Fellowship Programme

What is a School of Data fellow?

Fellowships are nine-month placements with School of Data for data-literacy practitioners or enthusiasts. During this time, fellows work alongside School of Data: you will learn a lot from us and we will learn a lot from you! We’ll work together to build an individual programme for your fellowship, that equips you with the skills to take your data-literacy work forward, whether that be how to train, how to network or how to organise events. In all these areas, our aim is to increase awareness of data-literacy and build communities who together, can use data literacy skills to make the change they want to see in the world.

Our fellowship programme aims to to recruit and train the next generation of data leaders and trainers to magnify the reach of our data literacy programme. The fellows will provide training and ongoing support to journalists, civil society organisations, and individual changemakers to use data effectively within their community and country. We are looking for applicants who already have connections to a network of data-literacy enthusiasts, or have some link with a particular organisation working in this field.

At School of Data, we recruit fellows on an annual basis, and provide them with data and leadership training as well as coaching to organise events and build their community. Our fellows are part of a growing global network of School of Data practitioners, benefiting from the network effects of sharing resources and knowledge and contributing to our understanding of how best to localise our training efforts.

We are in the third edition of our Fellowship Programme. Our fellows have helped multiple organisations around the world to become more data-literate, building longstanding relationships with communities even after the fellowship period. Meet the class of 2014 and 2015, also check out how our Summer Camps (2014 & 2015) have helped fellows in their experiences.

In 2016, we will be recruiting for up to 10 fellowship positions open for the April to December 2016 School of Data training programme. We have current collaborations and resourcing confirmed to support 6 fellows, two of whom must be based in either El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras.

Our goal is to have global fellows from a wide mix of these countries. Keep reading to learn how you can get involved!

The application will be open until 1st of March 2015.

How do I apply?

Please visit this link to the application form.

How is the School of Data Fellowship funded?

We have existing funding from Internews/USAID, Open Data For Development (World Bank & IDRC), Hewlett Foundation & Open Society Foundations, work aimed at finding local leaders.

Local implementing partners

Our fellows will benefit from the generous support of our local implementing partners. In Latin America, our fellows will work in close collaboration with SocialTIC and Internews and, in Africa, our main implementing partner will be Open Knowledge International.

The Engine Room and The Natural Resources Governance Institute will be supporting fellows that will be working with Digital Privacy and the Responsible Use of Data; and Extractives Data, respectively.

Depending on where there is demand for fellows, we will continue to reach out to local organisations who can support our fellows to be most effective.


Who can apply to become a fellow?

Our ideal candidate combines the following skills:

  • Data savvy: has experience working with data and a passion for teaching data skills.

  • Understands the role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and media in bringing positive change through advocacy, campaigns, and storytelling. Fellows are passionate about enabling partners to use data effectively through training and ongoing support.

  • Interested or experienced in working with journalism and/or civil society.

  • Has some facilitation skills and enjoys community-building (both online and offline).

  • Eager to learn from and be connected with an international community of data enthusiasts.

The purpose of the School of Data Fellowship programme is to build capacity among NGOs and journalists. The fellowship programme is therefore not currently offered to government employees.

How can I apply?

To apply, you will have to fill our application form and attach your CV. The form is available at this link.

Optionally, you can also send us a 30-second video expressing your interest in the role or explaining something “techie” in few (jargon-free) words. This is not a requirement for the application, but we will appreciate the extra effort! The video need not be professionally edited and can be filmed using any available recording equipment, such as smartphones.

What kind of activities will fellows carry out?

There is a wide “menu” of activities from which fellows may choose. According to your interests and experience, you will work with the coordination team to build a programme for your fellowship that suits you! Some examples of such activities are:

  • Be the key contact person for data-related questions in a given area (regional or thematic)

  • Develop and maintain mentoring relationships with specific organization(s) offering concrete ongoing and demand-driven support

  • Organize and lead School of Data events for specific communities or organisations (e.g. data expeditions and data clinics)

  • Organise custom trainings for local initiatives or organisations

  • Offer constructive feedback for learners on projects (often in the local language)

  • Be an active member of a School of Data language community including blogging, tweeting, writing to the mailing list, and answering questions on the Q&A site

  • Help reviewing, creating, translating, and localizing materials

  • Collaborate with and support other School of Data fellows and organizations, including support in the local language and beyond

How will School of Data support the fellows?

We will:

  • Provide a globally recognized community and programme which includes mentors, fellows, educators, and partners

  • Organise a 9-month programme including online and offline trainings aimed at developing data and leadership skills as well as individual coaching

  • Support the fellows to select local organisations to support and define clear, measurable objectives for their fellowships

  • Implement an evaluation process tracking the deliverables of the fellowship.

  • Connect fellows with a growing community of School of Data practitioners and ensure continuous exchange of resources, knowledge, and best practices

  • Connect with and organise training sessions and coaching with renowned experts in the areas of participatory events management, storytelling, public speaking, etc.

  • Facilitate opportunities for paid work, including fundraising for stipends to ensure ongoing availability and reactiveness to the needs of learners; see below for more information on the stipend

  • Work with one or more local civil society organisations to develop data-driven campaigns and research

How much time are fellows expected to dedicate to their fellowships?

