It feels like we are close to coming through the worst of COVID in this country, with daily fatalities seemingly on the decrease and lockdown beginning to ease. Technology, innovation and research efforts however are just as active and busy as ever, with teams working industriously to find treatments, safely collect and distribute patient samples for research and better understand COVID-19 and ways of combatting it, through the use of data at scale. The HDR UK community has pulled together to make discoveries that are helping to identify those most at risk, better plan health services and develop treatments to help in this epidemic. Important high-impact insights have been generated, as a result of some exemplar team-working, involving a diverse array of people, with many early career researchers, technologists and innovators taking on leading roles in the response to COVID-19.

Incredible teams

Teams have come together from all over the HDR UK community to combat this virus – bringing together the four nations of the UK, different sectors (academia, industry, NHS and the public), HDR UK Rutherford and UKRI Innovation Fellows, Health Data Research Hubs and from across our National Priorities. A pandemic of this magnitude and a situation of this urgency has spurred people to come together with a common purpose, including new groups of people who have not worked together before. Successful collaborative endeavour is an art – that requires innovative and inclusive leadership, and a highly-functional, often interdisciplinary or intersectoral team, with members from a range of career stages. We know that by uniting health data we can help improve people’s lives. Our outstanding teams in the HDR UK community are contributing significantly to the HDR UK mission, often in spite of having come through challenging times together.

We would like to recognise and celebrate the many hardworking teams within the HDR UK community for their achievements in the last year – including but not limited to the response to COVID-19. As such we have launched a new competition, HDR UK Team of the Year. Nominate your own team, or another, by 4 June. Shortlisted teams will be celebrated prior to the announcement of the winning team at the One Institute event on 16 June. We are honoured that Dr Anne-Marie Coriat will chair the HDR UK Team of the Year selection committee and announce the winners on 16 June. As well as Head of UK/EU Research Landscape at Wellcome, Anne-Marie is Co-Chair of the Research on Research Institute, an organisation that recognises the vital role of collaboration and team science.

Impactful insights

HDR UK teams and individuals have generated impactful research and innovation in the institute’s lifetime so far. In this time of national hardship, mourning and accelerated research and innovation, we have launched a second competition – HDR UK Impact of the Year – to recognise and celebrate HDR UK’s most impactful work. The impact of the work in the HDR UK community is far reaching, ranging from improving clinical guidelines to public policy underpinned by the development of algorithms, new statistical methods for analysing big data, software and often carefully recorded in publications and pre-prints. All of these examples demonstrate how health data enabled work improves people’s lives and we want to showcase this through your nominations for Impact of the Year. We invite HDR UK members from across our community, which includes those employed by the NHS, companies, universities, research institutes etc and those sitting in technical teams, academic groups, NHS clinics etc, to nominate those key insights (including your own) that are having a positive impact on people’s lives

Early career contributions

As expected, the most seasoned quarters of our community have led the charge against COVID-19, initiating major research endeavours etc. Many early career contributors have stepped up to the mark and played a leading role in projects combatting COVID-19. Early career researchers, innovators and technologists play a critical role and underpin the majority if not all health data research, but are sometimes overshadowed by their seniors whose well-earned reputations precede them. We would like to shine a light on early career researchers, technologists and innovators within the HDR UK community, by inviting them to submit abstracts by 28 May to present a Lightning Talk at the One Institute event. Attendees will live-vote on the talks and the winner will be announced the same day. We are committed to being inclusive in our approach so whilst we define ‘early career’ as being within the first eight years of a postgraduate career (or equivalent alternative career path), please do approach us if you’d like to discuss your eligibility.

Prizes and selection committees

There is a selection committee for each award, and its members will be published on our website. We have an early career member and a public/patient representative on each committee, as well as the most experienced members of the community. The prizes will be announced soon.

For more information

Please see our relevant webpages for further information on all three awards – Team of the Year, Impact of the Year and the One Institute Lightning Talks.

Please nominate:

  • Teams (which can include your own) for Team of the Year by 4 June
  • Outputs (which can include your own), for Impact of the Year by 4 June.
  • Abstracts for Lightning Talks at the One Institute event from early career researchers, technologists and innovators by 28 May.