A thank you note to NHS-R Community

By Zoë Turner, Senior Information Analyst (Clinical Development Unit)

The less said about 2020 the better, but I want to write about something positive that has happened to me this week, but which was the result of work done by, and for, NHS-R Community throughout the year-that-shall-not-be-mentioned.

At the end of November last year, R Studio announced its 2021 conference and their diversity scholarships https://blog.rstudio.com/2020/11/30/diversity-scholarships/. In previous years, these scholarships have been used to support people to attend the conference in person, but this year – as it’s virtual – the conference is free, so the scholarship includes:

  • Opportunities for online networking and support before and during the virtual conference
  • Two workshops, taught online the week after rstudio::global(2021)
  • Practical support, if needed, to enable participation in the virtual conference (such as an accessibility aid, a resource for internet access, or childcare)

and the number of scholarships was increased from 44 to 70.

Seeing this blog, I listed out all the things I had done for NHS-R Community, tidied up my GitHub (which also increased my commit numbers somewhat!) and sent in my application.

This week I heard that I was successful. ?

This is a jaw-dropping form of recognition as the scholarships were not restricted by country this year so I expect a little over 70 people will have applied! It means so much more to me than a line on my CV because it’s an acknowledgement of all that the NHS-R Community means to me; if it weren’t for our community, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities and support I needed to get this far in my R journey.

When I wrote out the list of what I’d done on behalf of NHS-R Community, it turned out to be quite a surprising list – so much so that even my husband (who I’d asked to ‘sense check’ my writing) felt compelled to remark on how much work I had done. But such work isn’t hard when you have fun and feel safe to try things out without fear of failure. And that’s why I did so much, because if you want to try out something – blog, teach, share some code or just ask a question – there are places to go for support, but none quite like the support you get from a group of like-minded R and healthcare data enthusiasts, such as those we find at NHS-R Community.

Thank you NHS-R Community; you are the best.