LSHTM joins initiative to tackle underrepresentation of Black people in science community

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine will host two paid internships for future Black data scientists as part of a new programme

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is looking forward to welcoming two interns as part of the Black internship programme in the summer of 2021.

Run by the National Institute for Health Data Science, Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) and its partners, the internship programme provides opportunities for young Black data scientists through paid work experience at STEM organisations. A total of 54 interns, over 30 of which are women, have joined this year’s programme.

The Black community is heavily underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) community. A Royal Society study found only 65 Black science professors out of the total of 10,560 in the UK in 2018-19.

Through the Black internship programme, the organisations hope to help tackle the underrepresentation of Black people within the STEM community by supporting prospects for young Black people in the UK and their future STEM careers.

LSHTM is a foundation partner of HDR UK – alongside University College London, Imperial College London, King’s College London and Queen Mary University of London – and will be hosting two of the interns, Adanna Ewuzie and Wafula Erick Mugoma.

Adanna Ewuzie is currently a third year medical student at Queen’s University Belfast. Adanna said: “I am very interested in population health and I love taking up opportunities where I can, and this programme will allow me to learn more about data science and identifying patterns. Health data science is highly applicable to my medical degree as analysing ‘Big Data’ allows for the progression of clinical research studies, which ultimately benefits patient treatment.”

Wafula Erick Mugoma is actually LSHTM alumni, having completed the MSc in Epidemiology, said: “Having completed my Bsc in Computer Information Systems from Methodist University and Msc in Epidemiology at LSHTM, I hope that this internship will help me build on this knowledge and grant me an opportunity to learn more on data analysis, writing and publishing of scientific papers.”

Sinead Langan, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at LSHTM, said: “We’re delighted to have two fantastic interns as part of the Black internship programme. It is important for global health institutions to lead by example, and proactively supporting pathways to inclusivity is key to LSHTM’s mission of improving health worldwide.”

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”.

The Black internship programme is run partnership with the 10,000 Black Interns initiative and the UK Health Data Research Alliance.

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