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Data Science Accelerator Programme

The Data Science Accelerator Programme is a capability-building programme which gives analysts from across the public sector the opportunity to develop their data science skills by delivering a project of real business value.

So far over 60 people from nearly 40 public sector organisations have taken part, and they have consistently told us what great opportunities it gives them in their careers. Watch this video to hear directly from some of our previous participants and mentors.

Participants can choose which of our five regional hubs to be based in – Bristol, London, Newcastle, Newport and Sheffield. The application process consists of a project proposal, plus some information about your current skill level and what you hope to gain from taking part in the Accelerator.

What happens on the Programme?

Participants work on a data science project, proposed by them, over the course of three months.

Protected time is a key benefit of the programme, so you need to commit to spending one day a week at your regional hub, working alongside your peers and supported by a dedicated mentor.

You’ll have the chance to experiment with different techniques, whilst working on a real problem that’s useful to your organisation.

The programme is free and we are able to provide an unlocked high spec MacBook so you can download software and experiment with tools that you might not have access to in your current role. We also have a limited number of secure laptops for projects using more sensitive data.

Techniques used on the Accelerator have included machine learning, natural language processing, geospatial analysis, and advanced visualisation (e.g. R Shiny, Leaflet and D3). But we’re always open to new ideas… Take a look at our what our most recent graduates did on the programme.

How are participants chosen?

The programme is looking for enthusiastic people with new, high value ideas. Your line manager and a more senior manager (usually a Head of Profession or equivalent) must agree that your project tackles a business problem with data that you can access, and that you can join one of the hubs 1 day per week for 3 months. Coding experience is good but not essential.

Details will be available here when the programme is open for applications for the next cohort of the Accelerator!

Drop-in sessions will be being held to provide advice on the application process and how to approach a data science project:

How do I apply?
Email your completed Accelerator Application Form to data-science-accelerator@digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk