NIHR BioResource proud to have supported HDR-UK Black Internship Programme

Students Sean Muchenje and Felicia Hessings, have completed six weeks working with the NIHR BioResource, after successfully applying to join HDR-UK's Black Internship Programme.

Sean Muchenje

Sean has been studying for his Big Data Masters degree and Felicia a data-science Masters degree with a focus on artificial intelligence.

A partner of the NIHR BioResource for several years, Health Data Research (HDR) UK, announced the launch of the internship programme for Black health data scientists, which started in 2021.  The internship provides paid work experience to future data scientists of Black ancestry; a group currently under-represented within the health data research community.

Whilst with the BioResource, Sean and Felicia played a key role in undertaking research and making recommendations on the organisation’s planned participant portal, which will enable our 200,000 participants across the country to update their details as well as see which studies their data has been used for, all via the BioResource website. Additionally, and in relation to our website, Sean and Felicia looked at ways to tell stories by using interactive data and making information relevant to individuals visiting our website depending on where they are located in the UK.

Speaking about his internship, Sean said: “I am very grateful for the opportunity BioResource have given me. My time here has been invaluable as it has provided me with a real kick-start to my career. The global pandemic has induced such an uncertain time for new graduates, and it is this role that has allowed my career to progress during this difficult period.”

Since undertaking the internship, Sean has now secured a permanent role at HDR UK as an agile business analyst, focussing on its Health Data Research Innovation Gateway. This will involve capturing user requirements and documenting user stories, whilst also writing the appropriate acceptance criteria for the gateway.  

Nathalie Kingston, Director of the NIHR BioResource said: “We were delighted to support this worthwhile initiative, whilst being able to benefit from Sean and Felecia’s acquired knowledge through their studies. This will help ensure we provide innovative, interactive and helpful solutions in relation to our participants. We wish them all the best for their future careers.”

HDR UK has announced that the Black Internship Programme will run again in 2022 and the NIHR BioResource looks forward to welcoming more young students through the programme.

If you are interested in a career in the NIHR BioResource, please look at our current vacancies.