Sloan Foundation Awards Funding to Enhance Data Science Expertise in Federal Government

With support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the ASA and its sister societies will sponsor three AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellows in the federal government in each of the next two years.

The fellows sponsored by the ASA, American Mathematical Society, Association for Computing Machinery, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, Mathematical Association of America, and Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics will have expertise in data science—particularly causal inference and machine learning—and serve one year in a federal agency or on the staff of a senator, representative, or congressional committee beginning September 2019.

“We are grateful to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for this opportunity to become sponsors of the prestigious AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowships,” said ASA Executive Director and principal investigator on the proposal to the foundation Ron Wasserstein. “We wholeheartedly support their desire to bring more statistical and data science to the federal government to meet its administrative, legislative, and policymaking challenges.”

“The ASA has a priority to raise the profile of statistics and data science in policy because of the many benefits that would result,” said ASA President Lisa LaVange. “I’m thrilled for this opportunity. What better way to raise the profile than through people? I urge my colleagues in the statistical and data science community to apply. Having served in government and being proud of my accomplishments, I’m confident the statistics and data science fellows will make valuable contributions and find their service enriching and gratifying.”

Since 1973, the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowships program has connected science with policy, fostering a network of science and engineering leaders who understand government and policymaking and are prepared to develop and execute solutions to address societal challenges. AAAS places about 300 people each year through this program.

Individuals who are US citizens and have a PhD in statistics, data science, mathematics, or a closely related field are encouraged to apply. The societies seek candidates reflecting the diversity of the professions. Applications are due by January 15, 2019, and require a candidate statement, biographical sketch, and three letters of reference.