1 July 2024

Use your data science skills to explore the effect of initiatives that give young people the opportunity to experience science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

We have an internship available for a University of Auckland student to quantify the effect of initiatives to support careers in STEM, and evaluate their impact. This is an exciting opportunity to apply your data science and computational modelling skills to improving real-world programmes.

Te Hononga Akoranga COMET is a charitable trust that drives systems change to make education and skills more effective and equitable. They support programmes that show young people the value of science skills and highlight career pathways, such as Curious Minds South Auckland, STEM Alliance Aotearoa and WeSTEM.

Our research has demonstrated a difference in career pathways between ethnic groups in Te Atatū and between Te Atatū and the rest of Aotearoa New Zealand. This project will build upon that initial work to provide more a more sophisticated analysis of the outcomes of the WeSTEM programme in Te Atatū and the Curious Minds South Auckland programme.

This project will also investigate the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to support qualitative evaluation of Curious Minds South Auckland. AI tools can streamline the analysis of the outcomes reported by participants in these initiatives. This AI-supported analysis will be validated against existing manual analysis of outcomes. If AI is shown to provide similar analyses then it has potential to be part of the ongoing evaluation process and make it easier to analyse outcomes in the future.


You will be based at the University of Auckland and supervised by Associate Professor Mike O’Sullivan and Professor Cameron Walker, who are principal investigators with Te Pūnaha Matatini. We will work with Ying Yang from Te Hononga Akoranga COMET.

You will be part of Te Pūnaha Matatini, the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence for Complex Systems. Te Pūnaha Matatini brings together ‘many faces’ – different disciplines, ways of thought, methods, and crucially, people – to define, and then solve, society’s thorny interconnected problems. Te Pūnaha Matatini has an active whānau group which supports early career researchers, committed to the Te Pūnaha Matatini values of manaakitanga and whakawhanaungatanga, offering supportive tuakana / teina learning environments.

Financial details

You will be paid $7,200 (tax free) for 400 hours of work from August 2024 to March 2025.


You need to be enrolled in a programme of study at the University of Auckland.

Necessary skills

The ideal candidate will have both data science and computational modelling skills and experience with both R and Python.

How to apply

Send your CV and a one-page cover letter to tepunahamatatini@auckland.ac.nz.

Due date

Friday 19 July 2024