Data Science for the Public Good Program

VSU's Data Science for the Public Good (DSPG) program provides training in the use of data science to address real world issues through summer student projects and through engagement with community partners. The student summer projects will be focused on analysis of data developed in partnership with community stakeholders. These 10-week (May 28-Aug 2) projects are intended to (i) provide students with collaborative data science research experiences in real-world settings; and (ii) provide community stakeholders with data science analyses relevant to a specific issue of interest. All students will participate in a two-week data skills course at the start of the 10-week period and present their results at a symposium at the close of the program. First time students in the program will receive a $4000 stipend and returning students will receive a $6000 stipend. Active participation throughout the program is required in order to receive the full stipend. On campus housing and meals will be provided.

The DSPG program was originally developed in collaboration with the University of VA, VA Tech, Oregon State University, and Iowa State University as part of the Three State Data for the Public Good project. Current support is provided by a capacity building grant from USDA-NIFA to VSU.

View prior projects

2020 DSPG Poster Session
2021 DSPG Poster Session
Petersburg Food Access Dashboard
Virginia Farmers Market Equity Dashboard

Who can apply

All applicants must be enrolled at VSU. Undergraduate students may be in or entering their sophomore, junior or senior year in Fall 2023. Graduate students are also welcome. The research teams for the summer projects will be interdisciplinary and collaborative, so all majors are welcome to apply.

How to apply

You can apply for this summer's program. As part of the application process, you will need to upload a pdf copy of their VSU transcript (unofficial is fine) and resume or CV. You will also need to write a statement describing your interest in the DSPG program and have 2 individuals write letters of reference. You will provide the names and email addresses for your references as a part of the application and your references will be contacted directly with details on how to submit their letters.

Applications are due April 13, 2024.

For questions, email Dr. M. Omar Faison at

Special thanks to Datacamp for providing free access to their training modules.