FAQs about applying to the STP

These FAQs contain some questions and answers you may have before deciding to apply to the STP.

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Is the training programme right for me?

The STP offers a fantastic opportunity for people who are looking for a fulfilling career in healthcare science. It is important that you consider your application to the programme carefully. You must be committed to a career in healthcare science and to providing high quality scientific services to patients and the public. Entry onto the programme is extremely competitive and therefore you should be prepared to be measured on your commitment to the programme and on your understanding of the expectations placed on trainees as part of the selection processes.

Read through the STP information for applicants and explore the specialisms in more detail on the Health Careers website.

What scientific specialism should I apply for?

Your chosen specialism should be relevant to your choice of future career and your academic qualifications. Applicants can only apply under one specialism therefore before you apply to the STP, do as much research as possible to ensure you choose the specialty you really want to follow.

Read more about the individual specialisms on the Health Careers website and about the STP curricula on the Curriculum Library.

Can I attend open days to find out more about the training?

Yes and you will find details of the STP Open Days in the events section of the website.

How much travel is involved in the STP?

You may have to travel to other training centres to fulfil parts of the programme.  These could be in different parts of the country and you may have to spend weeks at a time there. Whether you have to travel to complete your rotations will depend on the specialism and whether your host employer has the facilities to provide all the training aspects.

You will also have to travel to the university to complete the master’s degree.  The amount of travel involved for this will depend on the university and course you attend.

What kinds of people get a place on the STP?

A range of people have been successful in being appointed to the STP. In addition to high standards of scientific ability, what they have in common is an enthusiasm for science, aspirations to be leaders in healthcare science and a focus on delivering high quality and compassionate care for patients. Above all else our successful applicants demonstrate the right values and behaviours integral to providing safe and effective healthcare science services to patients and the public.

You can see a breakdown of the competition ratios for direct entry posts here.

Are there any equivalent routes to becoming a clinical scientist other than the STP?

The Academy for Healthcare Science has developed equivalence assessment processes for Healthcare Science practitioners and scientists who have undertaken training, hold qualifications and/or have considerable professional experience, and who wish to show that these are equivalent to the relevant Modernising Scientific Careers (MSC) programme.

Please visit their website for further information on equivalence.

How can healthcare scientists work towards certificate of equivalence if they are working outside of the NHS?

Equivalence is a route open to all individuals, providing they can demonstrate the necessary standards.

Please visit their website for further information on equivalence.

I’m thinking of applying to the STP, how will the curriculum content review affect me?

You’re the future of healthcare science. We’re working hard to make sure your training equips you with all the skills and knowledge you need to work at the highest level in healthcare. The STP programme structure will stay the same but there may be changes to the content of your curriculum before you start your training. We’ll publish updated curriculum in the Curriculum Library. Any updates we do make, will ensure your training is at the cutting edge of your specialty.

You can view the curriculum for all STP specialties in the Curriculum Library.