Today, 1 December 2020, Health Data Research UK and 20 of its partners across the UK, announce the launch of an internship programme for Black health data scientists starting in summer 2021.  This will give paid work experience to future Black data scientists; a group currently under-represented within the health data research community.

Health Data Research UK is working in partnership with the 10,000 Black Interns initiative. Since its launch in 2020, this programme has gained huge support, with 200 companies across 15 sectors offering internships to Black students in the United Kingdom. Health Data Research UK and our partners are working to build the next generation of health data scientists, and with this programme we will be helping to ensure that health data science becomes a more inclusive career prospect.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the disparity of COVID-19 infections and its effects on different ethnic groups. In order to address discrepancies in representation in health data cohorts, we must ensure that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are included in in the communities conducting research. This initiative will help to create better representation within the health data science communities by creating more opportunities for those groups to be involved in this vital work.

Students will be encouraged to apply for the six-week programme at one of 20 leading UK health research and NHS organisations within the HDR UK community, where they will have  paid experience of working within data science whilst also bringing new perspectives to the work already being done by their host institutes. The programme is aimed at either people in their final year or about to commence their final year at university (undergraduate or graduate) at any university across the United Kingdom

Those hosting interns, will be organisations from across the UK Health Data Research Alliance, and spanning a wide array of areas from charities to biobanks. These include University of Cambridge, the Brain Tumour Charity, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and UCL.

Professor Martin Levermore MBE DL, Executive Board Member of the PIONEER Data Hub, commented:

“With an ever increasing aging population, the need for better patient equity and democracy the Health Data Scientist (HDS) is becoming a significant and mission critical role within the health sector. Health data science is revolutionizing the way AI, Robotics and Pharmaceuticals are gaining faster access into global markets”.


Caroline Cake, CEO at Health Data Research UK, said:

“Great health data science needs health data scientists who represent all of us. We want to increase the presence of black people in health data science, and to bring their experience, perspectives and talents to our sector. We’re delighted to be launching this important initiative today in partnership with 10000 Black Interns and the UK Health Data Research Alliance.”

We are excited about welcoming these interns to the field of health data science and about the new insights, perspectives, skills and ideas that they will bring.

Find out more details, including how to apply, on the website here