DSSG Project Proposal Submission Information

Program Overview

The UW eScience Institute, in collaboration with the Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative, will open applications for the fifth offering of the Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) summer program in early 2019. We invite short proposals for 10-week data-intensive research projects requiring collaboration in scalable data management, statistical analysis and machine learning, open source software development, cloud and cluster computing, and/or visualization.  Accepted projects will be undertaken by a team of four interdisciplinary students and co-led by an external Project Lead identified in the proposal – usually the author(s) – and one or more Data Scientists in the eScience Institute (see Project Team Composition below)

We invite proposals that have an applied social good dimension and broadly address questions related to social science, human services, public policy, criminal justice, environmental impacts, and urban informatics. We welcome proposals submitted by academic researchers, public agencies, non-profit entities, and industry.

This program is inspired by similar endeavors at the University of Chicago and Georgia Tech, and is delivered as part of our Data Science Incubator program. The projects on those websites and especially the projects from our previous DSSG programs may serve as useful inspiration.

In reviewing the proposals, we will be looking for projects with well-defined deliverables that clearly articulate how the DSSG can help advance your project.

This program is sponsored in part by Microsoft and the Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative.

Important Dates -2018

Project proposals now closed.

January 26th, 11am: 1-hour information session, Data Science Studio Meeting Room, 6th floor Physics/Astronomy Tower, UW campus – DSSG_info_session_slides

EXTENDED to March 5th – Proposal submission deadline

March 19th – Project short-list notification

June 11th-Aug 17th – DSSG Program

Project Team Composition

DSSG projects will be executed by a team consisting of an external Project Lead (typically the author(s) of the proposal), one or more Data Scientists from the eScience Institute, and four students (graduate and advanced undergraduate) who will be selected and paid by the eScience Institute.

The Project Lead is expected to submit the project proposal. Together with the Data Scientists, the Project Leads will co-manage the student teams. The Project Lead will bear primary responsibility for project design and execution throughout the summer. The Data Scientists will provide guidance on methods, technologies, and best practices in extracting knowledge from large, noisy, and/or heterogeneous datasets, as well as general software engineering. Student responsibilities will vary from project to project, but their role may include developing code, selecting methods, conducting analyses, contributing to design, and incorporating stakeholder perspectives into the project. The project team may also include external mentors and stakeholders as appropriate.

In addition to their direct contributions to projects, students and Project Leads will have the opportunity to participate in a number of technical tutorials and research talks.

Time Commitment

The DSSG takes place from early June through late August. Project leads are expected to spend the equivalent of at least two days per week (16 hours) in the Data Science Studio (DSS) working face-to-face with their team members. Students will be employed full-time throughout the summer, and will be expected to work in the DSS during business hours Monday-Friday.

Proposal Submissions

The 2018 DSSG Call for Proposals is now closed. Projects proposals should be submitted through the online submission form by EOD March 5th. For more information feel free to contact Previous project examples can be found here.

Additional Opportunities

Projects that apply data science methods to urban social issues, but do not meet all of the criteria for a DSSG proposal, are encouraged to get in touch as well. Whether your project is early stage, short-term or requires work beyond the summer, opportunities are available through the eScience Institute and its partners. Please see below.

The Urbanalytics group in the Information School is seeking interdisciplinary research projects that apply computational or data science methods to urban social issues; and the Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative supports the development of regional and comparative data science projects between the University of Washington and the University of British Columbia. Email to learn more.

The eScience Institute’s Data Science Incubator pairs data and domain scientists each January to work on selected projects in the areas of large-scale data manipulation and analytics, cloud and cluster computing, statistics and machine learning, and visualization to help researchers extract knowledge from large, complex, and noisy datasets.

The Master of Science in Data Science program offers an opportunity to partner with students on a capstone project intended for students to complete all phases of a data science solution. Students will be responsible for querying and processing data, developing feature sets and applying appropriate algorithms, and creating a basic user interface for receiving data analysis. The time-line for this work is tight, so there are limitations on how many features may be implemented. The focus will be on getting an end-to-end working project, instead of a wide array of features. It may be the case that diligent student work fails to provide a final solution for the specified project. In that case the student team will provide an explanation for failure as well as insights into recommended next steps. Potential sponsors who are able to provide a problem statement, with supporting data, and some mentorship are encouraged to participate. For more information contact