Our fellows are not employed full time. We ask the fellow to dedicate an average of ten working days per month. This will include taking part in online and offline workshops and trainings, organising events in and with local communities, being an active member of the School of Data community, and doing unexpected stuff spontaneously.

Are fellowships remunerated?

Fellowships will receive a modest monthly stipend of up to $1,000 USD a month, depending on the country they live in. This is not meant to cover them for full time work, as this is a part-time role, but we would expect them to dedicate at least ten days of effort for this amount. In addition to the stipend, fellows will have access to a small amount of funds to organise local events and travel abroad at least once.

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School of Data Summer Camp: fellows join our worldwide network of data practitioners

The programme will also fund the participation of all fellows at the School of Data Summer Camp (in May, exact date to be announced). This includes economy class airfare, accommodation, food, and transportation.

How is the training programme structured?

The nine-month training programme consists of a series of offline and online trainings and workshops aimed at developing core skills.

The fellowship programme will kick off in April and fellows will attend the School of Data Summer Camp in May. This training event brings together all School of Data practitioners, including fellows, volunteers, and local initiatives such as Escuela de Datos (Mexico and Spain), Escola de Dados (Brazil), Ecole des Données (France), and others.

After the training, fellows will participate in regular online trainings and will be expected to run online and offline events and to support specific organisations and communities to use data effectively.

Are fellows required to work with specific local organisations?

School of Data will collaborate with fellows to enrich the topical focus of their programme. Fellows must opt for a specific topic, such as Extractives Data, Gender Inequality, Digital Privacy and the Responsible Use of Data, Tax Justice, Government Budget Data, etc.

Wherever possible, we will try to find local partner organisations who can support our fellows and help them identify media or non-profit organisational partners. In 2016, we will have at least two organisations already in place to support fellows that select Extractives Data or Digital Privacy and Responsible Use of Data. They will work together with the Engine Room and the Natural Resources Governance Institute, respectively.

We welcome fellows who already have a clear idea of local organisations, initiatives, or communities they want to support. An example could be a fellow working with civil society organizations around extractive industries or a fellow working specifically with media organisations, supporting them to raise the data literacy level of newsrooms in their regions.

What happens after the training programme?

Fellows will be part of the alumni programme at School of Data and be part of our recommended local contacts. Graduating fellows will receive a School of Data fellow certification. They will also be eligible to become accredited trainers in our network for future training opportunities, as well as receive letters of recommendations for future employment purposes.

We would love to continue working with our fellows to provide support to local communities after the training programme. To achieve this, we will do our best to fundraise for stipends and to facilitate paid work with our partners, but would also appreciate fellows who can dedicate some time on a volunteer basis.

How are the fellowships awarded?

Fellowships are awarded by a selection committee which will include funding and implementing partners based on a mix of criteria including applicant experience and profile, availability, local partnerships, etc. The items we take into consideration during selection are:

  • Application (answers to application form & CV);

  • References;

  • Online availability during the course of the fellowship, and

  • Local partnerships of the applicant.

How many fellows will you take from each country?

In this fellowship round (April – December 2016), we will accept no more than one fellow per country.

How many fellows will be recruited in total?

For this round (April – December 2016), we will award up to 10 fellowships.

When can I expect to know if my application is successful?

We are planning to announce the selected fellows late March. This timeframe will permit coordination for visa applications to the School of Data Summer Camp. We will contact all applicants about our decisions.

If I am not accepted as a fellow this round, may I apply for the next round?

Yes, you are most welcome to apply for the next fellowship round. We will also suggest other opportunities for getting involved in our School of Data activities around the world.

How can I get involved if I am not selected or my country is not included in this application?

Unfortunately, our fellowship positions are limited, but we always welcome collaboration with data enthusiasts from all over the world. There are many ways you can get involved with School of Data:

Keep in touch

Join our discussion list. Keep up with the latest news, post questions, spark discussions, or help other learners out by answering their data questions. Want the latest from School of Data in your inbox without the chat? Join the announce list.

Write new course material

Contribute a new module to School of Data. Contribute your tips, tricks and tools to School of Data’s collection of learning materials by emailing schoolofdata-team@okfn.org with the text you would like to include. We are keen to experiment with new formats, so don’t feel restricted to text! If you have video tutorials, slideshows, or materials in another format which will wow a learner, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Write for the School of Data blog

Blog for us. Have you done something cool with data? Have you recently discovered a new tool or found a way to work through a tricky problem?

Organise a local training or data expedition

We are happy to coach you to organise local School of Data events. If you have some time on your hands, a venue with a good internet connection, a good data set, and a community of people interested in gaining insights from data, contact us!

Organise an online skills sharing session

If you got specific data skills and want to share them with a broad community online, we are happy to facilitate online skill sharing sessions.

If you like our suggestions and want to work with us, or if you have other suggestions for collaboration, just email us at schoolofdata-team@okfn.org.

Other Questions?

Feel free to reach out with any questions you might have at any point during the application process.

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  1. Ideas for fellowship projects (search using duckduckgo!): afrobarometer; code for africa


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