About the program

Ontario is on its way to becoming a world-leading digital jurisdiction. Our Digital and Data Innovation Fellowship Program is helping us forge that path by inviting Ontario’s best digital and data practitioners to work on transformational digital projects.

The program will match successful fellows with the right projects for their skill sets and integrate them into existing government teams.

We are looking for 6 to 10 fellows, who will take a leave of absence from their current workplace and join a government team for about six months, starting in February 2022. This time period may shift depending on project needs or fellow availability. Fellows will work remotely, with the possibility of occasionally coming into an office.

Fellows will remain employees of their organization, but we will pay a portion of their salary (up to $140,000 per year, prorated to fellowship length) while they are working with us.

Benefits for organizations and their talent

Fellows will have the opportunity to deliver the type of high-impact digital and data projects that are only possible in government and tackle important and unique public-sector challenges. They will:

  • learn how the government works
  • make valuable contacts
  • work directly with ministry decision makers
  • coach and mentor team members
  • contribute to meaningful work that will positively impact Ontarians and Ontario businesses
  • experience how the Digital Service Standard is changing how we deliver services

The Digital Fellows team at the Ontario Digital Service will support fellows with:

  • comprehensive government orientation and onboarding
  • regular check ins
  • regular access to program executive sponsors
  • opportunities to network with government digital practitioners and other fellows

Our ideal partners and skill sets

We’re looking for expert practitioners from digital and data organizations operating in Ontario. Our ideal fellows have seasoned technical, Agile and design skills and probably have titles like:

  • DevOps Engineer
  • Senior Backend Developer
  • Product Manager
  • User Experience Designer
  • Service Designer
  • Data Specialist

You can find position descriptions on our digital jobs page, but these are just examples. What will matter most is a nominee’s fit with the projects seeking fellows.

How we evaluated potential projects

We evaluated many projects across ministries against several key criteria, including:

  1. the project must have a significant impact for Ontarians or Ontario businesses and an existing multidisciplinary team structure
  2. the fellows need to have meaningful work during their placement period on a project that has high-level executive support
  3. the project’s program area and broader ministry must foster an advanced digital culture and the project must be designed around user needs
  4. the requesting ministry must have a clear sense of the tangible and measurable impact the fellows will have on the project and a plan to onboard and support the fellows and ensure they are well integrated with the team

The projects we chose

We determined these four projects to be the best match for digital fellows:

  1. The Courts Digital Transformation Initiative (Ministry of the Attorney General) will deliver digital access to courts. Fellows requested:
    • Product Manager
    • Data Specialist
  2. The Service Modernization Project (Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry) will create new digital services for permits, licenses and authorizations. Fellows requested:
    • Service Designer
    • Product Manager
  3. The Digital Identity Program (Ontario Digital Service) will enable easier, more secure access to online services. Fellows requested:
    • Senior Backend Developer
    • DevOps Engineer
  4. The Compliance Modernization Project (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) will further enhance the ministry’s inspection and compliance programs, making them more client-focused and digital- and data-driven. Fellows requested:
    • User Experience Designer
    • Product Manager

How to apply and selection process

Update: The application period for the 2022 Digital and Data Innovation Fellowship Program is now closed. The program was open to organizations operating in Ontario who followed a two-stage selection process.

Stage 1 – Tell us about your organization and the fellow

Fill out our application and tell us about your organization and the fellow you are nominating for the Digital and Data Innovation Fellowship Program.

The deadline for applications was December 17, 2021.

Stage 2 – Interviewing prospective fellows

We will invite organizations and nominated fellows that pass Stage 1 to an interview where we will further assess the nominee’s digital skill set and fit for one of our projects.

We hope to let organizations know if their fellow was matched with a project by mid-December.


If you have any questions about the Digital and Data Innovation Fellowship Program, or want to receive updates about possible future calls for fellows, please send us an email.