Call for fellows 2023

The 2023 edition of Data Science for Social Good fellowship in Germany will be held in person at the University of Kaiserslautern and German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), between 12. June and 1. September 2023. This is an affiliate programme of the DSSG Foundation’s summer fellowship in the US at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), USA. We are closely collaborating with the DSSGxUK fellowship at the University of Warwick, and have a common application procedure for fellows. The Warwick fellowship dates are Monday 5 June – Friday 25 August inclusive.


If you have a passion for data science, care about the social good, and love to work in an international team of top talent, you are invited to APPLY NOW. Applications are now open for the 2023 fellowship, and will close on 18.12.2022. at 13:00 CET.

This is a joint application for our programme (in Germany) and the programme ran at the University of Warwick (UK). If you are only interested in one of the programmes, you will be able to specify that during the application. The applications will be evaluated by both teams and if successful, you will be offered a place in a specific programme by late March. Please read the FAQ below for more information.

FAQ for fellows

Q: When is the DSSGx fellowship in Kaiserslautern in 2023?
A: The fellowship will start on 12. June 2023. The last day of the fellowship is 1. September 2023.

Q: Where does the fellowship take place?
A: The fellowship will be in person, in Kaiserslautern (Germany), hosted at the German Research Centre for AI (DFKI) and TU Kaiserslautern.

Q: How do I apply?
A: A common application form for our fellowship and DSSGxUK fellowship is available at this link. Applications for 2023. will close on 18 December 2022 at 12:00 GMT (1PM German time).

Q: What year do I need to be at university to apply?
A: Most of our fellows are late-stage undergraduate or graduate students, including PhD students.  Having said that, we look at skills, not at the number of university years. So, if you feel you have both the computational skills and passion to excel, we’d love to see your application. We also accept applications up to 2 years after you graduated from your last degree.

Q: Will I be paid for my work? What sort of financial support can I expect? Is the accomodation provided?
A: You will be paid a stipend of 1800 EUR per month during the fellowship (5400 EUR for the summer). This stipend might or might not be tax-free depending on your situation, but will not be taxed in Germany. The exact pay and payment route might depend on your circumstance. In addition, we aim to cover reasonable travel expenses up to 1000EUR, as long as they comply with local travel policy such as economical route and economy fare. Please retain all receipts. We will help you fill the reimbursement claim. We have a small number of onsite accommodations (about 400 EUR per month for a studio incl. bills), but private accommodation is available and cheap. For information on stipend and coverage for the DSSGxUK fellowship, please go here.

Q: What is the application process?
A:Once applications close on 18 December, we will start the review process aiming for the following dates.

  • Beginning of January: initial review round starts
  • Middle of January: review round completed, all applicants moved to interview round or notified
  • Mid-January to mid-February: technical interviews
  • Mid-February - mid-March: second round of interviews
  • End of March: decision emails sent out (acceptances, places on the waiting list, or rejections)
  • Mid April: final fellow group confirmed

Q: Do I have to be an EU citizen / German resident to apply?
A: No, but you might need a visa, depending on where you are from. Many of our fellows won’t need a visa if you stay less than 90 days in Germany. If in doubt, please contact the German embassy in your country. We will issue visa support letters.

Q: What happens during the fellowship?
A: The fellowship is a full-time, 40 hours per week programme, for 12 weeks. You will spend most of your time working in your team (3-5 fellows), solving a challenge alongside a partner organisation. To do this, you will be supported hands-on by technical and project mentors, as well as by additional lectures, training resources, and sessions by institute and university staff and external collaborators.

Q: Can I take time off during the summer for a conference, wedding etc…?
A: No. We can make some exceptions for up to 2 days off during the summer (for critical cases) but spending a week away from the work is not fair to the other fellows on your team. If you need to be away for a week during the summer, this may not be the summer for you to participate in DSSGx. In addition, everyone must be in attendance for the entire first week and last week of the fellowship. Your stipend may be affected by any absences.

Q: What kind of people are you looking for?
A: There is no single profile for an ideal fellow. Successful fellows have different skill profiles and backgrounds in order to create a collaborative community. Everyone has some programming, statistics and data analysis skills in addition to a passion for making social impact. Some are stronger at computer science and machine learning. Others have a strong applied maths or statistics background. Some come from a quantitative social science, economics, or public policy background. Others have physics or chemistry or geography or linguistics degrees. We’re not expecting you to be awesome at everything. Tell us what you’re good at and what you’d like to learn. In addition, personality and communication skills matter! If you’re passionate about a cause or social issue, tell us about it in your application. If there’s a recent project you’ve done that you’re proud of, we’d like to hear about it.

Sebastian Vollmer
Sebastian Vollmer
Professor for Applications of Machine Learning

My research interests lie at the interface of applied probability, statistical inference and machine learning.