Ambassador Schemes#




Skill Level


Managing a New Community and Team



This chapter has lots of useful tips around managing a new community which can apply to ambassador schemes

Organising Coworking Calls or Meetings and Chairing Events



These chapters may be useful if you are planning to host events and/or co-working during an ambassador scheme

Tools for Collaboration



This chapter gives a useful overview of collaboration tools which can be deployed in an ambassador scheme


Ambassador schemes are growing in prevalence in data science settings. In academic and related organisations, they are programmes that allow external researchers to develop skills or small projects and become part of that organisation’s community. Often these schemes focus on supporting early career researchers.

To be successful, these schemes require careful planning and consideration to ensure participants engage with the scheme, feel supported and also that the scheme is mutually beneficial. Ambassadors may receive training or mentorship to effectively carry out their responsibilities. Ambassadors often play a crucial role in building positive relationships and conveying the values and strengths of the community they have joined within their own organisations and other related communities.

We recognise that the term ‘ambassador scheme’ does not have one definition and can span more widely, such as a ‘brand ambassador’ in corporate settings, so we are using the term ‘ambassador scheme’ as defined above for the purposes of this chapter. We also are aware that these schemes can have a number of synonyms such as fellow, scholar, champion, but for this chapter we will be using the term ambassador.

Motivation and Background#

An increasing number of data science related organisations, such as the Software Sustainability Institute, ELIXIR and Women in Data Science Worldwide have developed and launched successful schemes of this nature. The Turing-Roche Partnership launched its Community Scholar Scheme in September 2023 and the team wanted to share their experiences and learnings from developing and running this scheme in the Turing Way as well as hearing from others. We hope this chapter will be a useful starting point for anyone looking to establish their own ambassador scheme.

Although there are often similar aspects to these schemes, they can vary widely in practice and we would encourage anyone who runs or has been part of one of these schemes to contribute a case study to this chapter on their experiences.