• Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) are leading by example in the health data science industry through their response to the issue that Black people are heavily underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) community.
  • HDR UK and partners have recruited an impressive 54 interns to join this year’s Black internship programme thanks to the partnerships that form the HDR UK co-ordinated UK Health Data Research Alliance (HDR Alliance).
  • The programme will commence in the summer of 2021, providing paid work experience to future Black data scientists as they work with 25 of HDR UK’s partner organisations.

The need for Diversity in the STEM and Data Science Communities

The Black community are heavily underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) community, with only 65 Black and 310 mixed and other individuals making up the total of 10,560 science professors in the UK – as highlighted in The Guardian.

As the UK’s national institute for health data science, Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) and its partners are delighted to announce that they have recruited a total of 54 interns -over 30 being women- to join this year’s Black internship programme, commencing in the summer of 2021. The internship programme -in partnership with the 10,000 Black Interns initiative and the UK Health Data Research Alliance (HDR Alliance)– will provide paid work experience to future Black data scientists as they work at 25 of HDR UK’s partner organisations.

The Black Internship Programme

Through the Black internship programme, HDR UK hopes to help tackle the underrepresentation of Black people within the STEM community by transforming the prospects of and providing the opportunities for young Black people in the UK to flourish in their future STEM careers.

Maria Johnson, intern at HDR UK’s Hub for Respiratory Health BREATHE:
“I have a passion for science, technology and data; with this internship I hope to gain a real insight on what a data scientist does and their responsibilities. I want to see first-hand the importance of real-world data and how AI technology allows us to analyse it. I plan to use this experience to motivate me to achieve my goals which is to have a career within health data science and a direct impact within the healthcare sector.”


Katie Kissick, Chief Operating Officer at BREATHE: The HDR UK Hub for Respiratory Health:
“We’re delighted to have five talented interns joining the BREATHE team this summer, and look forward to providing them with experience of health data science in action. As a Hub, we’re pleased to be part of a programme which is supporting an inclusive next generation of health data scientists, to allow us to drive better health and care for all.”


Kundai Humphrey Danger, intern at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust:

“I have been assigned to work under Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, this an awesome environment that brings learning latest health data research approaches and technologies. My hopes and expectation is that this program will help me to develop and refine my skills. By the time I finish, I will be able to collaborate with health care and system teams to understand organizational needs and devise possible solutions.”


Caroline Cake, CEO at HDR UK:
“We are really looking forward to welcoming the 54 interns this summer to the exciting field of health data science. It is wonderful that so many opportunities have been created by organisations from the UK Health Data Research Alliance. I hope that for many of these interns, this will be the start of a long and successful career in health data science”.


Prof Martin Levermore, CEO at Medical Devices Technology International Ltd –MDTi:
“I am greatly pleased by the insight of HDR UK and the UK Health Data Alliance in establishing a tangible and practical pathway that taps into the appetites from, all sexes, within the black community that will cultivate future leaders and channel new ambitions.  The stats from the internship program speak for itself and the organisations supporting this initiative truly demonstrate their forward and proactive mindset that will keep UK PLC at the cutting edge of scientific discovery”.


HDR UK’s and HDR Alliance’s partner organisations hosting the interns:

BHF Data Science Centre, Big Data Institute (BDI), University of Oxford, Genomics England, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, HDR UK BREATHE Hub – Imperial College London, HDR UK BREATHE Hub – The University of Edinburgh, HDR UK BREATHE Hub – University of Leicester, DATA-CAN – hosted by UCL Partners, National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network, NIHR BioResource (for HDR UK IBD Hub, Gut Reaction), Swansea University, The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, The Digital Research Service, University of Nottingham, The Health Foundation, University College London, University of Birmingham/University Hospitals Birmingham, University of Cambridge, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Barts Health NHS Trust – Queen Mary University of London, The Brain Tumor charity, Bristol University – HDR UK Better Care Partnership, Benevolent AI, UCL Partners, Imperial College Partners, and The Rosalind Franklin Institute.


For media enquiries please contact media@hdruk.ac.uk and for internship enquiries please contact Tammy Palmer.