Apply to become a Discovery Partner

Fall 2024 Partner Application is now open!

Apply Here


Since 2015, the Discovery Program has helped incubate and accelerate research for over 900 partner projects. We do this by connecting projects with talented student teams along with project management and technical infrastructure support. We welcome all academic institutions, non-profits, government agencies, and industry to partner with us.


Contact us

For specific inquiries about our program, please do not hesitate to email us at We are more than happy to provide more details for you.


Project Logistics

We work with government agencies, non profits, industry organizations, academic institutions, and more. Look through past projects!

Discovery connects incredibly ambitious, capable, and skilled students to project teams to solve data science problems.

We can support projects by providing free Azure Cloud Computing credits. A team of Discovery Consultants regularly check in with each project and can provide essential technical support. On top of that, we have a team of Graduate Student Fellows that oversee all teams and programs who can provide additional support. Our entire team is here to support you!  

Yes! We work closely with the Career Accelerator Program (CAP) and the Data Scholars Program intended to support underprivileged/underrepresented minority students pursuing a Data Science degree  

The research partner owns all intellectual property rights. The Data Discovery Program and UC Berkeley will not own the work by your team.

In past projects, we have advised organizations to have students sign NDAs or any other needed legal documents. Faculty will not look at the sensitive data, and there will be no specific grading process. Refer to this confidentiality agreement template for more information.

We have projects that take place in the Fall semester (end of August - the beginning of December) or the Spring semester (mid January - the beginning of May). If you are unable to join in the Fall, you can opt for the Spring, and if you are unable to join the Spring, you can opt for the following Fall semester. 

Sometimes emails from project partners can accidentally end up in the spam folder, especially if they are outside the digital atmosphere. Please send them a follow up. If you still haven’t heard back from them, please contact the Discovery Program Manager for your project team.



Partner Commitment

You can if you’d like, but student interviews are not required. Your team can choose to select students based on their written application and resume if desired.

Typically, teams have a weekly meeting (30 minutes-1 hour) and depending on the size of the team and complexity of the project, there are more meetings/communication to help meet project deadlines.  

You will need at least one member from your organization to act as a mentor, lead weekly meetings, and facilitate the project. 

You will have access to Data Consultants who can help with technical issues and can sit in on a weekly meeting if needed. For project and program challenges, you will be able to reach out to the program outreach team at any time.

All teams must present at the Discovery Showcase, which will take place at the end of the semester in early (December/May). Each team must present a poster board (size 24 x 36). If your project’s findings are not suitable for a poster board please let your Discovery Consultant and us know at so we’re aware that your team won’t be presenting a poster at the showcase.  

Partners are not required to be present at the showcase, but we encourage you to come to view other projects!  



Student “Interns”

Students are not paid nor are they expected to be. Instead, students receive 1-2 academic credits.

This depends on the size and scope of your project! Most student teams consist of 3-4 students, but your team may recruit more or less depending on need. 

A large portion of applicants are undergraduate students from all different departments such as data science, computer science, environmental science, physics, economics, humanities, etc., but the program is open to students of all educational levels.

Many of the applicants that are undergraduate have taken courses such as Data 8: Introduction to Data Science and Data 100: Principles and Techniques of Data Science. Along with those required courses, students are involved in clubs, university research, and internships which give them experience in R, Python, etc. You will be able to specify what programming languages and level of knowledge you are looking for in students. 




Around 4 months. In the (Fall/Spring) semester, you will begin accepting and onboarding students in the month of (September/February), and the final deliverable will be presented/shared by the students at (the beginning of December/End of April). 

Please finish interviewing students by (mid September/the end of January) so you can have your teams finalized by (Fall 9/8 / Spring 2/5)! 



Navigating Government Agency Partnerships

We have learned a lot from partnering with several Federal agencies including Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), NASA, DOD, and DOJ.  

The Spring 2023 HRSA project "Using Data Science and Text Mining to Improve Classification and Analysis of Healthy Start Grantee Progress Reports" might be the most relevant to what you might be looking for. Our main point of contact was Ada Determan (

In regards to logistical challenges such as background checks, we advise work where students can gain more domain specific knowledge, practice with dummy data sets, and establish a detailed project roadmap during the month plus waiting period. We also emphasize the potential multi-semester nature of a Discovery project can also alleviate concerns of running out of time.


Our Partners