Data Science Discovery Program

The Program

The Data Science Discovery Program connects undergraduates with hands-on, team-based opportunities to contribute to cutting-edge data research projects with graduate and post-doctoral students, community impact groups, entrepreneurial ventures, and educational initiatives across UC Berkeley.

Recent Discovery projects have included:

  • Working with SimpleWater to identify and prevent potential water quality issues by tracking and analyzing social media posts, broadcast transcripts, news articles, and other web sources.
  • Collaborating with UC Berkeley Central Human Resources to examine hiring, transfers, promotions, and separations to explore trends, successes, and opportunities to make progress toward affirmative action goals for non-academic staff.
  • Analyzing DNA sequences of 20 species of fruit flies with UC Berkeley’s Eisen Laboratory to enhance understanding of and better predict evolutionary patterns.

Why Discovery?

Data science is an intrinsically interdisciplinary field with broad reach, fast scaling capacity, and a large pool of interested students and projects. The Data Science Discovery Program, a joint effort of the Berkeley Institute of Data Sciences, Division of Data Sciences, and Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP), was created in 2015 to offer undergraduates the opportunity to build and apply data science skills and at the same time to provide collaborators with skilled students to help address their data challenges. 

Earn Academic Units

Students can earn units through the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) page under the Division of Data Sciences. As a long as you use that URAP, you can be considered for all the projects in the Discovery Program.  

Research Partners

The Data Science Discovery Experiences model can identify, connect, and scale access for significantly more students in the data science space. It does so by creating a sustainable and diverse pipeline of projects by improving the matching and database system, fine-tuning the training and consulting services needed by graduate students, postdocs, and undergraduate research leads, and expanding internal and public communication. 

Research projects with faculty, post-doctoral, and graduate students encompass all domain areas. Social Impact efforts with community non-profit groups offer the opportunity to help address critical issues. Project partners include:

  • Digital Humanities
  • UCSF
  • American Cultures Center
  • College of Natural Resources
  • Skydeck
  • Space Science Labs
  • Energy Resources Group
  • D-Lab
  • Social Science Matrix
  • Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute
  • Department of Political Science

Email questions to:

Current Discovery Projects

For Researchers

Interested in some extra help on your data science research project?  Whether you are a graduate student, postdoc, faculty, government agency, non-profit, or startup, the Division of Data Sciences can connect you with talented data science students across Berkeley to tackle your data science challenges. 

apply now

For Students

The Discovery Research program provides opportunities for undergraduates to participate in research with one of our many partner organizations - research institutions, academic departments, non-profits, startups, and more. Leverage your data analysis skills and domain knowledge to contribute to cutting-edge research alongside experts in your fields of interest.


Phase I

Phase I hiring occurs before school starts and will have the greatest variety of positions available. Applications are due by 11:59 PM on Friday, August 10 to be considered for Phase I

Phase II 

Phase II is rolling admission: applications will be considered in the order that they are submitted from the end of Phase I until 11:59 PM on Friday, 9/7. Apply early to be considered for the widest variety of positions

 apply now