Data Science for Social Good (DSSG)

Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) Fellowship

The Data Science for Social Good Fellowship (DSSG) is a summer fellowship program, which seeded in 2013 at the University of Chicago, is proud to collaborate with Imperial College and launch its first Data Science for Social Good Summer Fellowship programme in the UK in 2019. Through this fellowship we look forward to providing organizations and non-profits with resources to solve critical, real-world problems that have potential for high social impact. Innovation happens when you mix business and technology to drive social change and that’s what we are focused here at Imperial, which makes it a very dynamic place to research, work and study. The Gandhi center’s vision to advance research for social good, and commitment to train the next generation of innovators and thought 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.

Data Science for Social Good Fellowship program will bring fellows from all over the world to work on machine learning, big data, and data science projects with social impact. Selected from over 800 applicants every year, fellows come from computer science, statistics, math, engineering, sociology, economics, and public policy backgrounds. They work in small, cross-disciplinary teams on social good projects spanning education, health, energy, transportation, criminal justice, social services, economic development and international development in collaboration with government agencies and non-profits all over the world.

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. 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 programme 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.

Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) builds on three themes:


Learning-by-doing data science through high-touch training programs such as Data Science for Social Good Summer Fellowship, Masters programs, and professional training programs


Seed and incubate ideas that could turn into products, tools, methods and products to scale the use of data science for social good.


We've built a global community of people that are committed to doing good data science while collaborating on problems that matter.

Our values

  • Open: Our curriculum and code is open source and publicly available. All events are open to the public.
  • Collaborative: We believe that collaboration is the only effective way to do social good. Each project team consists of fellows from different backgrounds who work together. All teams are placed in a single location to foster cross-team collaboration, and work closely with project partners to understand their problem and data, and provide a solution that is useful to achieve social impact.
  • Ethical: We want to make data science and AI in general, and our work in particular gets used ethically. We have developed a discussion curriculum, processes, and tools to audit data science systems for bias, equity, transparency, and work with our partners to educate them on these issues.

Our goals

  • Training Fellows: To increase the quality, quantity, and diversity of the workforce capable of doing real-world data science, specifically to solve social problems.
  • Training Governments and Non-Profits: To increase the number of social good organizations using data science to solve social challenges by creating proofs of concepts, showing them what’s possible and what it takes to solve social problems with data.
  • Community Building: Creating a network of people and organizations from academia, public and private sectors working together to solve social problems using data science

How to get involved

We are seeking sponsors, project partners, fellows, technical mentors and project managers to get involved with DSSG UK 2019.

The data science internship (referred to as a Fellowship by the University of Chicago) is a paid project-based 12-week summer training programme designed to produce data scientists with strong skills in solving real-world problems and a passion for social impact.

DSSG UK 2019 will take place at the Imperial College Gandhi Centre for Inclusive Innovation in London. It will run from the beginning of June to the end of August and the 12-week programme marries interesting challenges with talented students, leading academics and practitioners. DSSG is funded directly by the challenge owners, or by Sponsors in-line with their Corporate Social Responsibility strategies. Students work full time on the projects and receive a stipend.

Get involved as a data science intern

Students interested in taking part in the 2019 DSSG programme can apply here. Current or recently-graduated undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply for the data science internship and the programme is open to students worldwide. All programmes will use a common application process, with location assignments determined after acceptance. DSSG interns make a full-time commitment and receive a stipend to cover expenses. For more information, visit the DSSG FAQ.

Get involved as a technical mentor or project manager

DSSG 2019 also seeks paid, full-time technical mentors and project managers for the summer (three months fixed-term).

Mentors typically have a strong technical background, usually 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, exposure to technology or data science projects and several years of industry or consulting experience.

Get involved as a sponsor

Sponsors work with our projects and third sector partners to realise our shared vision. They benefit from a close association with the profile and impact of the programme and proximity to the talented individuals that the programme attracts.

To enquire about being a DSSG sponsor, please email

Get involved as a project partner

Non-profits and government organisations interested in providing a project for DSSG 2019 are encouraged to apply at .

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 and would like to discuss its suitability, please contact

To enquire about being a DSSG project partner, please email

Meet the Mentors

Prof. Muhammad Yunus Nobel Laureate and Founder of Grameen Bank
Dinesh Dhamija Founder of

Imperial DSSG Fellowship Team

Sankalp Chaturvedi
Sankalp Chaturvedi

Director, Gandhi Centre for Inclusive Innovation

Sankalp's webpage
Kieran Arasaratnam
Kieran Arasaratnam

Associate Director - Societal Engagement

Kieran's webpage
Hannah Webb
Hannah Webb

Gandhi Centre for Inclusive Innovation Coordinator

Email Hannah


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