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Emerging Technology Fellowship

We’re looking for purpose-driven technologists and innovators to join this unique fellowship experience with xD. The Emerging Technology Fellowship (ETF) recruits the best and brightest technologists with expertise in emerging data technology trends to drive data innovation at the U.S. Census Bureau and other federal agencies.

Our Next Cohort

Applications for the Spring 2022 Cohort of the ETF are now closed. Future openings will be listed on this page when we have more information to share.

Initial Projects

While fellows will be hired with a project-focus in mind, we want you to have a well-rounded fellowship experience. Each fellow will have the opportunity to pitch new projects for funding, to meet practitioners across government working in data science and AI, and to become involved more in the civic tech space. To learn more about the initial project focus, see the description below:

Automated Change Detection in Satellite Imagery

How might we improve representation in Census Bureau surveys through automated change detection in satellite imagery? This project will focus on the application of machine learning and computer vision techniques to target updates to the Master Address File. This project is being done in partnership with the Census Bureau’s Geography Division.

Deploying Privacy-Enhancing Technologies

What if researchers could answer questions by accessing data from around the globe that they never actually touch or "see"? How do we transform the use of private data while keeping it entirely secure? The Deploying Privacy-Enhancing Technology (PET) projects seeks to increase our understanding of remote execution, federated learning, secure multi-party computation, homomorphic encryption, and differential privacy. This project will create a roadmap for deployments of these technologies to transform how the Census Bureau collects, shares, and computes data and is being done in partnership with the United Nations, other federal agencies and thought leaders in the field.

Our Timeline

Keeping in mind that this is our inaugural year, we may encounter some bumps along the way. We’ll do our best to keep you informed throughout the process, but here’s what we know so far:

  • Applications are due March 21, 2022. NOTE: You will not be considered if you fail to provide the required application documents.
  • Our HR counterparts and team conduct resume reviews.
  • xD selects candidates for two interviews.
  • Final candidate selections will be made, and tentative offers, contingent on a background check, will be delivered by HR.
  • Background checks and security clearance begins. This typically takes several months.
  • Final offers are rendered and fellows are welcomed!

As we learn more about the timing of these processes, we will update this page and notify candidates where possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

We will be recruiting for different projects throughout our inaugural year. We anticipate having regular recruiting time frames in the coming years.

Don’t worry too much about the content of the email. We’re only looking at what’s in your resumé and letter of interest.

Give us an honest read on what makes you a great candidate! Emphasize your experience. Don’t overstate it, but don’t undersell yourself either. And, be sure to demonstrate leadership in technology projects, especially projects that have leveraged any of the topics listed in the “How will my resumé be evaluated?” question below in the FAQs. While we do not require a specific format, your resumé will be reviewed by federal HR specialists. So if you’d like to get a sense of how typical federal resumés are formatted, we encourage you to visit USAJobs to take a look.

Please elaborate on why you’re interested in becoming an Emerging Technology Fellow. If there’s a particular project you’re interested in, please indicate that as well.

We know you’re more than a resumé or cover letter, so here are some other things we’re looking for. You have an entrepreneurial mindset, are open to trying new things, being wrong, and consistently improving. You are independent yet collaborative, you enjoy working with a variety of technical and non-technical stakeholders, you’re passionate about using your skills to solve real-world problems, and you excel at implementing new techniques from ML/AI/Data Science research into your work. You’re flexible, you like a challenge, and you’re motivated to find creative solutions while guiding/inspiring others along the way.

Specialized Experience: For the GS-15, you must have one year of experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to the GS-14 in the Federal Service. Experience for this position includes:

  • Data science, data processing, data mining, data analysis, data analytics, or data cleaning
  • Web scraping, software development, web application development, software development, backend development, full stack development, agile development, test-driven development (TDD), or API design and development
  • Lead complex IT projects/programs, including application development efforts, systems upgrades, cloud service deployments, and apply best practices from IT project management
  • Perform project lifecycle planning for project/program implementation and create strategies for risk mitigation and contingency planning as well as plan and schedule project deliverables, goals, and milestones
  • Programming languages, e.g., CPython (Python), SQL, R, Java, JS, Go, Scala, C, C++, Julia, or MatLab
  • Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, machine learning technologies, e.g. TensorFlow or PyTorch, models such as multivariate, logistic and linear regression models, or natural language processing (NLP)
  • Secure multiparty computation (SMPC), privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs), or federated learning
  • Database technologies such as SQL, Postgres, MySQL, Oracle, MongoDB, and NoSQL

  • Serve as liaison with stakeholders and senior management to lead software development activities, including defining the IT requirements, high-level software architecture, setting platform and coding standards, architecture and design frameworks, and technical specifications
  • Manage complex technology projects and cybersecurity policy and oversight, deliver research papers, white papers, or policies to a diverse audience to meet organizational goals.