STP Applications | Top tips & what’s changed for 2021

The National School of Healthcare Scientist (NSHCS) have announced that applications for this year’s STP will be opening on January 25th 2021! Jes wrote a fabulous blog of top tips, so we’ve edited these for 2021. The application process is also different to previous years and you can find a section below about what’s changed.

STP Application: Top Tips

  1. Your really important dates for 2021 applications can be found here. Note them down in your diary.
  2. Here are some tips for picking your specialism: – We have a growing collection of posts from STPs about their specialisms here and have a helpful post titled ‘How to: choose your specialism’. – The Scouse Scientist has also recently released a video which has interviews with STPs from several specialisms, talking about their roles. – STPs and qualified Healthcare Scientists are an approachable bunch! If you head to our twitter followers, you might be able to find someone who works in your specialism and they might be happy to answer your questions. – You can also look at the STP curriculum to see what sorts of rotations you would do for each specialism.
  3. Have a look at The Student Rooms STP 2021 applications thread. This can be a really useful resource for chatting to other applicants and sometimes current trainees will post too.
  4. Find out at least three 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. Give yourself plenty of time to write your application, there’s lots of details to add on top of writing your winning personal statements!
  6. Check out the Core Person Specification on the NSHCS website. Make sure your applications showcases how you meet all the requirements listed as ‘Application’.
  7.  The NHS Constitution is the bedrock of all our work in the NHS. Have some examples in your application of how you have followed these values in your own work or at university.
  8. 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!
  9. Find yourself missing errors in your writing when you re read something far too many times? Reading large pieces of text from the last paragraph up can help with proofreading.
  10. The STP accepts all kinds of people. Don’t be discouraged if others are more qualified than you. If you meet the Core Person Specification you have a chance of gaining a place and you’ll never know unless you try!
  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 the NSHCS might be able to answer it for you 🙂
  12.  Practice for the Situation Judgement Tests (SJT). You only get one ‘real’ go and some familiarity around the kinds and types of questions will help when you come to take the test. The school has some guidance here.
  13. The STP application process is long, be patient and stay calm. There will be updates on the NSHCS’s twitter along the way.
  14. Double and then triple 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!
  15. Remember – this application is your potential path on to an amazing program. Make sure reading your application makes you excited, shows your passion for your specialism and for healthcare sciences in the NHS and that you put patients at the forefront.
  16. The National School is hosting a webinar for people wanting to apply this year on Thursday 28th January. Go along and join for useful information straight from your potential new training body!

What’s changed for the 2021 application process?

2020 saw a lot of change to everyone’s lives and the STP application process is no different! There are some changes to this years application process you need to be aware of if you’ve applied before:

  • Applicants can only choose one speciality
  •  Situational judgement tests (SJT) have replaced logical and numerical reasoning tests
  • Shortlisting scores will now be determined by how well you match the STP trainee person specification in your application
  • Interviews will be allocated based on an algorithm, which takes into account your application score and your preferred location
  • Interviews will be conducted online by two scientists from the department you’ve applied to, potentially alongside someone from the National School
  • You will only be offered one interview with an employer and that will be your only interview for that application year
  • You will not be able to ‘hold’ an offer place

We hope these help you with your application. Please add any comment with your top tips or anything you found helpful. Best of luck!

Author: Erin

I am a registered clinical bioinformatician in clinical genomics at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London and former STP. I previously was a co-editor of STP Perspectives : )

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