Applications are now closed

We would like to invite applications from Early Career Researchers to present your health data research at HDR UK’s Scientific Conference, 23rd June 2021. 

This high-profile session is back by popular demand. Speakers will be shortlisted by an independent panel and will be invited to provide a as a 4-minute lightning talk at the HDR UK Scientific Conference, 23rd June. There will be a prize (and kudos!) for the best talk on the day – as voted by the audience. 


Early Career Researchers from the HDR UK community and beyond are invited to apply to showcase their work in a 4 min lightning talk at HDR UK’s Scientific Conference.

Applications are now closed  

Applicants are asked to submit the following information: 

  • Technical abstract (250 words) 
  • Lay summary (250 words) 
  • Statement of why your work should be chosen to feature in a lightning talk at HDR UK’s Scientific Conference (250 words) 


Early Career ResearchersWe loosely define Early Career Researchers as those within the first eight (full time equivalent) years of their career (including post-graduate training, if relevant). We will take a flexible and inclusive approach to this calculation, taking into consideration career breaks, non-linear career paths, and non-academic career paths.  


Six abstracts will be selected by a panel of experts, whose decisions will be primarily based on scientific and/or technical quality reflected in the submitted application, as well as alignment to HDR UK’s mission. The panel will also aim for broad geographic representationconsider overall diversity of speakers and coverage of HDR UK National Priorities (Better Care, Understanding the Causes of Disease, Improving Public Health, Clinical Trials, Applied Analytics, The Human Phenome). Selected speakers will be informed at least three weeks before the conference. 

Selection Criteria

We are looking for high impact, innovative exemplars of recent outputs and new insights, that contribute to delivery of HDR UK’s mission and align with our organisation ethos (research quality, team science, scale, open science, patient and public involvement, and equality, diversity and inclusion). 

Applications are open to Early Career Researchers from the HDR UK community and beyond 

We particularly welcome applications on the following themes: 

  • Research addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and demonstrating how health data science been transformed and harnessed new opportunities. 
  • Research with a focused plan for public and patient understanding and involvement. 
  • Research demonstrating the value of integrating health data with other data forms addressing interoperability challenge. 
  • Research addressing reproducibility in health data research. 
  • Research addressing inequalities and illustrating impact on different groups of society.  
  • Tools and discoveries that improve health data science and patient care. 

In your application, please provide clear evidence of several of the following selection criteria: 

  • Scientific/technical quality and practical applications 
  • Alignment and relevance to HDR UK’s mission – Uniting the UK’s health data to enable discoveries that improve people’s lives 
  • Evidence of recent impact e.g. contributing to improving healthcare and patient benefit  

Where all else is equal, the committee will also seek to ensure broad geographic representationoverall diversity and representation of HDR UK and non-HDR UK research amongst the speakers.  

Selection committee

Panel membership is as follows: 

  • Fatemeh Torabi (Chair), Swansea University, HDR UK Wales/ Northern Ireland 
  • Aiden Doherty, University of Oxford, HDR UK Oxford 
  • Nicky Best, GSK 
  • Alice Turnbull, HDR UK central  
  • Rosanna Fennessey (public representative) 
  • Chris Monk (public representative) 

Lightning talk – on the day 

The talks will be 4 minutes long and should be illustrated with a single static slide. As the Conference will be entirely online, lightning talks will be delivered by Zoom. The audience will vote on the winning talk on the day. 



A trophy will be awarded to the winning talk


The winning talk will receive:

  • A professional virtual training session of choice in team building, leadership skills, resilience, or personal well-being delivered by a highly experience trainer – in addition to a tailored consultation and follow-up with HDR UK’s Learning and Development Manager.
  • A mentoring session from a choice of HDR UK Executive Committee Members including Cathie Sudlow (linked health data, research, and academia), Melissa Lewis-Brown (science strategy, funding, and impact), and Gerry Reilly (technical collaboration, open source software, technical career development).


The top 5 talks will have a professionally written case study featured on HDR UK’s website and promoted on our social media channels.

Blogposts will be developed with all speakers invited to present at the Scientific Conference.  The articles will be published on the HDR UK website, included in conference communication material and provide an overview of the shortlisted research.  


  • 08/04/21 Open for applications 
  • 17/05/21, 23:59hr BST Deadline for applications 
  • 01/06/21 Selected applicants announced 
  • 23/06/21 Live-voting takes place and winner announced at HDR UK Scientific Conference 

 Don’t forget to register your place at the conference