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Data Science for Social Good


The Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) program is a ten-week experience where participants work as part of a data science team on a pre-selected project for a not-for-profit organization, Vanderbilt group, or government organization. In the event that there are multiple Social Good projects, interns will be able to rank their preference, and assignments will be made based on project needs, intern skills, and preference. 

The teams will be led by a DSI staff Data Scientist, and will require close collaboration with the partner organization, participation in weekly planning sessions, and weekly presentations on current work (demos). In addition, participants will be able to attend weekly workshops on essential skills and tools for data scientists. The internship is open to current undergraduates and graduate students enrolled at Vanderbilt.


Program Highlights

  • The main component of this program is to engage with team members to work on a data science focused project related to social good.
  • The DSSG involves full-time work. Participants cannot enroll in summer session courses.
  • DSSG participants are encouraged to attend summer events hosted by the DSI.
  • The program lasts ten weeks, June 7-August 13, 2021.

Student Support

  • A $6,000 stipend will be provided for each student.


  • Current Vanderbilt undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a degree program are eligible. Cannot be graduating in May 2021 or August 2021.
  • Full consideration will be given to students who have at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Applicants must be able to engage in 10 weeks of full-time work during the summer (June 7 – August 13).
  • Participants cannot enroll in summer session courses.

Application Procedure

Applicants will be asked to provide the following (word limits apply):

  • Describe your background in Data Science. (200 words)
  • Describe your programming experience (R/Python/Other)*. (100 words)
  • Describe your training and familiarity in statistics*. (100 words)
  • Describe your experience in machine learning*. (100 words)
  • Describe what motivates you to apply to the DSSG program. (300 words)
  • Explain how the DSSG program will fit your short term and long term goals. (300 words)
  • An unofficial transcript.

*All levels of experience and expertise in programming, statistics, and machine learning will be considered for the program.*

Questions? Please contact: Jesse Spencer-Smith, Chief Data Scientist,