The BSU’s increasingly successful internship programme returned this summer, welcoming a record number of 13 interns.
Our internships provide those with an interest in data science and knowledge of statistics to join the Unit for 2 months, to work on projects being led by BSU researchers. They carry out data analysis, take part in research team meetings, present their findings, and get involved in all aspects of life at the BSU. The programme is expertly managed by Hélène Ruffieux and Pavel Mozgunov, and each project is supervised by a researcher in the Unit, allowing one-to-one support and guidance. As well as this, each intern is integrated into research group meetings, is paired up with a ‘PhD buddy’ and attends Unit wide activities such as seminars and weekly staff meetings. This year, a series of internal career discussion sessions were also organised, providing valuable insight into the different research paths the interns could take following their placement at the Unit.
This year, we have been delighted to welcome; Geraldine Hanna, Josef Hanke, Fatemeh Torabi, Abigail Terry, Connor Fitchett, Dhara Patel, Joseph Feest, Rory Toogood, Neel Basak, Jiawei Gao, Zhi Cao, Martin de Climente, and Christopher Buck.
Read some of their experiences about what it’s been like to intern at the BSU.
My internship at the BSU has been an incredible experience! The BSU has a welcoming and supportive environment, with insightful career talks, which really gave a taste of what life as a biostatistician and a researcher entails. If you are uncertain about applying but have a keen interest for statistics and are eager to learn more, I would highly recommend this internship programme!
Despite initial apprehensions about my unconventional background, I quickly learned that part of the learning process lies in pushing boundaries. I was part of the Precision Medicine (PM) theme and worked on neuroimaging models with Simon White. I really enjoyed our weekly meetings discussing everything from statistics of mental health to board games! Over the internship, we developed my project, which I had the opportunity to regularly present on in the PM group meetings and on the final day. I worked on a simulation study exploring degeneracy in exponential random graph models and mapped out the parameter space. I learnt a lot about coding in R in general, LaTeX, computational efficiency, and GIT.
The camaraderie and support within the Unit was unparalleled. I’m leaving the BSU as a better researcher and with a great group of friends. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. To the future interns, if you’re unsure about applying, I’d recommend just going for it as the Unit will ensure you have a great time and provide ample opportunities for personal development, whatever your interests might be.
The interns team were so supportive, setting up a PhD buddy system and facilitating career discussions with researchers from a range of different teams. These sessions were a highlight of my time here, and have inspired me to apply for PhD programmes in biostatistics. I’ve learned so much during my internship and I look forward to utilising the knowledge I have gained during my MSc in Data Science and Statistics at the University of Bath next year.
This summer has been an incredibly valuable experience, and I’m excited to continue working with the remarkable team beyond the summer as a Visiting Scientist in the Unit.
This summer has been an incredible experience, with the BSU the perfect, friendly introduction into research, alongside the loveliest cohort of interns. Now not only does a PhD seem possible, but I also feel I have the knowledge to attain a studentship.
I’m deeply grateful to my supervisors Martin Law and Sofia Villar for their considerate and adaptive support. Their detailed feedback and insights as senior statisticians have guided me away from impractical or unrelative research paths. They’ve been an unwavering source of guidance, from coding efficiency to core clinical trial principles, serving as a reliable support throughout my research journey this summer.
Words fall short to express how memorable is this summer to me, deepening my attachment to this unit and affirming my commitment to pursuing a PhD and clinical trial research. My heartfelt thanks go out to everyone this summer, and I sincerely hope for the chance to rejoin this wonderful community!
Coming into the internship, I thought that coming from a pure maths background, I would not have enough expertise in statistics. However, my supervisors, Paul Kirk and Romit Samanta, were extremely supportive throughout and guided me so well that I never felt out of my depth. My project focused on analysing data from a clinical trial, specifically clustering patients based on cytokine levels and seeing whether the clusters found had any clinical significance. I really enjoyed applying the skills I learned in my degree to real life scenarios and the drive that came with doing work that could have tangible benefits to society was a consistent theme throughout the unit.
Not only was everyone at the BSU very welcoming, but I also had the opportunity to become friends with the other interns, a group of amazing people who all had a wide range of backgrounds and came into the internship with many different skill sets. I would implore anyone with a mathematical/statistical background to apply for this opportunity to spend some of their summer working in this prestigious Unit, exploring the world of biomedical research and making connections for life. I am now planning on applying for a PhD this coming year.