No.10 Innovation Fellowships
We’re seeking world-class digital and technology talent to help transform the delivery of public services.
We want to harness the power of technology and data to improve public services. We’re seeking the best digital and tech talent from industry, academia and civil society to help us accelerate the adoption of cutting-edge approaches.
The No.10 Innovation Fellowship Programme, announced as part of the National Data Strategy, will see around 10 Fellows enter government each year. We’ve taken inspiration from the US Presidential Innovation Fellowship Programme, which has attracted top talent from tech giants, start-ups, and academia, and led to new products and services in areas such as healthcare, veterans support, and natural disaster relief.
We want a richly diverse group of Fellows united by a passion for using cutting-edge technology and approaches to deliver positive societal impact.
You might be an entrepreneur – perhaps the founder of social purpose technology company. Or you might be deeply technical – a data-scientist with a special interest in privacy preserving machine learning.
If successful, you’ll enjoy unparalleled opportunities to deliver the type of high impact technology and data projects that are only possible in government. You’ll be matched with a government department who is looking for your unique skill set; have access to senior decision makers; and help tackle public sector challenges of national importance.
You’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with a peer group of exceptionally talented Fellows and build strong links with the No.10 Data Science Team and Government Digital Service.
We’re offering each Fellow a Senior Civil Service (SCS1) contract of 12 to 24 months; a dedicated recruitment and onboarding process; and bespoke in-programme support.
We have assembled an exceptional Advisory Board to help us build a world-leading fellowship programme:
Director General, Government Digital Service
Entrepreneur and Cabinet Office Non-Executive Director
Chief Scientific Adviser, National Security
Head of GV (Google Ventures), Europe
Chair, Tech Nation
William Porter Professor of Entrepreneurship, MIT
CEO, Your Startup, Your Story (YSYS)
Chief Digital and Information Officer, Ministry of Justice
Chief Operating Officer, Entrepreneur First
President, White House Presidential Innovation Fellows Foundation
Fellows will work in small teams on projects that are technologically challenging, highly impactful and deliverable within a year.
In the new year, we will publish a list of specific placements that you can express a preference to work on, as a Fellow. Each will be focused on addressing a high priority challenge and leave Fellows considerable scope to collaborate in finding solutions.
We will also reserve 20% of Fellows’ time to participate in induction, coaching and networking events and to pursue personal projects with other Fellows where they see an opportunity to have impact (e.g. building an app to improve services in their host department or mentoring early career data scientists).
Tom Read, the CEO of Government Digital Services (GDS) explains what he hopes No.10 Innovation Fellows will bring to the government, and what opportunity they have to deliver career-defining impact and US Presidential Innovation Fellow Clara Tsao shares her experiences on the US programme, and what she believes the No.10 Innovation Fellowship will offer.
The initial contract will be for 12 months, with the possibility of extending for a further 12 months. This will need to be agreed between you, your host department, and the central Fellowship Team (and, where joining us on a secondment, by your existing employer).
Fellows will be remunerated at SCS pay band 1 dependent on experience. Fellows must forego payment from their former employer for the duration of the Fellowship but can take unpaid leave from that employer.
The Fellowship programme is being run by the Government Digital Service (Cabinet Office) in partnership with the No.10 Data Science Team and Office for Talent in the Prime Minister’s Office.
The Fellowships will not automatically lead to permanent Civil Service roles but we hope many Fellows will be inspired to apply for senior leadership roles in government at the end of their Fellowship.
The Fellowship selection process will take place in the new year, with fellows starting from May 2021 onwards.
All Fellowship placements will be based in Bristol, London or Manchester, although some additional travel may be required to other UK-based offices operated by host departments. Please check individual project descriptions for further details. You will also be invited to attend centrally run events in London and/or elsewhere in the UK.
All Fellows are expected to be based in the UK for the duration of their Fellowship. You will be given a dedicated work space in your host department either in or near Bristol, London or Manchester. Depending on the nature of the project, you may be able to discuss flexible working arrangements with your host department once offered the role.
Each Fellowship placement is sponsored by a senior decision maker within host departments. This may be a Minister, Permanent Secretary, Director General, Chief Scientific Adviser, or Chief Digital and Information Officer.
Each Fellowship cohort will also have opportunities to showcase their projects to senior officials at 10 Downing Street and in the Government Digital Service. The Fellowship Team will organise a series of events throughout the year, allowing Fellows to meet a wide variety of government stakeholders.
At this time all of our positions are full time roles due to the critical and urgent nature of the work. However, you may be able to agree flexible working arrangements, such as compressed hours, with your host department once you are offered the role.
For exceptional candidates we are willing to explore a secondment arrangement. If you join us on a secondment you would continue to be employed by your existing employer and your continuous employment would be unaffected. Your salary and benefits would remain unchanged and would continue to be paid by your existing employer, with your employer releasing you for a minimum of a year to work with us.
Any secondment offer would be subject to your existing employer agreeing the terms of your secondment agreement and the satisfactory receipt of pre-employment screening checks. The scheme would look to reimburse your existing employer the cost of your salary within SCS pay band 1.
The Civil Service is committed to becoming the most inclusive employer in the UK. We are committed to understanding, respecting and representing as broad a range of views and backgrounds as we have in UK society. We know that diverse perspectives and experiences are critical to an effective, modern Civil Service.
Our passion for diversity and equality means creating a work environment for all employees that is welcoming, respectful, engaging, and enriched with opportunities for personal and professional development. We are also a Disability Confident employer and part of the “A great place to work for Veterans” scheme. We offer a guaranteed interview for applicants who opt in to either scheme and meet the essential criteria for the role.
The No.10 Innovation Fellowship aims to recruit individuals from a range of different backgrounds and provide every candidate with equal opportunities. If you require adjustments to allow you to complete the assessment process, you will be given the opportunity to indicate this when you apply and we will arrange this for you.
If you are successful in your application, your host department will work closely with you to ensure any reasonable workplace adjustments are in place.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given real urgency to challenges around digitising public services. Fellows are needed now more than ever. We are committed to the timetable set out on this site. The Fellowships Team will prioritise health, safety, and wellbeing when running the recruitment process and inducting new Fellows. Working arrangements will reflect the latest public health guidelines.
You are eligible to apply for the No.10 fellowship if you satisfy both the Nationality requirements (A) and Right to work/Immigration requirements (B).
A) Nationality requirements (Civil Service Nationality Rules)
You are eligible to apply if you are a:
You must be a British citizen to apply for some posts, particularly those related to security and intelligence. Where this is the case these projects will be clearly marked.
Nationality requirements are explained in more detail in the Civil Service nationality rules.
If you don’t meet the nationality requirements we may consider a secondment agreement with your current employer subject to conditions being met. So, we encourage you to reach out to us first on: no10InnovationFellowship@digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk
B) Right to work / Immigration requirements
You must have the right to work in the United Kingdom and meet the Immigration and Visa requirements. Further details can be found on the Gov.uk Visas and Immigration page.
Please note that the Fellowship Team is unable to offer advice on Visa and Immigration cases to applicants. The Fellowship Programme does not sponsor visas.
We do not offer a relocation package. Candidates should be within a commuting distance of their chosen project (either London, Bristol or Manchester).
You can register your interest for the Fellowships on this page – you will then be notified when applications open in the new year.