International Data Science Accelerator Programme

Latest news

09 January 2023

Application stage for 3rd cohort is now open!

Join our International Data Science Accelerator Programme and enrich your data science skills and knowledge. Find out more about who we are looking for.

Apply from today, 9th January until 10th February.

This is a project based mentoring programme and as a mentee you’ll need to provide a data science project.

Cohort to run from 6th March 2023 to 26th June 2023.    

Simply go to call for mentee and fill in the application form.

Please return all applications to geanina.watkins@ons.gov.uk , by 10th February 2023.

Call for mentors

Become an international mentor and share your data science knowledge!

– mentoring programme duration: 12 weeks

– mentor across the globe on a data science project

– enrich your experience by learning about data science work at other National Statistics Offices

If you’re interested in becoming mentor fill in our expression of interest, applications for mentors are accepted all year round. Find out more about who we are looking for.

Cohorts for this year:

Cohort 3 – March to June

Cohort 4 – September to December

Contact us at International.data.science.accelerator.programme@ons.gov.uk

International Data Science Mentor Clinics

We now offer International Data Science Mentor Clinics. These are sessions organised to inform potential mentors how mentoring internationally works and answer any questions about being part of this experience.

The sessions are an hour long and will involve:

  • a brief presentation on the current International Data Science Accelerator cohort with examples of the type of projects supported by the programme;
  • a panel of three-to-four international mentors to share their experience and answer any questions;
  • a couple of mentees to share their experiences;
  • the International Accelerator co-ordination team to ensure all logistical, administrative and support questions are being answered.

Next mentor clinic: 11/01/2023 please register here


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