The two organisations will combine their expertise to deliver the NIHR/HDR UK Incubator in Health Data Science – a programme that will, for the first time, support a mix of clinical and non-clinical researchers from across the UK who are interested in developing a career in this exciting field.

Health data science is a multidisciplinary field that draws on ideas from statistical, computational and health science and is an area that is growing in popularity. Creating a cadre of experts in health data science will be important in achieving the government’s ambition to put the UK at the forefront of using data to make lasting improvements to the health of the public.

Currently, most early career researchers working in health data science have few opportunities to connect with colleagues in a similar field.  The Incubator will provide a supportive environment for these researchers to come together, build networks and work collaboratively on real-world projects.  It will offer mentorship schemes, leadership opportunities, access to bespoke interdisciplinary training resources, as well as a regular programme of events and workshops.

Joining the Incubator will be HDR UK’s 46 UKRI Innovation and Rutherford fellows alongside NIHR Academy members identified as working in health data science.

This incubator will aim to develop research capacity in the science of large-scale healthcare and biomedical data sets, including their generation, management, analysis, interpretation and communication of results.

Its aims are: to stimulate and inspire those working in the field of health data science to pursue research careers; to enhance the opportunities for those pursuing research careers through better sign-posting of career support activities including mentorship and leadership programmes; and to share best practice regarding support programmes.

Professor Peter Diggle, Director of Training at Health Data Research UK, said:

“The UK health sector’s increasing need for data scientists far exceeds the current supply. To address this shortage, we need not only to increase the number of trained entrants to a career in health data science, but also to build data science skills in existing health practitioners. Working in partnership with NIHR, and the incubator programme in particular, is a key step towards our shared goals.”

For further information about our training and talent programmes, visit our webpage here.