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During summer 2022, HEIW took on 15 students for an eight-week internship. They each spent time in a specific department within HEIW to gain an insight into what it’s like to work for the NHS in Wales.

Here you can read about Khadija’s internship experience at HEIW.

Name:                                Khadija

Studied:                             Journalism, Communications and Politics

University:                        Cardiff University

Internship with:               Quality Improvement team at HEIW


My overall experience

My name is Khadija and I am a recent Journalism, Communications and Politics graduate from Cardiff University! I will be returning to study, as I start my Masters in International Management with the Cardiff Business school in September.


I have a huge interest in the public health sector having worked for HEIW previously. Last year I was so overjoyed when I passed the interview this year to return as it was really HEIW’s working culture that inspired me to come back.

My internship is with the Quality Unit at HEIW. My main responsibilities include attaining data responses from ERIIC peer group members, that will help me to create a more functional infrastructure for research governance in HEIW. I am looking to utilise Gwella to develop a space for ERIIC.


Khadija’s Project

Project summary

This year my project has been focused on developing a functional infrastructure for research governance within HEIW. More specifically, I have been working on ERIIC (the Evaluation Research Improvement and Innovation Collaborative) which is a research governance peer group.

I was working as part of HEIW's newly established ERIIC peer group, which is a key enabler for organisational aims. I'm so pleased to have been a part of informing how ERIIC can be operationalised to become more representative of all HEIW workstreams. It can also be established to mobilise knowledge transfer to underpin building organisational capacity for research.


Project foundation

I undertook a lot of research into understanding what ‘communities of practice’ stood for and why this was vital for the progression of research governance. One key element that informed how I look towards my project was the concept of knowledge exchange and understanding what that meant in literature could help me to translate key information into effective action.

To achieve the aim set, I began to worked very carefully on attaining data from various ERIIC peer group members. I was fortunate enough to achieve both qualitative data and quantitative data via interviews and online surveys.

I created a survey which was then sent out to ERIIC members in HEIW. The purpose of this survey is to gauge understanding as to what individuals knew about ERIIC and what their expectations are.

It was an exciting opportunity to personally interview and survey a wide range of individuals in HEIW. Connecting with different individuals, finding out what their projects were and what they wished for in terms of whether they wanted facilitation for collaboration, if they required enhanced training and just what the expectations were of ERIIC and how it could involve was important for me to understand.

I also developed a word cloud from some of the qualitative data that I found, which shows the frequency of some of the key themes. It also captures a small insight into just what members thought were prominent aspects of what they think about ERIIC.

Members also expressed that transparency within ERIIC would be a key aspect. They wanted to know what aspects of research methodologies and evaluation would be most relevant to them.


Concluding the project

As I conclude my project, I find it easier to define it into three phases:

  1. In phase one I completed collection of data returns and analysed different themes and prominent patterns which will be used then to inform our next apps.
  2. In phase two I identified the ways that ERIIC can start being brought to life. We will be optimizing Gwella to create the mechanism for ERIIC to exist and function well for members to communicate and collaborate on there.
  3. In phase three, results from my data will be utilised to provide recommendations for what should happen next.

Transparency was such an important area of ERIIC, so visibility therefore should be very clear. We must begin to focus on establishing a clear logo and stronger branding for ERIIC. The next stages can also witness new sub interest groups within ERIIC based upon the reception at the next meeting which will be taking place in September.

My quantitative data also showed training was a large aspect of it. The team can utilise the data to see what sort of training and research support should be prioritised for individuals.

Interviewing and receiving responses had to be one of my favourite aspects of the internship. I felt like I was given a lot of trust in dealing with key information that would contribute to the growth and development of ERIIC.

I also developed a huge boost in confidence from having my manager trust in me to listen well and collect ideas and responses which were then translated into something that can be used for the future.


Outside of work and university

In my spare time, I thoroughly enjoy baking and travelling to see new sights!