Student Research Internship Opportunity

Research Project “Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) and International Norms”

The School of Politics and IR is pleased to announce a vacancy for a student internship within the research project “Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) and International Norms” funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, lead by Dr Ingvild Bode. The intern will work as part of a project team with Dr Bode, Dr Hendrik Huelss and Tom Watts. The aim of this project is to provide knowledge on the negative implications of LAWS for norms governing the use of force by comprehensively and critically monitoring their development. For this purpose, the project builds a database (website based) on the development and testing of LAWS across the world.

School research internships are a new initiative to support the development of student skills and employability, as well as helping to build capacity within and raise the profile of research done at the School. The internships are funded by the School and are available exclusively to SPIR students.

The successful student intern will be responsible for:

  • Assisting in building and maintaining the LAWS database: this includes researching current LAWS developed by a range of countries (e.g. US, UK, Russia, France, South Korea, China) and ascertaining their development status (e.g. year of commissioning, number of tests conducted, what was subject to testing, doctrinal developments);
  • Assisting in managing content for the project website, in particular the LAWS blog. Here, project team members as well as guest commentators have the option to publish short opinion pieces or blog commentaries on current developments with regard to LAWS;
  • Assisting in monitoring (global) news coverage related to LAWS and building infographics demonstrating the changing salience of the issue over time;
  • Helping maintain and update the project’s social media presence.

The successful student intern should:

  • Be either a postgraduate student from the School of Politics and IR or an undergraduate student at Stage 3 (including Bi-Diplôme and Joint Honours students);
  • Have a strong academic and attendance record. Priority will be given to students with a grade average of a 2:1 (60%) or above, and an attendance average of 70% or above;
  • Have an interest in the role of emerging technologies in warfare;
  • Be able to work independently on given tasks, and to show initiative and creativity. Data entry experience would also be preferable, alongside a key eye for detail and willingness to ask for help when needed;
  • Ideally (desirable but not essential) have a reading knowledge of either Chinese or Russian.


This is a paid internship (six hours per week at £7.68/hour) and will last until April 2019. Students should be available to commit six hours per week on average including during some vacations.

Interested students should apply by emailing a CV and cover letter to Ngaio Lanfray ( by 12pm on Wednesday 10th October.

Interviews are to be held on Thursday 18th October from 3.15pm, all applications will be acknowledged.

The University’s Careers and Employability Service can provide CV and cover letter advice (