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Data Science for Social Good Adds UK Locations, Opens 2019 Applications

Now seeking students, staff and project partners for program’s seventh year

The 2019 edition of the Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) Summer Fellowship will feature two new international sites in the UK, through collaborations with The Alan Turing Institute, the University of Warwick, and Imperial College London. The seventh year of DSSG, taking place in Summer 2019, is now accepting applications for prospective fellows, technical mentors, project managers, and project partners.

Since 2013, over 200 graduate and undergraduate students studying in computer science, social sciences, statistics, public policy, and other quantitative fields have spent their summers with DSSG, a University of Chicago summer program to train aspiring data scientists to work on data mining, machine learning, big data, and data science projects with social impact. Fellows work with non-profit and government partners around the world and each of the more than 60 projects to date have helped these organizations do more with data, improving their services, interventions and outreach so that they can fulfill their mission of bettering the world and people’s lives. 

Last year was the first truly global year of the initiative, with coordinated programs running simultaneously in Chicago and Portugal. A total of 38 fellows and 10 projects created data-driven solutions for critical challenges such as workplace safety, early diabetes screening, repeated incarceration, traffic fatalities and injuries, student dropout, and tenant harassment with partners in El Salvador, Indonesia, Chile, Croatia, Italy, and the United States.

[WATCH: The 2018 DSSG Data Fest, with short talks from all 6 Chicago projects and 3 Center for Data Science and Public Policy projects.]

Several past DSSG projects have been implemented by project partners and additional organizations long after the summer ended. For example, a data-driven early intervention system for police officers at risk of negative interactions with the public is now used by police departments in Nashville, TN and Charlotte, NC, and has been licensed by Benchmark Analytics. In addition, a project to identify children at risk of lead poisoning in Chicago evolved into LeadSafe, an API available to hospitals and health networks that provides pediatricians with warnings and recommendations for prevention.

About Our UK Partners

The Alan Turing Institute’s vision to advance research for public good, and commitment to train the next generation of leaders is directly aligned with DSSG’s own goal to produce data scientists with strong skills in solving real-world problems and an understanding, excitement, and passion for solving problems with social impact. The Turing is a hub of activity and has 13 university partners across the UK, with University of Warwick a founding member, and is proud to collaborate together on launching the Data Science for Social Good Summer Fellowship program in the UK in 2019.

Through this fellowship, the Turing Institute and University of Warwick look forward to providing organizations with resources to solve critical, real-world problems that have potential for high social impact. At the University of Warwick, DSSG will be an interdisciplinary effort between Warwick Business School, Department of Computer Science and Warwick Mathematical Institute with strong strategic support from the central university. 

How To Apply for 2019

Starting today, students interested in becoming 2019 DSSG fellows can apply for the program. Current or recently-graduated undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for the fellowship. All programs will use a common application process, with location assignments determined after acceptance. DSSG fellows make a full-time commitment, and receive a stipend to cover expenses. For more information, visit the DSSG FAQ.

DSSG 2019 also seeks paid, full-time technical mentors and project managers for the coming summer. Mentors typically have a strong technical background, typically a PhD in data science, computer science, statistics, social science, or public policy and several years of industry experience. Project managers have a strong technical background and exposure to technology or data science projects, and several years of industry or consulting experience.

Non-profits and government organizations interested in providing a project for DSSG 2019 are also encouraged to apply. The ideal DSSG project features an important problem with high social impact that can be addressed with data and expertise provided by the project partner or partners. If you have an idea for a project but have questions about its suitability, contact datascience@uchicago.edu.

DSSG is a University of Chicago program run by the Center for Data Science and Public Policy, with support from the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, the UChicago Department of Computer Science, and the Harris School of Public Policy at UChicago. For more information about the fellowship and projects from previous years, visit dssg.uchicago.edu, and follow us on Twitter @datascifellows.