AIMS-CEPEI Data Science Fellowship Program

Program Background

The use of data for public good and especially towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), constitutes a growing common interest for a number of Global South organizations, which often have minimal representation in global platforms. With the support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), AIMS and CEPEI were part of the Big Data for Development research network whose main objective was to harness Big Data to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, while building capacity in the Global South.

In May 2018, AIMS and CEPEI signed a 5-year partnership agreement to support capacity building between the two institutions. This partnership provides a collaborative formal framework for both organizations to promote innovation with the main goal of helping Africa and Latin America to better prepare for and respond to capacity building challenges in emerging digital technologies including big data, open data, and solving problems related to development. For the past 2 years, CEPEI has offered work placements to two AIMS students each year, charting a path for our Co-operative Education students to travel to Columbia and build their competencies by working on real-life projects.

Capitalizing on successful South-South partnerships established through the Big Data for Development research network, the CEPEI’s current COVID-19 Data and Innovation Centre provides a framework for new research and innovation collaborations to better understand the impact of COVID-19 in the Global South.

Information for Applicants

AIMS wishes to pursue its support to the ongoing work of COVID-19 Data and Innovation Centre to enhance its analytical and data science initiatives. This new collaboration aims to support research that undertakes preliminary observations and models answering questions on COVID-19 trends in the global south. It further hopes to demonstrate how promising AIMS alumni can help reinforce the capacities of the CEPEI’s data lab’s teams and jointly produce insights, policy briefs and analytical articles on COVID-19 response and recovery data, that will inform and be useful in policy making arenas.

Through this collaboration, AIMS and CEPEI wish to increase the number of AIMS alumni who will participate in the internship program and support the work of the CEPEI. In particular the COVID-19 Data and Innovation Centre will design a seminar series (as an academic weekly activity where interns will share updates and project progress and their supervisors will follow-up on coming activities as a cohesive academic team).

To kick-off this initiative here are some of the requirements for a professional profile of ideal candidates:

  • Professionals on mathematical related areas (math, physics, engineering, economics, statistics, and others related) with strong capacities on some computer tools that will serve the purpose of data mining, interpretation and analysis (R, SPSS, STATA, Python, GIS, others) On top of technical skills, we would like participants to be highly motivated for continuous learning, particularly thematic approach on COVID-19 related issues such as epidemiology, economics, inequality and poverty, gender and many others. We are not looking for thematic experts but for professionals capable and willing to learn and explore the complex dimension of social analysis.
  • Motivated candidates with continuous analytical explorations, inquiries and question posing and efforts to answer them with sophisticated methods and complicated analytical strategies.
  • Emerging data scientists that are motivated with the production of texts and dissemination strategies that facilitate the comprehension of data and information outputs by broader audiences. Particularly we would like participants to enjoy writing and organizing ideas on multiple formats (academic journal articles, policy brief documents or data stories).
  • Design, illustration or infographic skills will be highly appreciated as a potential enhancing skill of our research outputs.
Application Selection Process

AIMS alumni interested in applying for this Data Science Fellowship Program should use their AIMS email address and click the link provided below to complete and submit their application with all supporting documents by the deadline indicated below. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for further steps of the selection process.

Successful candidates will receive a monthly stipend to cover their cost of living in the internship host country, including accommodation and meals for 6 months.


This program is restricted only to AIMS alumni. Given the ongoing and evolving COVID-19 pandemic, we plan to kick-off this internship program remotely.

Application submission:

Applications for this program should be submitted via the online application system, providing all required documents. Applications will be reviewed by a committee with members from CEPEI and AIMS.

Duration: 6 months (April to September 2021).

Deadline: April 5th, 2021 at 11:59 pm CAT.

Successful applicants will be contacted within weeks of the deadline. Please consider your application unsuccessful if you don’t hear from the program team within 3 weeks of the deadline. All inquiries should be sent to: