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Centre for Doctoral Training in AI-enabled Healthcare

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The UCL UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in AI-enabled Healthcare Systems consists of a 1 year MRes (Master of Research) followed by a 3 year PhD.


Student Testimonial- 2nd Year PhD Student

Why did you choose the CDT programme?

The close relationships that UCL has with NHS organisations and industry was ideal for me as both a clinician and a PhD candidate. The cross-sector connections and interdisciplinary network has facilitated wider dissemination of my research and the opportunity to develop collaborative projects in different fields (e.g., in NHS settings, activist communities, and with the private sector). Further, UCL has a worldwide reach and through university colleagues I’ve been able to develop global relationships with researchers who are leaders in their respective fields. The diverse opportunities that exist both within UCL as an institution and externally throughout its network in London, have allowed me to implement the findings of my research beyond the academic setting.

What have you enjoyed most about the CDT programme so far?

The flexibility of the CDT programme facilitates the exploration of topics beyond the core modules of the course. I have been able to take classes focusing on Gender and Technology, Cybersecurity and Public Health, all of which have complemented my PhD research by providing new insights and disciplinary perspectives. In addition, the financial and professional support that the CDT offers has allowed me to seek out career opportunities that would have previously been inaccessible. With the support of the CDT programme, I have worked abroad at the United Nations, presented at conferences internationally, and developed new lines of research with external partners.

Why are you passionate about your subject?

I chose to focus on bias in healthcare AI because of its immediate and urgent relevance to society. As an Emergency Doctor with a background in public health, my career to date has focused on exploring and tackling inequalities in healthcare that negatively impact marginalised patient groups. The advancement of AI is reshaping healthcare inequalities and, without intervention, may further cement these harms into the fabric of our institutions. I see my research as an opportunity to protect against future harms, advocate for vulnerable patient groups, and ensure AI is developed in a manner that benefits all members of society.

What would you like to see more of in the CDT?

When my cohort started the CDT programme it was in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic, as a result it has been challenging to develop a community. To foster a sense of community it would be useful to have in-person cohort events, such as group meetings focused on career development, regular socials and informative talks from scholars and partners in the field. 


Student Testimonial- 3rd Year PhD Student

Why did you choose the CDT programme?

I was finishing up an MSc in Machine Learning at UCL and looking for opportunities to my new skills to good use. I was particularly drawn to the CDT by the chance to collaborate with healthcare organizations, as I have ultimately done with UCLH, to make sure that my work would help to address problems that matter to clinical staff and have the potential to improve patient care.

What have you enjoyed most about the CDT programme so far?

I really enjoyed the first joint conference for the four UKRI funded CDTs focused on AI and healthcare. Due to COVID, it was the first in-person conference on my PhD.  It was great to have such a friendly space to present my work and hear about all the exciting work happening on our CDT and the others.

Why are you passionate about your subject?

I’ve always enjoyed problem solving. While on CDT I like that I have a practical problem to work on (rather than, for example, trying to beat a score on a benchmark), and the flexibility to explore lots of interesting methods and tools that might lead to a better solution.  

What would you like to see more of in the CDT?

I’d be keen to see some more activity on the careers side. This could include more talks from people in industry about their roles and research, some targeted sessions together with the UCL careers service on potential future routes, and proactively collating and sharing internship opportunities. It would also be good to have some more social events, and perhaps some suggested days each week to be on site to encourage sharing ideas and spark potential collaborations.

Questions?

If you require any further information please contact: aihealthcdt@ucl.ac.uk

How to apply