STP Applications | Top tips

The STP applications have opened again for 2020! They really snuck up on us this year but that’s not going to stop us sharing some of our top tips for writing up your application. So without further ado, here are 20 tips from us to help you nail your application!

Editors note: These tips were valid for the 2020 application process and might not be accurate for future years.

  1. Write down these dates: 20/01/2020 and 22/01/2010- the deadlines for the written application and online tests!
  2. What specialism(s) are you applying for? Make sure you know, make sure you know why it’s what you want to do and how it fits into the NHS. Check out our “how to choose your specialism” blog post if you’re struggling to decide.
  3. The school has the locations per specialism across the country on their website! Have a look and keep it in mind that you must be willing to move to the ones you apply for.
  4. Find out at least 3 things that have happened in your chosen specialism in the last year so you’re up to date on current technologies and procedures and know about the resources for finding this information.
  5. Think about things you’ve done in the past that you can use to tick off those application buzzwords: Leadership, Teamwork, Innovation… you get the picture!
  6. Don’t rush into writing out your answers, take a day or two to brainstorm and collect your thoughts.
  7. Why not join The student room STP 2020 applications thread, It’s a great forum to discuss the process with other applicants and sometimes current STPs will weigh in with their advice.
  8. So I know we said don’t rush, but it’s good to start thinking about your answers early- it can be hard to find time to write a good application in between full time work/study!
  9. Read the person specification on the national school website and make sure you’re displaying these qualities in your answers.
  10. If you haven’t already – it’s probably about time to break out the NHS constitution, not only for your application, but the ethos of your (hopefully) future employer!
  11. Have you got a specific question about the STP or the application process? Why not ask us on twitter? If we can’t help, maybe another trainee or NSHCS might be able to answer it for you!
  12. You only get one real go at the aptitude tests and if you don’t pass, your application won’t even get looked at worth so they’re worth preparing for- have a go at the practice ones online.
  13. Struggling to find the time to write out your application? Check out our tips on making the most of your time– time management is a key skill of a healthcare scientist
  14. Go through your application and highlight anywhere you may have repeated yourself. You have very little space to sell yourself- don’t waste it saying the same thing twice!
  15. Remember – the only way you’re sure to not get a place is if you don’t apply. People get onto the STP from all sorts of backgrounds, so don’t be put off if you don’t think you have as much experience as other applicants.
  16. Ask someone you trust to read your application and give you honest feedback- use this to make improvements!
  17. Remind yourself WHY you want to do the STP! Read through your application and make sure that your passion and values shine through in your answers.
  18. Please, please, please check and double check your spelling and grammar! There’s nothing worse than an applicant who doesn’t care enough to make sure they’ve made no silly mistakes!
  19. Patience is a virtue, this is a long ol’ application process, but being impatient and anxious isn’t going to make it go faster or make your application better! So relax and if you’re feeling confident – start your interview prep early 😉
  20. Finally, believe in yourself! Have confidence that you deserve a place on the STP. 

Hopefully these will help you with your application, if anyone else has tips for the application process, please feel free to leave a comment! Best of luck!

Author: Jes

I am a trainee clinical bioinformatician working at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. I am passionate about increasing awareness and discussion about healthcare science and particularly the routes into the field.

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