(Above: A group of students and their supervisors meet in one of the HDI seminar rooms)


We are offering up to six intern places on a group project during July and August of 2020. In previous years, our intern programme assigned a single project to each intern. This year, we have enhanced the programme to support interns working together on a ‘super-project’ bringing a diverse range of skills and experience to develop a project, from specification to final product, based on synthetic data derived from real patients medical records.


“It’s been a really good experience. Even though it’s only been 7 weeks I have gotten a lot done and have a lot to say for myself and for my work here.” (Tobby, 2019 intern)

What are synthetic data and why do we want to use them?

Health researchers need access to medical data to answer important questions about diseases like cancer. However, if real data is used, patient confidentiality must be protected. Health Data Insight created a synthetic data set called the ‘Simulacrum’ that allow researchers to work on data that looks and feels a lot like the real thing, but without any potential compromise in patient confidentiality. However, the Simulacrum is a synthetic version of all cancers and the size of the data set can create problems for researchers.

What exactly is the HDI Internship project?

This project involves taking the idea behind the Simulacrum work to create a synthetic data ‘service’ that allows researchers to request cancer data relevant to their research and be provided with a customised synthetic output using the most appropriate synthetic algorithms for their particular needs and requirements.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for enthusiastic students who want to be part of an innovative multi-disciplinary team. The team will use and refine their skills in coding, statistical modelling, machine learning, visualisation, and science communication to solve real-world problems, and develop resources and tools using big data.

Who can apply?

We welcome applications from students at any stage in their further education, from undergraduate to PhD level. 

The internship is open to anybody who is eligible to work full-time in the UK.

What skills/experience do I need?
Enthusiasm and eagerness to work as part of a small team of like-minded individuals are the main attributes we are after.

Candidates from all backgrounds are welcome, particularly if you have interest or experience in one or more of these areas:

  • data visualisation
  • science communication
  • working with large datasets
  • data and statistical modelling
  • machine learning.
What do we offer and how are interns supported?

This internship is a chance to join a thriving and enthusiastic community of bright individuals. The team will be supported by an Intern Team Lead, with specialist input from developers, project managers, analysts, science communicators and many other professionals.

This internship is about developing specialist skills and is also a chance to enhance your communication, collaboration, organisational and team-working skills.

The normal working week is 37.5 hours; we offer flexible working and 2.5 days leave per month.  Interns will meet regularly to discuss their progress on the project and the Intern Team Lead will always be available either in person or online for queries and support.

When is the internship?

Internships are offered for two to three months starting on Monday 29th June 2020. The team will give a presentation on Friday 28th August 2020 to showcase their work.

Where will the placement be?

The interns will work in the HDI offices in Capital Park, Fulbourn, Cambridge although travel to other sites may be necessary as part of the internship.

How do I apply?

To apply, please send an up-to-date CV and a covering letter outlining what skills and attributes you would bring to the intern project and any background experience that you feel is relevant to admin@healthdatainsight.org.uk confirming when you can start and when you would like to finish.

What is the deadline for applications?
The closing date for applications is midnight on Friday 21st February 2020. After short-listing we will let you know if we require any more information and/or whether we would like you to attend an informal interview. All applicants will be notified whether their application has been successful after this process has completed.