What exactly is the Sewanee DataLab?

The Sewanee DataLab is an eight-week summer program that uses data from social impact projects to train students in data analytics. The DataLab trains students in the statistical computing language R.  Sewanee DataLab participants learn to understand and use data positively and equitably, while developing a range of other professional skills such as project and client management as well as the ability to effectively communicate the value of their work.


In the first three weeks of the program, students complete an intensive coding boot camp that transforms participants with zero coding experience into capable data scientists. In the remaining five weeks, participants apply their newfound skills to real-world data problems by working in small teams as data science consultants for partner organizations working on social/environmental issues in the South Cumberland region. Career panels, networking opportunities, leadership training, and field trips are also offered throughout the 8-week program.

Who can participate?

The Sewanee DataLab 2023 summer program will primarily recruit students and faculty from the University of the South, schools in the Appalachian College Association, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation network of colleges, and students and faculty from our partner organizations: Meharry Medical College Public Health Program, CodeCrew and Civic Hacker. Students and faculty from other institutions will also be considered as space allows. We additionally welcome inquiries from organizations seeking data analyses support on social and environmental impact projects.


DataLab participants learn to be data analysts and data consultants. As analysts, they learn how to code in R and RStudio, how to create beautiful data visualizations and maps, how to create interactive ‘dashboard’ apps using Shiny in R, how to create reproducible and professional reports using Rmarkdown, and how to manage projects using Git and GitHub. As data consultants, participants learn how to deliver engaging and professional public presentations, how to scope and manage a project, how to work effectively as a team of equals, how to engage with clients, and how to deliver outstanding data products.

Where does the Sewanee DataLab take place?

The Sewanee DataLab takes place on the campus of the University of the South, which is located in Sewanee, TN between Chattanooga and Nashville, on a beautiful 13,000 acre wooded campus

What does it cost to participate in the Sewanee DataLab?

DataLab is a paid, full-time summer fellowship. The students are paid a stipend for participating in the 8-week program.


No. No credit, no grades. Instead, DataLab is a full-time, project-based internship. It is a professional experience; that’s why DataLab students are paid. The instructors are real-world data scientists, not professors. The first few weeks involve significant training and the remaining weeks involve significant unsupervised work, both independently and in teams.

Contact Us

Please feel free to reach out to us if you would like to learn more!


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