Data Science Accelerator

What is the Data Science Accelerator?

The Data Science Accelerator has been giving analysts from across the public sector the opportunity to develop their data science skills through mentoring since 2015.

It is run by the Government Data Science Partnership (GDSP) – a collaboration between Government Digital Service (GDS)Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Government Office for Science (GO-Science).

The Data Science Campus now administrates the programme on behalf of the GDSP and our Newport office has been the regional Accelerator hub for the South West and Wales since 2016.

Regional hubs are normally in Newport, Manchester, Newcastle, London, Sheffield and Taunton.

How does it work?

You will:

  • work on a data science project, chosen by you, over three months
  • commit to spending one day a week on your project, which forms your protected time (an important benefit of the programme)
  • be assigned a dedicated mentor (an experienced data scientist) for the duration of your project and benefit from peer support from other participants in your cohort

Changes to the programme due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, face-to-face mentoring is not possible, therefore the Accelerator is being delivered as a remote mentoring programme.

You will still spend one day per week working on your project, but we recognise this may be difficult with current working arrangements. Your project schedule can be agreed between you and your mentor.

We will provide help and guidance for effective remote mentoring and we will facilitate virtual networking across the Accelerator community.


Your line manager and a senior manager (usually a Head of Profession or equivalent) must agree that:

  • your project tackles a business problem
  • you have access to the data you’ll need for your project
  • you can spend one day per week for three months working on your project

Coding experience is useful but not essential.

How can I apply?

You’ll need:

  • a project proposal
  • an explanation of what you hope to gain from taking part in the Accelerator
  • a statement of support from your Head of Profession or director

Email your completed Accelerator application form to

Application dates

Applications are now open and the deadline is 6 August 2020.

What do participants say?

Participants from previous cohorts talked about their experiences of the Accelerator in a blog post on the Data Science Campus website.

Ciaren Evans (UK Hydrographic Office) and Lucie Woellenstein (Ordnance Survey) have also blogged about their accelerator projects in more detail.

For more information on this programme or other mentoring opportunities, contact the Data Science Campus.