As one of HDR UK’s 2022 Black Interns, Phinehas Arkorful was especially inspired by the Friday afternoon cohort-building sessions that allowed him to meet other programme members across the country.

The Teeside University Applied Data Science MSc student has now joined James Godwin, a PhD student at the University of York, as joint co-ordinator of the HDR UK Alumni Network. It’s something he believes will take the kind of benefits offered by the Friday afternoon events to a whole new level.

He sees the Alumni Network as potentially invaluable for early career health data scientists, allowing them to connect with each other to gain insights, get advice, answer questions, form new collaborations and identify career and research opportunities. It is open to anyone who has been involved in an HDR UK training and education programme – whether it’s an internship, and apprenticeship or a degree.

Phinehas said: “During the Friday sessions I saw how much the interns loved to interact freely, so I took the initiative and started a WhatsApp group and encouraged all my co-interns to join.

“The Alumni Network is a chance to take this to another level and bring people together to talk and exchange ideas and to get advice. Or maybe they need some training or some support. One of the big things for me is mentorship – I hope very much that it will create opportunities for mentorship. We can do these things if we create a pool of health data scientists who want to work together.”

The Black Internship has strong influenced Phinehas’ ambitions for the future (read a Q&A with him here) and his host organisation, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute at the University of Cambridge, has extended his time with them. He now hopes to have a career in diabetes or cancer research, while using the Alumni Network to extend his skills and network.

Right now the community’s activity is largely on LinkedIn and it’s primarily a place to find out about jobs but the two co-ordinators hope to see it develop rapidly in the months ahead.

  • To find out more email or visit the LinkedIn page here.