HCSS NLP-Datalab Internship (OPEN)

The Datalab of The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies offers an exciting internship to aspiring data scientists with an interest in NLP.

Our clients include major corporations, key government ministries, development banks, development aid agencies, and security providers, both domestic and global. The HCSS NLP-Datalab internship therefore offers invaluable experience working on some of the most significant global issues of our time.

We review/accept applications for the NLP-Datalab Internship on a rolling-basis.

Candidates should either have a strong quantitative background or demonstrated affinity for all things quantitative. They should also demonstrate transferable programming skills, as well as a keen interest in the topics covered by HCSS policy research.

Given the richness of textual corpora as sources of data for geopolitical analysis, HCSS is enhancing its capabilities in Natural Language Processing (NLP). Ideal candidates know how to bring state-of-the-art developments of NLP into practice by writing professional production-ready Python code. 


  • An affinity with computer science, statistics, mathematics, physics, engineering, econometrics, or a related field.
  • Fluency in Python, willingness to contribute to an NLP pipeline with high-quality code 
  • Very good communication skills in English, both orally and in writing
  • Ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong work ethic and willingness to learn
  • An affinity for policy research
  • Structured way of working, the ability to document your own work

The following attributes are considered an asset:

  • Prior experience with NLP tasks such as (dynamic) topic modeling, named entity recognition or sentiment analysis (and associated Python libraries) 
  • Affinity with object-oriented programming, familiarity with code style conventions such as PEP8 
  • Prior experience with Version Control tools such as Git 
  • Prior experience with Generative AI and LMstudio 
  • Prior experience with Docker, containerization and deploying code on servers 
  • First-principles thinking 

Prospective tasks of an NLP-Datalab intern

  • Assist strategic analysts with data tasks for strategic analysis 
  • Operate the NLP pipeline to produce policy relevant results 
  • Add new NLP-methodological modules to the pipeline 
  • Collecting and preprocessing new data sources for the NLP-pipeline 
  • Interpret NLP modeling results and translate to policy relevance 
  • Tailor NLP-pipeline developments to relevant policy research applications 
  • Enhance the quality of the NLP visualizations 
  • Optimize code efficiency and structure 
  • Write appropriate documentation for the NLP-pipeline 
  • (optional) Plan and write your own snapshot paper for publication or give a presentation 

Frequently asked questions

Can I apply if I am no longer a student (recently graduated)? HCSS internships are for enrolled students. Without a proof of enrolment, which is valid for the entire duration of the internship, you are not eligible for an internship position.

Is it possible to do a part-time internship? At present, HCSS does not offer part-time data internships within the Data Internship Program for a work week under 32 hours. An internship lasts 6 months. A shorter duration is possible only under exceptional circumstances. 

Application Procedure

To apply, send the following items to info@hcss.nl, before the 24th of May, using ‘NLP-Datalab Internship/2024’ as the subject line:

  • A resume, including a list of references
  • A cover letter, thoroughly demonstrating why and how your data skills can be applied to data-intensive policy research and mentioning when you are available to start the internship (the start date for this internship is ideally around the beginning of June)
  • Proof of university enrolment, valid for the entire duration of the data internship
  • An official transcript of academic grades
  • If possible: A portfolio of previous data projects, including the code (or a GitHub address).

Notes regarding the application procedure:

  • Please ensure that your application is complete before sending it in. Providing a list of references with contact details as part of your CV (at least two) is a mandatory requirement- we will not request them at a later stage.
  • The whole application should be written in English.

Practical Information

The HCSS internship is paid. Eligible applicants will be invited for an interview. Our most prized candidates are thirsty for knowledge, excellent with numbers, and can ace our data-science test.

In the interest of the successful candidate’s learning trajectory, the internship will be carried out at the HCSS office in The Hague. Potential working arrangements can be discussed during the interview process.

The HCSS internship is paid: € 675,- per month.

At HCSS, we firmly believe in prioritising qualifications and skills when making hiring decisions, without any discrimination based on personal characteristics such as race, religion, gender, age, disability, and sexual orientation.