Supporters and alumni of HDR UK’s highly successful Black Internship Programme are invited to take part in this year’s opening ceremony.

The programme (which this year runs from 3 July to 25 August) is transforming the prospects of talented Black health data scientists in the UK by providing opportunities to flourish in STEM careers.

The event takes place on 21 June at (and is supported by) the Birmingham City University, just a short walk from Birmingham New Street station. Places are free but need to be reserved in advance.

It will be an opportunity for the 2023 cohort to meet, network and hear from a series of inspirational figures from the world of science including Professor Jason Arday. HDR UK would also welcome past, present and potential host organisations and supporters to attend as well as alumni from previous years.

Prof. Arday is a sociologist, writer and fundraiser best known for his research on race and racism. In March 2023, he became the youngest Black person ever appointed to a professorship at Cambridge. His research interests and publications in intersecting areas across education, social mobility, mental health and race. He has conducted research into Black students’ experiences across universities and the enduring effects of racial discrimination.

Prof. Arday will talk about pursuing your passions, challenging convention, and striving for excellence.

The event will be hosted by Nadia Blocker a former intern and Imperial College London master’s student. Guests and speakers will include:

Alison Hopkinson, Chief Operating Officer, HDR UK will provide the welcome.

A key part of the event will be a panel discussion looking at Fast Track Your Career: Strategies for Accelerating Success. There will also be entertainment from the Black Voices Choir, Europe’s finest female a cappella quintet, who have performed at many high profile events, including the Commonwealth Games.


  • 12:00 Buffet lunch and networking
  • 12:45 Introduction and housekeeping Nadia Blocker
  • 12:50 Black Voices Choir
  • 13:20 Welcome to HDR UK, Alison Hopkinson, Chief Operating Officer, HDR UK
  • 13:35 Welcome to the Health Data Science Black Internship Programme, Martin Levermore MBE, Chair of the Black Internship Programme Advisory Group
  • 13:45 Pursuing your passions, challenging convention, and striving for excellence Professor Jason Arday, University of Cambridge
  • 14:30 Break and networking
  • 14:45 Panel Discussion: Kafayat Adeoye, Saheed Adeyanju, Matthew Chisambi, Martin Levermore. Chaired by Nadia Blocker
  • 15:30 Break and networking
  • 15:45 The HDR UK Health Data Technical Challenge, Lars Murdock, Data Scientist BHF Data Science Centre
  • 16:00 Closing remarks Nadia Blocker and Professor Louise Toner, Birmingham City University
  • 16:20 Drinks – group networking