Join us as an ODI research fellow

Thu Jul 16, 2020
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The Open Data Institute is inviting applications from researchers in data policy, economics, technology and learning for its research fellowship programme

Complete the application form Apply for the ODI research fellowship scheme 2021

The Open Data Institute is inviting applications from researchers in data policy, economics, technology and learning for its research fellowship programme.

The Open Data Institute (ODI) is a not-for-profit organisation that has expertise, a strong voice, and influence in our field. Our mission is to work with companies and governments to build an open, trustworthy data ecosystem, where people can make better decisions using data and manage any harmful impacts.

Supporting this mission will take a broad and diverse body of evidence and knowledge. That is why we conduct research, often in close collaboration with partners and funders. It is also why we have been developing a scheme to support scholars researching topics relevant to our domain and mission.

In late 2020, we welcomed a small pilot cohort of research fellows. The pilot offered our research fellows the opportunity to work with the ODI team and be connected to the businesses, public sector bodies and other organisations that are part of ODI’s network.

We are now opening applications to join us as part of the first 2021 cohort of ODI research fellows. 

Who is this for?

ODI research fellowships are primarily open to individual researchers with existing research funding, and researchers otherwise supported by their employer/academic institution.

It’s been valuable working outside of the academic bubble and creating work that hopefully has more immediate impact

2020 ODI research fellow

Conducting research as a fellow is a unique scholarly experience. The ODI team runs a diverse programme of applied research and development for the UK’s – and the world’s – data ecosystem. We convene and collaborate closely with organisations and individuals across all sectors and geographies.

Our research fellows can therefore enjoy support from peers and world experts, and gain exposure to a broad, rich network beyond the typical academic – or industrial – research setting. Our previous fellows from academia have appreciated how impact-focused the ODI allows them to be, while fellows from industry and government benefit from access to top academic thinkers in their field.

Most of the ODI’s team is based at our London, UK headquarters, but we do not require you to be a UK-based researcher or hosted by a traditional academic institution. While UK-based fellows will be welcome to collaborate in person in our London offices (dependent on Covid-19 restrictions), we welcome applications from potential fellows wherever you are. We can, for now, only support research conducted and to be published in English, however.

Funding and value

We are pleased to be able to cover research-related expenses, as well as offer in-kind access to the expertise of our team of researchers, consultants, editors, designers and communications specialists, and our vibrant community.

An ODI fellowship is not a research grant, however. The value comes in part from the access to the ODI’s expertise and network, the potential for collaboration and overlap with research conducted by us and our partners in academia, industry, government and civil society. Research conducted through an ODI fellowship is richer as a result, and can create impact beyond the academic bubble that benefits everyone involved.

We know that this requirement for independent funding is a barrier to the opportunity of working together. We intend to get rid of this barrier in the future by working with partners and funders to offer financial support for high-quality research aligned with the vision and mission of the ODI – do get in touch if you would like to help us reach that goal.

Duration and commitment

An ODI research fellowship can last between three and twelve months, depending on the scope of the research you would like to conduct in collaboration with us. As a fellow, you may be working on your fellowship research full or part time, under guidance and in collaboration with a senior staff member as an ODI supervisor.

We expect you to produce at least one output – such as an academic paper – during your fellowship, to be published under as open a licence as possible.

Fellows will be selected on the basis of alignment with ODI’s research interests, and the quality and feasibility of their research plan. We especially welcome applicants with research projects on topics including:

How to apply

To apply, please fill in our application form. As well as your basic details, you will need to provide:

  • Your CV
  • Details about how you intend to use the fellowship – including a plan of the research you want to carry out
  • Details about expenses you would require the ODI to cover to make your fellowship a success
  • For senior scholars and independent researchers: references of published work in professional publications
  • For researchers in academia: a letter of recommendation from an academic supervisor

If you have any questions, please email [email protected].