Policy and Data Science (PODS) Program

The Max Bell School of Public Policy presented the Policy and Data Science (PODS) Program in partnership with the Centre for Social and Cultural Data Science in 2018 and 2019.

Program Overview

The PODS Summer Program is training a new generation of data-driven policy analysts to tackle Canada’s biggest policy problems. In the month of June, PODS Fellows are provided with technical skills in data analysis methods: including R and Python. This knowledge is integrated with policy theory and analysis training. The PODS Fellows are then matched up with Montreal-based organizations for an internship throughout July and August where they use their data mining and analysis skills to answer important, real-world policy questions. 

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.

Four students standing linked together facing camera

Meet the 2018 PODS Fellows

The 2018 PODS fellows were chosen from a highly competitive field of 250 applicants. 

eleven squares filled with random head shots and one square with the PODS logo

Meet the 2019 PODS Fellows

The 2019 PODS fellows were chosen from a highly competitive field of hundreds of applicants. 


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