International Data Science Accelerator Programme

Latest news

18 August 2022

International Data Science Accelerator Programme Cohort II – Autumn 2022 Application stage open until 29th August

Applications documents:

Call for Mentees

Mentee Application form

Call for Mentors

Mentor Application form

Programme graduation

The International Data Science Accelerator Programme’s first cohort runs from 11 April  until  July 2022.

Following a successful pilot phase from September to December 2021, the first cohort includes five mentors from organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, Paris21, Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi, Jordan Department of Statistics and our own Data Science Campus.

Around 70% of applications received between January and March 2022 were able to be considered for the programme.

The programme will conclude on the 1 of July with a graduation event in the week of the 13 July. The graduation is part of the programme for the International Week celebrations being organised by our International Team.

The International Accelerator Programme has proven to be a great collaboration opportunity on the global data science stage. It has brought together expertise from various countries, supporting development, knowledge sharing and creating communicational bridges between different parts of the world.

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.

Register for our next International Mentor Clinic session: 23rd June 2022.


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.

Forms and relevant links

Mentee application form

Mentor application form