Data Science Accelerator - Mentor

Being a mentor on the Data Science Accelerator is a fantastic opportunity to use your skills and experience to help analysts working in the public sector. On the accelerator, mentors work with analysts to develop their data science skills to achieve a real business outcome for their organisation. This programme is delivered in partnership with The Data Lab.

Live online

Self Directed

Available dates

Thursday 25 July 2024

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

(Self Directed)

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The Data Science Accelerator is a capability building programme designed for analytical staff working in the public sector that helps build their technical skills and confidence, as well as giving them experience of exploring a data challenge for their organisation.

Central to the accelerator approach is the role of the mentor. Each accelerator project is assigned a mentor who supports the analyst throughout the programme.  As a mentor, your role is to help them explore their challenge, encourage them to try out their ideas and potentially develop a prototype. Technical skills are very important of course but other skills are valuable too such as Agile, project management and understanding user needs.

Being a mentor is a great way to build your leadership, communication and critical thinking skills as well as raising your profile. It can offer you a way to demonstrate your skills as well as develop experience in areas where your current role may not. Our mentors tell us they find the experience very rewarding as this quote from a 2023 mentor illustrates:

“The best part of being a mentor was seeing the enthusiasm and excitement of the mentees when they had a breakthrough with my help was very satisfying. I felt very valued by them and it was very fulfilling to see the project come together.”

We know the prospect of mentoring can be daunting and you might think that you don’t have enough experience. We’ve had very successful mentors who are early in their analytical career, as well as those who are more established.

Read more about mentoring in this blog post by 2022 mentor, Simon Rogers from NHS National Services Scotland.

Who can apply?

You should be in a public sector role that needs a high degree of analytical skills or employed in one of the analytical professions. This includes analysts, statisticians, economists, operational researchers and social researchers, anyone working as a data scientist, in digital analytics, data or information management, working as an archivist or in the geospatial profession.

If your mentoring application is successful, you will be required to commit around 0.5 days per week to the accelerator from September 2024.  This time includes providing direct support to your mentee (at a mutually agreed time), attending mentor meetings online and 2 in-person events in Edinburgh. See key dates below for more details.

How to apply

After you register (see top of page), you’ll receive an email with a link to the application form to your registered email address.

Additional information

Key dates 

  • Project applications close – 19 April 2024
  • Notification of outcome – 26 June 2024
  • Mentor applications close – 25 July 2024
  • Project and mentor matching – 8 August 2024
  • Onboarding meeting – 3 September 2024 (1 hour – online)
  • Launch event at Victoria Quay, Leith, Edinburgh – 4 September 2024 (in person)
  • Weekly meeting with mentees (1 hour max – online or in person) 
  • Weekly or fortnightly meeting with mentors (1 hour max – online) 
  • Optional – Weekly cohort meetings with all participants (50 minutes – online) 
  • Mid programme review with all participants – 17 October 2024  (1 hour – online) 
  • Closing event at Victoria Quay, Leith, Edinburgh – 4 December 2024 (in person) 


Fees and funding

The Data Science Accelerator programme is funded by Scottish Government, Public Health Scotland, National Records of Scotland and Registers of Scotland. There is no charge for taking part in the accelerator 

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