This high-profile session is back by popular demand. Speakers will be shortlisted by an independent panel and will be invited to provide a as a 4-minute lightning talk at the HDR UK Scientific Conference, 14th December. There will be a prize (and kudos!) for the best talk on the day – as voted by the audience. 


Early Career Researchers: We loosely define Early Career Researchers as those within the first eight (full time equivalent) years of their career (including post-graduate training, if relevant). We will take a flexible and inclusive approach to this calculation, taking into consideration career breaks, non-linear career paths, non-academic career paths, etc.  


Six abstracts will be selected by a panel of experts, whose decisions will be primarily based on scientific and/or technical quality reflected in the submitted application, as well as alignment to HDR UK’s mission including quality of Public and Patient involvement and engagement. The panel will also aim for broad geographic representation, consider overall diversity of speakers and coverage of HDR UK National Priorities (Better Care, Understanding the Causes of Disease, Improving Public Health, Clinical Trials, Applied Analytics, The Human Phenome). Selected speakers will be informed at least four weeks before the conference. 

Selection Criteria 

We are looking for high impact, innovative exemplars of recent outputs and new insights, that contribute to delivery of HDR UK’s mission and align with our organisation ethos (research quality, team science, scale, open science, patient and public involvement, and equality, diversity and inclusion). 

Applications are open to Early Career Researchers from the HDR UK community and beyond.  

We particularly welcome applications on the following themes: 

  • Research, tools, or discoveries demonstrating how health data science can be harnessed to transform global health and society, with a focus on making sure no groups are excluded from these data-driven improvements  

Research, tools, or discoveries contributing to the rapid progress made in health science and data infrastructure as a result of COVID-19, and applications in the post-pandemic health data science landscape  

Research, tools, and discoveries with a focus on bringing together members of the scientific community, industry and patients and the public to provide opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing.   

In your application, please provide clear evidence of several of the following selection criteria: 

  • Scientific/technical quality and practical applications 
  • Alignment and relevance to HDR UK’s mission – Uniting the UK’s health data to enable discoveries that improve people’s lives 
  • Involvement and engagement of patients/service users, carers and the public at each appropriate stage of the research project life cycle 
  • Evidence of recent impact e.g. contributing to improving healthcare and patient benefit  

Where all else is equal, the committee will also seek to ensure broad geographic representation, overall diversity and representation of HDR UK and non-HDR UK research amongst the speakers.  

Selection committee 

Utkarsh Agrawal,  Oxford University (Chair)

Breeshey Roskams-Hieter, University of Edinburgh

Chris Monk (Public and Patient Representative)

Lynn Laidlaw (Public and Patient Representative)

Rebecca Bendayan, Kings College London

Rhoswyn Walker, HDR UK

Vijay Kumar Mishra, Public Health Foundation of India


Lightning talk – on the day 

The talks will be 4 minutes long and should be illustrated with a single static slide. As the conference is hybrid, talks may be presented online or in-person.  The audience will vote on the winning talk on the day. 


  • Engraved glass trophy
  • 1 half-day professional training session of choice including consultation and follow-up with HDR UK’s Learning and Development Manager
  • RocketBook(s)
  • Blogposts will be developed with all speakers invited to present at the conference.  The articles will be published on the HDR UK website, included in conference communication material and provide an overview of the shortlisted research.  


27/02/22 Open for applications 

23/09/22, 17:00hr GMT Deadline for applications 

02/11/22 Selected applicants announced 

13/12/22 Pre-conference dinner – selected applicants are invited to attend 

14/12/22 Live-voting takes place and winner announced at HDR UK Scientific Conference