Applying to the Higher Specialist Scientist Training programme

Last Updated: 16th February 2021

A quick guide for those interested in applying to the HSST programme.

How do I apply to the programme?

The following guidance can be used when applying for both direct entry and in-service posts.

1) Register on Oriel

  • Click ‘Account Registration’ on Oriel to create your user account. You can create your account as early as you like but you will only be able to apply once the vacancy goes live.
  • When you have registered an account, click ‘Proceed to Applicant Registration’. This will allow you to complete further registration details, which will then be used to populate parts of the application form for any vacancy you apply for.
  • Follow the prompts to enter your employment history. Once again this will then be used to populate parts of your applications. Oriel requires you to enter an end date for your current employment. If you are in current employment and will need to leave your job to join the programme, enter the 31st August 2021 as your end date.

We use Oriel direct messaging to contact you about applications in progress. Please regularly check your Oriel account to stay informed. We may also use the email address you provided us with, but your main source of information throughout the application process will be Oriel.

2) Find and apply to a vacancy

  • Login to Oriel and via the ‘Vacancies’ menu search for Higher Specialist Scientist Training.
  • Select the vacancy you want to apply for and click ‘To apply’

There will be two HSST vacancies displayed, one for direct entry and one for in-service. Make sure you select the correct one for you. Most HSST places are filled through the in-service route.

If you are a direct entry applicant, you can only apply for a direct entry vacancy. If you are an in-service applicant, you can apply for both vacancies, but if you are successful as a direct entry applicant, you would have to give up your current NHS post in order to start the programme.

If you are an in-service applicant, your employer will send you a code and you will need this to complete your in-service application form.

Guidance for non-UK applicants

Before you make your application visit the UK Visas and Immigration Service  to check whether or not you are eligible to apply. You must also make sure that you have established your right to work in the UK and you must have this in place for the start date of the programme. Please refer to national guidance from Health Education England and UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to confirm whether or not you are eligible to apply.

Your application form

The application form contains initial screening questions. You have to meet the minimum eligibility criteria in order to be able to proceed with the application.

You must provide data for the following:

  • personal
  • academic
  • work experience
  • general employment
  • equality and diversity data

You may have already provided some of this data when completing the full registration process. This will be auto-populated within your application form.

You then complete a series of short answer questions to demonstrate your suitability, understanding and motivation for the programme. You will also be asked to choose your specialism. Don’t forget to add any work experience (including voluntary work) to the supporting information section.