronto, 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 all over the country, preventing it from ending up in the landfill. They 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.

This internship is a collaborative opportunity to develop a project which organizes and visualizes Second Harvest’s current geographic data. The goal of the internship is to gain added insights into the organization’s current reach of food rescue and redistribution, highlighting any gaps and opportunities for improving our service across Canada. As a non-profit organization with limited resources, they hope their data team can gain skills and tools for reporting their geographic and food data annually, as well as processual insight for how to best utilize mapping software.

The intern can expect to create basic tutorials and reproducible visualizations. Strong data management skills and solid collaborative and communication skills are required. Furthermore, knowledge of geographic information system software (ArcGIS, QGIS), Microsoft Office Suite, especially Excel, useful. Experience with open data, presentation and workflow design concepts, dashboard development and report automation would be considered an asset.

The Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) is a project of a Toronto charity called Clean Air Partnership which aims to build evidence and support safer, more equitable places for walking and cycling. Toronto calls itself ‘A City Within a Park’, and its trails and ravine system are described as ‘the lungs of the city’. Access to green space is considered a key indicator for mental, emotional, and physical health, yet access to green spaces and amenities in the city are not always equitable.

TCAT is looking for a data science intern to apply a demographic lens analysis to parks and greens spaces in Toronto. Some questions TCAT seeks to answer are: Which communities have greater proximity to ravines and parks? Do certain neighbourhoods have parks with longer operating hours and better amenities? What areas of the city are lacking access to bathrooms in public spaces? Are there disparities in access to these public spaces based on the personal identity?

The intern should be experienced in data visualization and mapping, organization and data structuring by using spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. 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 data equity and policy evaluation would be an asset.

The Data & Analytics Unit was established in 2019 as an expansion of the former Big Data Innovation Team to be a hub for data analytics, data science, data collection and data management. Its goal is to advance data practice and continue to tackle high-impact projects around Vision Zero, multi-modal travel, and emerging forms of mobility. The Unit is comprised of three teams: Data Operations, Data Science, and Data Collection.

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. 

Since 1896, YSM has provided wraparound support and services making it possible for individuals, families and communities to move forward from poverty. As a developmental agency specializing in poverty-related challenges, they work closely with individuals, families, children, youth, and entire communities living with chronic poverty.

Young Steet Mission (YSM) is seeking a Reporting and Data Analyst to support their organization’s goals through data analytics and data visualization, with an emphasis on data completeness, timeliness, and consistency. Working with the Director of Impact Measurement, the successful candidate will be involved in team meetings to gain an understanding of the needs of impoverished communities and the roles that their programs play in them.

The intern will work with YSM’s own cutting-edge resource management tool: TIMESTM, (Transformation Integrated Measurement and Evaluation System) which was built with their community members’ futures in mind – to look into and deconstruct the many barriers behind the cycle of poverty.

Responsibilities include:

  • Applying data analysis to break down tactical hypotheses and provide insights and recommendations;
  • Developing hypotheses around the data and its impact on poverty measurement;
  • Conducting data clean-up for accuracy, completeness, and consistency;
  • Using Salesforce to generate regular and ad-hoc reports, visualizations and dashboards to effectively communicate data driven facts, trends and insights;
  • Conducting supplemental analysis as required using CRM Analytics and Excel;
  • Attending departmental meetings to understand the various report needs by their programs including: housing, food bank, employment services, street involved youth, community development and family services.

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