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The Accelerator!

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Data Science

GDS have run a Data Science Accelerator since August 2014. We’ve mentored 4 cohorts and several participants have gone on to data science roles. Feedback has been very positive - in a recent cross-government data science competition, the winner and runner up were both Accelerator alumni. The Accelerator is backed by GDS, the Office for National Statistics, GO-Science, and the four main analytical professions.

Now it’s your chance to apply - either as a mentor or a participant.

We extract insight and make great visualisations from data using a combination of code, statistics, and knowledge about how the government works. The Accelerator offers analysts an unlocked Mac (download any software you want...), training and time to complete a useful data science project.

Analytical techniques from past projects include these (but we’re always open to new ideas):

  • Social media analysis and web scraping
  • Machine learning
  • Natural language processing

What happens on the Programme?
Each participant gets a laptop and a Data Scientist mentor. We ask you to commit at least 1 day per week for 3 months. We encourage you to spend that day either at GDS (Aviation House, London) or at the new South West and Northern hubs we want to launch (if there are enough suitable applicants). At the end, you present your work to your home department and your profession.

How do we choose participants?
The most important things are a really good project idea (high value to your department and the public) and enthusiasm to learn. Coding experience is an advantage (e.g. Python, R, HTML / Javascript). We’re aiming for 5-10 people this time round.

What about the wider public sector?
We are still building up the Accelerator and as a small programme, we have focussed up to now on central government departments, but we are open to applications from the wider public sector and we are happy to discuss projects which can unlock savings or improve public services. However, one of the crucial elements, regardless of where an applicant is based, is the support and sponsorship of their profession or a senior member of their analytical community.

How do I apply?
Please email this form to by Friday 29 January. Here are FAQ and more information about what you’re signing yourself up for! We aim to start the programme around 10 March.

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  1. Comment by Cath posted on

    This sounds like a really great initiative it would be nice to see programs like this also include a push for more diversity it the STEM community.