The increasing availability of large data sets in every sector of industry and government have created exciting and urgent opportunities for policy-oriented data analysis. These opportunities, however, are widely unrealized, due in large part to the lack of individuals trained to work at the interface of policy and computational analysis.
The 2018 PODS Summer Program is a cutting-edge program that will select promising arts students and give them the technical skills to tackle Canada’s biggest policy problem, training a new generation of data-driven policy analysts.
Goals of PODS
Close the skills gap in Canada
- Build a cohort of students with employment-ready, policy-relevant data analysis skills.
- Through this program, students will then learn invaluable data science techniques and policy theory that they can easily apply to their field of study.
Solve urgent public policy issues
- Students will develop and apply core data science techniques to policy questions through a combination of specialized training and internship-style projects with civic and industry partners, delivering meaningful analysis for the mentor organizations.
Build a national movement
- By integrating the necessary skills for quantitative and qualitative research, students will greatly expand their capabilities and shape their future careers.
- PODS is a unique and crucial part of a national movement that will build a foundation to cultivate interdisciplinary and well-rounded scholars.
Details about the Program
The PODS program runs from June to August and consists of two elements:
- Data Science Training (one-month full-time intensive data science bootcamp): Students learn data analysis methods, studying design and programming in the morning, including R. In the afternoon, they integrate this knowledge with policy theory through independent work, discussions, and group projects.
- Internship (two months full-time): Students apply their newly acquired skills to undertake research projects, gaining work experience while delivering impactful analysis for their mentor organizations in Montréal. Examples of past internship locations include Laboratoire d’Innovation Urbaine de Montréal; the Institute for Research on Public Policy; Nexalogy Corp.; The McGill Observatory on Health and Social Service Reforms; Data Sciences, Inc.; the Institute for Health and Social Policy; and the Conference Board of Canada.
The program is open to all McGill undergraduate students with non-technical backgrounds. As the program is a full-time, full summer commitment, each student will receive a stipend of $6000 over the three months of the program.
For more information on the Policy & Data Science Summer Program, please visit our website.