Data Science Accelerator

Programme to help public sector analysts improve their data science and mentoring skills. The deadline for applications for 2022 has passed.

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About the programme

The Data Science Accelerator is an opportunity for analysts working in the public sector to develop their data science skills by working with data professionals on a specific project within their organisation.

It is also an opportunity to develop mentoring skills. Mentors work side by side with the participants to provide advice and guidance.

Data science can help you to identify and solve complex business problems.

It uses techniques from a range of scientific and computer science disciplines including statistics, analytics and machine learning. It offers the potential to gain valuable insight and transform decision-making about public services.

The aim of the project is to increase the use of data science across the public sector in Scotland.

Who can take part 

To be eligible, you need to be working for an organisation which produces Official Statistics. This might be as an: 

  • analyst
  • statistician
  • economist
  • researcher

Or in another position where you are responsible for gathering and interpreting data.

The mentoring role is is for people working in the public sector who have some experience in data science approaches but are not necessarily data scientists. For example you may have good programming experience and project delivery skills.

You will start working on your project or as a mentor in early September 2022.

Applications from other public bodies

We will still consider your application if you work for another public body but do not produce Official Statistics 

We will allocate you a place if there is availability.

What you will learn

As a participant in the programme, you will learn a range of technical skills relevant to your project, these could include:

  • version control
  • project management
  • databases
  • creating visualisations and/or dashboards

You will be offered access to the analytical workbench, with a wide range of data science tools and software. This will provide a secure environment with permission-controlled virtual machines. Your mentor will also have access to the workbench so you can work together.

As a mentor, you will use your knowledge, skills and experience to support participants You will be building your leadership, communication and problem-solving skills.

How to apply

The closing date for applications for 2022 has now passed. 

Apply to be a participant

To apply you will need to complete the attached application form

You will need to provide:

  • an outline of your project proposal
  • what data you will be using and the permission to use that data
  • who are your potential end users for this work and the potential benefits
  • what data science methods you are considering using
  • what you hope to gain from taking part in the programme
  • a statement of support from your manager and a senior manager such as a Head of Profession or Deputy/Associate Director

Once you have completed your application, you should email it to

Apply to be a mentor

Please send an email to providing the following information: 

  • your current post, how you use data analysis in that role and any other relevant work experience you have (max words = 200)
  • how you’ve supported colleagues in the past whether as line manager or as a colleague (max words = 100)
  • why you think you would make a good mentor (max words = 100)
  • what you would like to get out of being a mentor (max words = 100)

Length of the project


You will work on your project for 12 weeks for one full day each week.


Mentors will provide approximately half a day of support a week to participants.

Data Science Accelerator - application form - 2022


If you would like more information about becoming a participant or becoming a mentor please email:

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