Hi, my names Estelle, and I’m a new co-editor here at STP perspectives. I’m currently in my first year of the Clinical Microbiology STP. My studies and work experience have all been in Microbiology and Medical Microbiology.
This blog is about how I’ve survived the first six months of the STP. It will cover:
What sort of challenges you might face
How to utilise your cohort/ colleagues to assist you
This is a blog post about how I failed my first attempt at the IACC exit assessment in the summer of 2022. It’ll cover:
What went wrong
How you can potentially avoid this
How to prepare for a resit
Most of the advice in this blog I received from meeting with senior scientists, others who had failed and my wider support network. This post is a thank you to those people and I hope sharing the advice they gave me is useful to you. I also want this blog to show you that failing is something that is a normal and natural part of life, which has happened to everyone you know and will happen to you too, perhaps even at the most pivotal part of your career to date.
Adriana’s blog post on the IACC has many brilliant tips and I’d recommend reading it alongside this one as I’ve skipped some of points to avoid duplication. This blog post was correct for the STP IACC 2022. The IACC is going to change over the coming years, please check the NSHCS website for the latest guidance on the STP exit assessment relevant to your cohort.
Contributers: Martyna Borak and Sophie Reed (OUH Genomics STP trainees)
Hi, I’m Jess and I’m a 1st year NHS STP trainee in Bioinformatics (Genomics) at Oxford. I first heard of the NHS STP through a friend on placement and was intrigued. I heard that it was a degree apprenticeship scheme where you study for a master’s degree at the same time as gaining clinical experience which sounded awesome. After doing more research about the scheme on the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS) I decided to apply in 2021 for Genomics but was unsuccessful. This led me to do the typical “panic” master’s (when one does a master’s degree because they do not know what to do or want to change career paths) where I gained more experience about bioinformatics and reapplied in 2022. Other people have also applied multiple times (I know someone who was successful on their 5th try) and some people have done post-docs, but others get in on their 1st time. In this post, I will talk about my applications process and tips.
First things first – a belated congratulations for gaining a place on this highly competitive training scheme. This is certainly an achievement not to be ignored! You will have had a couple of months acclimatising to the training scheme and your new home. For some of you, this may be the first time you have moved away from home, for others it won’t be, but will still require you to adapt to not only a new job but a new location too. This short post will offer some first-hand tips to aid settling in, now that winter is creeping in and the dark evenings are getting longer.
This post aims to volunteer some tips for managing your time and workload on the STP… which is no easy feat!! They are the personal views and experiences of a second-year trainee.
A juggling act
During the STP applications process and subsequent acceptance of a training post I was certainly expecting my new role to challenge and develop my time-management skills. However, I didn’t fully appreciate that the role would require the juggling skills of a high-level circus performer.
This week (9-15th May) is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year’s focus is on loneliness. According to recent figures from the Mental Health Foundation, ‘One in four adults feel lonely some or all of the time’.
Unfortunately this is something that has become a much bigger issue over the past couple of years due to Covid, and we have likely all experienced loneliness to some extent during the pandemic.
I am a Clinical Scientist in Clinical Bioinformatics Genomics at the Viapath Genomics Laboratories in London, and I started the HSST in September 2021 (so I am cohort 8 in HSST speak). Before moving to Viapath in May 2021 I was based in the East Midlands Regional Molecular Genetics Service in Nottingham, where I completed the STP in Clinical Bioinformatics Genomics in 2016, and then worked as a Clinical Scientist. This blog represents my experience of the HSST so far.
Hello, my name is Natasha and I am a Clinical Bioinformatician working in London. Before being asked to write this post, I never really paused to think about my journey as a trainee to a training officer. It is something that was offered to me a year after completing my STP. I was asked if I would like to take over duties as a training officer. Honestly speaking, I didn’t fully understand the responsibilities before I said yes, but I knew I enjoyed training and wanted to do more of it. Luckily, I have a very supportive team who are always willing to help me out, hence the transition did not feel as overwhelming.
With STP applications coming up, I’m sure there’s people here looking for some information on how to join the programme. As someone who’s recently come out the other side of the STP as a fully-fledged Clinical Scientist, here’s what I’d tell myself if I could go back to when I was applying to the scheme.