Run by Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) and the UK Health Data Research Alliance (the ‘Alliance’) in partnership with the 10,000 Black Interns initiative, the Health Data Science Black Internship Programme continues its exciting endeavour for early career Black data scientists who are currently heavily under-represented within the health data science world. The UK has an urgent need for new health data scientists. With the potential to transform the future of health and care for all, and we believe health data science should be as effective as possible in serving and reflecting the needs of the entire UK population.
Launched on 3rd July this year, the paid internship programme offers a high-quality, eight-week internship at one of HDR UK's host organisations, with the NIHR BioResource proud to be participating. The programme provides interns the opportunity to not only learn about health data science in action, but also to carry out their own clearly defined research projects. Interns will also be offered wider collaboration and networking as part of the programme.
Introducing our 2023 interns
After the success and hard work of our intake from 2022, we are very pleased to introduce this year’s interns: Obose Eselebor, a graduate of Computer Science and currently studying for her master's in Artificial Intelligence with Data Analytics at Teeside University and Olawale Ogundeji, a medical doctor with years of clinical experience and an MSc in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science.
As part of her internship at the NIHR BioResource, Obose has been working on a variety of projects that have allowed her to get some hands-on experience in health data science. Key tasks have included Extraction of Flat Tables from Text Files. Obese said that:
"My time at the BioResource has been incredibly enriching. I have gained a deeper understanding of data management and analysis techniques specific to the health sector.
"Moreover, I have developed strong teamwork and communication skills through collaborations with fellow interns, senior researchers and scientists.
"Overall, this experience has provided me with valuable insights into the intricacies of health daa science and its real-world applications.”
Obose states that her goal is to leverage her skills and knowledge to contribute to the development of data-driven solutions to improve healthcare outcomes and patient well-being. She wants to work on projects that bridge the gap between data analysis and clinical decision-making so that healthcare is more personalised and effective.
Olawale was actively searching for a programme that would provide him with hands-on experience in applying data science and machine learning techniques to health data during his MSc programme in AI and Data Science.
As part of his internship at the NIHR BioResource, Olawale said:
“I’ve gained invaluable experience and knowledge in health data science while honing essential skills such as working independently, teamwork, creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, and attention to detail. I've had the opportunity to work both independently and as part of a collaborative team, enhancing my ability to tackle complex problems effectively. I was also given a chance to demonstrate my technical skills in data analysis, machine learning, AI and data visualisation.
"This experience has encouraged creative thinking and critical analysis, which were crucial when working on projects like visualising patient event timelines and enriching publication data. Moreover, the internship sharpened my communication skills as I had to convey complex data findings and insights to diverse audiences.
"My time at BioResource has not only expanded my knowledge in health data science but has also shaped me into a well-rounded professional with a diverse skill set ready to contribute to impactful research outcomes.
"The primary project involves an exploratory analysis to establish connections between BioResource contributions and scientific publications. Its objective is to enrich and visualise BioResource's publication data, facilitating the characterisation and communication of research outcomes while supporting public engagement initiatives."
Throughout the project, Olawale has worked to hone his knowledge and skills in data science and develop a good understanding of health data to prepare him for an advanced degree in Artificial Intelligence for Healthcare research.
Why the HDR UK Black Internship Programme is so important?
We asked Obose and Olawale why the Black Internship Programme is important. They had this to say:
“The Black Internship Programme is critically important for several reasons:
Firstly, it provides an inclusive and equitable opportunity for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds like me to enter and excel in the healthcare and health data science fields.
Secondly, the program serves as a platform for mentorship and skill development, enabling talented individuals to acquire the expertise and confidence needed to thrive in their careers. It also helps break down barriers and challenges systemic biases that may exist within the industry.
Overall, the Black Internship Programme is a powerful step toward creating a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workforce in health data science, ultimately benefiting not only the individuals it supports but also the entire healthcare ecosystem.”
"The Black Internship Programme is crucial because it actively promotes diversity and inclusion within the field of health data research. It provides opportunities for underrepresented talent to enter and excel in a field where they are traditionally underrepresented.
"This not only benefits the individuals involved but also enriches the field by bringing in diverse perspectives and experiences, which are essential for addressing complex healthcare challenges. In essence, the program is a catalyst for innovation, equity, and positive change in healthcare research."
Aims of the Black Internship Programme and Discovering more
The aim of the HDR UK Black Internship Programme is focused on tackling the underrepresentation of Black people within the health data science sector, as well as providing motivated candidates with the experience they need to kick-start their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers.
If you are interested in learning more about the HDR UK Black Internship Programme, including how to participate as a host or apply as an intern next year, please visit the HDR UK and the 10,000 Black Interns websites.
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