International Data Science Accelerator Programme

Latest news

Graduation of 4th International Data Science Accelerator Programme

The 4th cohort of International Data Science Accelerator Programme finished on the 15th December. Nine mentors and 20 mentees showcased their mentoring collaboration progress achieved in the last 12 weeks. The 4th cohort supported, through mentors from Brazil, UK, France, Ghana, Colombia and UAE, data science projects led by mentees from Cote D’Ivoire, Bhutan, Senegal, Colombia, Niger, Jordan, Palestine, Jersey and OECD.

Cohorts for next year:

The International Data Science Accelerator Programme is taking a 3-month break for a period of evaluation. This marks 2 years since the launch of the programme, hence a good time to pause and assess the impact of the programme. Please bear with us during this phase. The next application stage will open once the evaluation phase has concluded, and we will share more information on this as soon as available.

Cohort 5 – TBA


Want to be a mentee for 12 weeks and learn from an international expert? Download the application.


  • Mentees need to work for the National Statistics Office (NSO) in their country, to be able to apply.
  • This is a project based programme – mentees need to provide a data science project they’ll be working on with their designated mentor.
  • Data needs to be ethically sourced and available to start the collaboration.
  • Approval from line manager and senior management needs to be granted.
  • Official Development Assistance (ODA) eligible countries are prioritised. Check here if your country is eligible.

Call for mentors


Want to mentor emerging international data analysts and contribute to building data science capability, while enriching your own knowledge and skills? Download the expression of interest.


  • We accept mentor expressions of interest from NSOs, world organisations and academia.
  • Please ensure you have at least 3 hours per week available to dedicate to this mentoring programme.

Our last cohort welcomed members from 10 countries and 16 mentees have been able to collaborate on their project with 5 mentors.

Find out more about who we are looking for

Contact us at

What is the International Data Science Accelerator Programme?

The Data Science Campus has designed the International Data Science Accelerator mentoring programme in collaboration with the United Nations (UN) Big Data Task Team on Training, Competencies and Capacity Development. It is aimed at analysts from National Statistical Offices (NSOs) who are looking to improve their data science skills and potentially become a data scientist in the future.

Mentee applicants will need to identify a certain challenge or problem within their business area that may be solved using non-traditional data sources or new data science tools and techniques.

The project will be experimental but should result in a prototype that can be implemented at the NSO. Some examples may include:

  • the use of web scraped data in the development of price indices
  • the development of a reproducible analytical pipeline using an open-source coding tool
  • the application of machine learning techniques to shipping data to produce estimates of trade or tourism.

We are accepting pairs (or teams of maximum three people) of mentees working on the same project and pairs of mentors as well.

How it works

Applications, sifting and mentee or mentor allocations

The mentee submits the application form linked below, detailing a project proposal on which they would like to receive data science mentorship.

Please note that the project proposal must have line management and senior leadership approval at the NSO. They must agree that it fits with the NSO’s data strategy, and the applicant must be allocated time to do the work by their line manager. It’s also important that the mentee has permission to share unrestricted project-related data with their mentor.

Applications will be sifted, and if successful, the mentee will be matched with an experienced data science mentor. Applications will also be sought from data science mentors and will be collated and stored on our mentor database so they can be matched with mentees according to their skills and area of expertise.

There will be a short period before the programme starts where mentors and mentees will be able to familiarise themselves with one another and agree a suitable mentoring day. Mentors will be given access to training materials to support their mentoring role.

Programme structure

During the 12-week programme, the mentee will spend one day per week working on the data science project and will receive remote support from their mentor for two to three hours on their agreed day of the week. If this is not possible, the mentor and mentee can agree a more suitable equivalent to accommodate clashes with schedules, time zones, etc. The mentor and mentee should ideally have access to Microsoft Teams or another video conferencing tool to ensure effective communication throughout the cohort.

Taking the programme further

We had five mentees in the first cohort, with mentors from the National Statistical Organisations (NSOs) of Sri Lanka, Malaysia, UAE, Czechia  and Brazil supporting them.

To ensure the programme continues to flourish, we need more mentors. If you are an experienced data scientist and can give a maximum of 12 days of your time over 12 weeks to invest in the growth of data science globally, please contact us.

We have included some examples of projects submitted to the International Accelerator that we would support. For some of these we managed to find mentors, but not all are currently being mentored.

Mentee application form

Mentor application form