This post is the opinion and experience of the author
Truthfully, I never thought I’d get onto the Scientist Training Programme.
I believed it was for people who had PhDs, Masters, or loads of experience in the specialism. It was the stuff of legend, where only the most knowledgeable and pioneering young scientists of our generation would be granted a place. The competition ratios were terrifyingly high. The Student Room threads were filled with individuals applying for the third, fourth, fifth time.
For this blog post I interviewed Nuthar Jassam who is a Consultant Clinical Biochemist and Clinical Lead for Blood Sciences at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust. She studied on both the old and new Higher specialist Scientists Training (HSST) programme (Doctorate equivalent of the STP). We spoke about her day to day job, the HSST, courses she’s found helpful and what she thinks her most important attributes are.
So Nuthar, what are you working on at the moment?
I’m looking at the longitudinal antibody response to Covid-19 in patients with mild infection. The first phase, which was evaluating one of the techniques used in the longitudinal study has just been published and can be found here.
Hi everyone, my name is Alix, or you might me know as @happyhistologist. I am a HCPC registered Biomedical Scientist and second year STP trainee specialising in Histopathology. But what actually is histopathology?! Breaking down the word into two smaller words can help to understand its true meaning. ‘Histo’ means tissue and ‘pathology‘ is the investigation of disease, therefore histopathology is the investigation of disease in tissue.
The email I received stating I had secured a place on the STP was a euphoric moment, throughout the summer I was so excited for September. I knew I wanted to be a clinical scientist; all through my academic studies I never felt I had found what I wanted to do (does anybody?!) but, when I read about the STP, it sounded perfect and I was so motivated to get there. It took me a few attempts to gain a place and so when I did, I really did value it.
Happy New Year everybody! 2020 was an odd and challenging one but if you are reading this you made it through. Pat yourself on the back for it.
I have been meaning to write this for a long time, but I always find myself with a massive list of tasks and it is hard to find time. So, three years of the STP gone, completed. I can brag to have completed it, registered as a Clinical Bioinformatician and hold a permanent Clinical Scientist position at Addenbrookes’s Hospital, but how did I get here and what did I learn?
Mental illness affects all of us in some way, whether through personal experience or the experience of a loved one. Hopefully we all know by now that mental illness can affect anyone, and I like to think that in the past few years society has moved towards unravelling the shame and stigma that is attached to it. Don’t get me wrong though, we still have a long way to go.
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.
The STP applications process has had to maintain pace with the drastic global changes that have occurred in the last year and has adapted the recruitment process for STP applicants to match this. If you have started doing research into applying in 2021, you may already be familiar with some of the changes that will be taking place. I will outline the key changes and then draw on my parallel experiences after applying in 2020, during which the interviews were cancelled and reformulated at the height of the pandemic. There are certainly positives in the new application system, and I will try my best to get this message across to you!