News Release

Renowned sociologist and Black Voices Quintet set to dazzle at HDR UK’s Black Internship Programme Opening Ceremony 2023

Business Announcement

Health Data Research UK

Some of the Black Internship Programme Cohort 2023

image: Some of the Black Internship Programme Cohort 2023 view more 

Credit: HDR UK

Contact: Clare Leahy 07748016062

Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) is launching its Health Data Science Black Internship Programme for the third year running at its Opening Ceremony on Wednesday 21 June from 12-5pm at the Curzon Building in Birmingham City University.

The programme, run in partnership with the UK Health Data Research Alliance and 10,000 Black Interns is helping to tackle the underrepresentation of Black people within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers by providing opportunities for them to work on health data science projects within some of the UK’s leading health, research and academic organisations - as covered in three BBC radio interviews in 2023.

The UK has an urgent need for new health data scientists in this rapidly expanding field which has the potential to transform the future of health and care for all. A report commissioned by The Royal Society states that for the years spanning 2007/08 to 2018/19, just 3.5% of Black STEM academic staff held a professor post compared to 6.6% of Asian staff and 11.9% of White staff.

Renowned sociologist and youngest Black Cambridge Prof Jason Arday, 37, who is a highly respected scholar of race, inequality and education, will talk about overcoming challenges such as his diagnosis of global development delay aged three and autism spectrum disorder, and not learning to speak until he was 11.

Attendees including internshost organisations, press and the programme’s advisory board, will also be serenaded by the Commonwealth Games choir Black Voices led by Carol Pemberton MBE.

The Black Internship Programme is just one of HDR UK’s initiatives that supports our belief that health data science should be as effective as possible in serving and reflecting the needs of the entire UK population.

From Monday 3 July 2023, an impressive 95 interns will start their eight-week placement with 54 host organisations.

Christianah Ajala, intern with the Health Informatics Centre, University of Dundee, says:

"This programme has given me an opportunity to put my theory to use, get hands-on experience with real-world health data, and work with experts to provide better health solutions. I'm excited to get started!"

Louis MacGregor Head of Data Insights, The Brain Tumour Charity says:

“We are so excited to be part of HDR UK's Black Internship Programme for 2023. We're very impressed by the calibre of the applicants sent through to us!”

Tammy Palmer, Head of People, Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) says:

"We are thrilled to welcome this year's cohort of talented Interns to the programme which is going from strength to strength. It is incredibly exciting for us to once again be supporting the next generation of health data scientists. A huge thank you to all of our Host Organisations for their support and commitment to helping ensure the programme's success again this year."

The success of the programme is not only in the number of host organisations offering placements but in the growing number of interns who go on to secure jobs in this field.

Although HDR UK really came into its own at the start of the pandemic, it has continued to build its reputation enabling a variety of research projects.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, the UK government’s Chief Medical Adviser and head of the public health profession, Chris Whitty, said “Thank you, without HDR UK’s work a lot of what we have achieved this year during COVID would not have been possible.”

The interns will not only learn about health data science in action but will also carry out their own clearly defined research projects.

The confirmed organisations include among others: 

Alan Turing Institute

Big Data Institute

British Heart Foundation

Brain Tumour Charity

British Red Cross

Bupa Healthcare

Cancer Research

Child Health UCL

Cystic Fibrosis Trust


Department for Health and Social Care

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust


Faculty of Health & Life Sciences, University of Exeter

Franklin Institute

Genomics England 

HDR UK Gateway

Health Informatics Centre, University of Dundee


Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Institute of Healthcare Engineering at UCL

London North West, NHS Trust

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine 

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust 

Medical Schools Council

MLC at MRC Harwell


NHS Elect

NHS England

NHS National Services Scotland


NIHR BioResource


Nuffield Trust 


Our Future Health 


Picker Institute

Public Health Scotland 

The Health Foundation 

UCL Partners



University of Birmingham

University of Bristol

University of Cambridge

University of Edinburgh

University of Exeter

University of Leicester 

University of Manchester / The Christie NHS

University of Nottingham

University of Swansea

Wellcome Connecting Science

Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute


HDR UK’s Black Internship Programme is aimed at Black people who are either studying an undergraduate degree or who have recently graduated from any UK university.

Expressions of interest from interns and host organisations are now being accepted for the class of 2024. More information here.


About Health Data Research UK  

Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) is the national institute for health data science. HDR UK’s mission is to unite the UK’s health data to enable discoveries that improve people’s lives. HDR UK is funded by UK Research and Innovation, the Department of Health and Social Care  in England and equivalents in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and leading medical research charities.         






Note to editors 

For more information, please contact Clare Leahy Projects Comms Lead at HDR UK on or 07748016062                                                                                   

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