About the programme

Our internships are a super way to gain hands-on experience, carrying out practical projects in the real world. It’s a great way to find out about a rapidly advancing area of science, meet fellow interns, looks superb on a CV – and can open doors to new opportunities. Our alumni go on to a range of careers including academia, additional internships and roles within health data and wider data science fields.

We are tackling underrepresentation of Black people within the health data science sector by providing you with an opportunity to expand your knowledge and gain the experience you need to kickstart, or advance, your health data science career.

What we offer

  • 8-week paid internship (London Living Wage £13.15/hour)
  • A laptop for duration of internship if required
  • Opportunities across sectors in health data
  • A real world data project developed by our host organisations
  • Exclusive training activities every Friday afternoon
  • Opportunity to join the wider 10,000 Black Interns community
  • Customised learning pathway within HDR UK Futures
  • Mentor and line manager
  • Team technical challenge and prize giving
  • Certificate recognising intern achievements
  • In-person networking with other interns and host orgs
  • Ongoing career support post-programme from HDR UK Alumni Network
  • Opportunity to shape next year's programme

Is this the internship for you?

Hear from our former interns Eghosa and Felix, hosts of the Applicant Open Day:


There is no prior experience, academic grade or coding requirement for this programme. Our internships for summer 2024 are open to all Black people who are:

  • Current students at a UK university at any level (undergraduate, post grad diploma, Master’s, PhD or returning student)
  • Recently graduated from a UK university (2022 and 2023)
  • International students currently registered at a UK university
  • Of any academic background, but is ideally suited to individuals with a degree in maths, physics, engineering or computer / data sciences, and bioinformatics-allied subjects.

All applicants must have the Right to Work in the UK. Visas cannot be provided to any candidate on the programme.

Whilst we are delighted our alumni often want to return to this internship, we are only offering this opportunity to those who are new to the programme and health data research, to maximise the benefit they receive from the wider training programme. To find out about upcoming HDR UK Training opportunities, please sign up to our newsletter here.

Interested in joining us for summer 2025? Register below to be notified when we open for applications

Application and internship dates

Applications for the 2024 programme are now closed.

Applications open: Friday 10 November 2023 – Sunday 7 January 2024
Webinar to find out more about the programme: Thursday 26 October 2023
Application sifting will conclude: Friday 19 January 2024
Interview windows with host organisations: Monday 5 February – Friday 22 March 2024

The internship will be for 8-weeks on the following dates:

Internships: Monday 1 July – Friday 23 August 2024
Minimum working week: 35-40 hours (full-time), 20 hours (part-time)
Opening ceremony: Thursday 20 June 2024
Closing ceremony: Thursday 29 August 2024

Application form

There are two stages of application to us and both need to be completed within the deadline for your application to be eligible for the programme.

Stage 1) Through our Applied portal, where you will be asked about the following:

  • Your eligibility to work in the UK
  • An up-to-date CV
  • Three personal-statement style questions on your experiences, skills and motivation

Please ensure that your details (phone, email, university name, course name and dates) are up-to-date.

Stage 2) After your application has been successfully screened, we will invite you to provide the following on Microsoft Forms:

  • Your contact details (name, email address, phone number)
  • Preferred internship location in the UK
  • Part-time or full-time internship preferences
  • Any reasonable adjustments you may require for interview
  • If you are open to internships that are longer than 8 weeks
  • Your subject area and skills

We will also invite you to complete the PAYE starter checklist.

Applying via 10,000 Black Interns

We are proud to be collaborating with 10,000 Black Interns on our programme.

Any candidates applying for an internship with us via the 10,000 Black Interns Pinpoint recruitment system will be directed to complete our Applied application process.

Recruitment process

Application process for Black Internship Programme Application submitted. Application screen for eligibility. Application answered are sifted by HDR UK staff and advisory group members blindly. Application is sent to a host organisation. Host organisation invites you to interview. Offer. Induction to host organisation and HDR UK

After the interview window has concluded, we will be in contact with unsuccessful candidates to let them know that they did not secure an internship with us for 2024. Those who pass the sifting process and do not reach interview will receive feedback on their personal statement-style answers. All candidates who complete an interview within our scheme can receive feedback, regardless of outcome.

Selection criteria

We don’t expect you to have developed all these skills just yet or have previous experience, but some of the skills you should have include:

  • Sound quantitative skills and the ability to conduct analysis using data.
  • Competent pattern recognition and predictive modelling skills.
  • Passion for solving health data problems, no matter how big or small; and are strongly motivated to get things done.
  • Appreciation for our mission as the UK’s national institute for health data science to unite the UK’s health data to enable discoveries that improve people’s lives, and balance this with a collaborative mindset to prioritise your work.
  • Confidence in your verbal communication and presentation skills.
  • An interest and willingness to learn and develop new skills within data.

We will look for these primarily in the answers you give to the personal statement-style questions in your application to us.

A diverse and inclusive culture

We aim to accommodate specific needs and personal circumstances. Please make us aware of individual circumstances when applying or contact us directly at blackinternprog@hdruk.ac.uk.

If you have questions or require adjustments to the application process, please contact us via email or telephone (+44 (0)770 847 8846).

Our previous interns' experiences

Some of our previous host organisations

Could your organisation host an intern?

Visit our partnerships page to learn more.

Other info

  • Diversity data from across the health sector shows that in comparison to the wider UK population, Black People are severely underrepresented in STEM roles – and in particular health data science.  As part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion we wanted to address this issue head on and in 2020 we made a commitment to create an internship programme that would offer early career Black scientists the opportunity to participate in a paid internship programme and give them access to training and networking opportunities. The HDR UK Black Internship Programme was set up working in collaboration with the wider 10,000 Black Interns programme.

    You can read more about the aims the 10,000 Black Interns programme here and more on the widely reported challenges around under representation of Black People within STEM and health data science in some of the listed articles here and here.

    The programme uses the principles of positive action as set out within the Equality Act 2010.  It is not unlawful discrimination to take proportionate, specific action aimed at alleviating disadvantage or underrepresentation experienced by groups who share any protected characteristics.

    Providing internships, work placements and access to training are all accepted forms of taking proportionate positive action to address the 3 areas identified above.  The EHRC also recommends internships as a form of positive action in its guidance to employers here.

    Interns who go on to apply for employment or further educational opportunities following the Black Internship Programme are subject to an individual organisation’s standard recruitment or application process and are not given any preferential treatment.

  • We advertise nationally and through a range of avenues to reach Black students and recent graduates from universities across the UK.

    60% of our interns are women. Our interns have a range of subject background expertise and are based all across the UK, in different universities – in 2023, 62% of our interns were from non-Russell Group universities – and at different career stages (undergraduate, early career, PhD, post-PhD, returning students, working professionals).

  • We work with a range of host organisation partners who are based across the UK. We work hard to match host organisation requirements on a range of internships (in-person, online or hybrid) with local interns.

    Interns must have the Right to Work in the UK for July-August 2024 and be based in the UK throughout their internship. This also applies to remote-based internships.

  • We understand that circumstances change and for different reasons.

    Please let us know by sending us a short email to blackinternprog@hdruk.ac.uk and we can update your application status. Providing you meet our eligibility requirements, we’d love to welcome you to apply to our programme for summer 2025.

  • This programme will typically be for eight weeks and between July and August 2024. Candidates looking for longer placements or subject-specific areas should speak to their university course tutors.