Data Science Fellowship

We are working with Local Authorities to tackle city challenges like poor air quality and housing conditions by involving data science expertise through our Data Science Fellowship programme.


Helping city councils unlock and make better use of their data is key to solving city challenges, to create a better urban environment for all.

Our Data Science Fellowship programme connects UK data scientists with city authorities to do just that.

Local authorities often don’t have access to the budget or skills to fund data-driven innovations. We wanted to help them develop greater confidence in working with data innovators and create new market opportunities for innovative UK companies.

Our first data science fellows have shown that bringing specialist data science skills into councils to address real life city challenges can deliver great results.

If you are a data scientist with a desire to work with cities to unlock their data or use it more effectively get in touch.

Data science fellowships FAQs

How does the Data Science Fellowships programme work?

The Fellowships programme provides local authorities and city councils with access to data-science and data-architecture skills for use in well-defined, impactful projects over a six to eight week period. The Fellows work alongside the project team, usually in-house, to help scope and deliver the aims and outcomes.

Why does it focus specifically on data-driven research and tools?

Local authorities generate, host and use large amounts of data through their day to day operations. Although some of this data actively generates value for local authorities, our experience has shown that there are opportunities to use local authority data in a many other ways.

What are the goals of the Fellowships?

Despite the opportunities for leveraging data, local authorities rarely have access to the budget or skills necessary to fund data-driven innovations. By demonstrating the value of data-driven approaches, we hope the Fellowships will stimulate greater confidence in working with data innovators and create new market opportunities. These could be for commercial data science services in local authorities, combined authorities and cities that save money, create efficiencies in processes, lead to a better service and generally create economic or social good.

We want to demonstrate the value of data science skills to local authorities who are facing challenging financial conditions. Working in more data-driven and efficient ways can help them to meet the growing demands of cities and their citizens. In the coming years we hope to grow the number of Fellowships per programme, and partner with innovative UK SMEs and large businesses to help the local authorities identify and provide solutions to specific challenges.

What role does the Catapult play?

We select and work with the chosen authorities to help shape their proposed projects, refine their aims and outcomes, and look at ways that they could be scaled to other authorities and cities across the UK.

We also source suitable data experts to work on the selected challenges with cities. The appropriateness of the Fellows is vital not only to the success of the projects, but to demonstrate the impact that data science skills can have for cities.

Sign up to our newsletter