Making your STP application


Changes to how posts are advertised

The way posts are advertised for 2024 will differ slightly to previous years. This year applicants will only be able to see the amount of posts available, broken down by region, for each specialty. Full post details will be made available at a later stage in the recruitment process, in time for shortlisted applicants to choose the specific locations/training organisations.

Post details are subject to frequent change up until, and sometimes beyond, the allocation of places. We hope that by publishing the full details at a later stage in the recruitment process, less changes will be made.


Register on Oriel, the online application portal

You can register on Oriel as soon as you wish but you will not be able to apply until the application window for the vacancy opens. Click this link for the date and time of the application window.

Once on the Oriel website ( click on ‘Register’ in the top right-hand corner to create your user account. Make sure you use an email address that we can contact you on until the programme start date, rather than a work or university email address. Select the option ‘Register to apply to scientist training programmes’ and continue.

Complete the remaining details to create your user account. The information you provide will be used to auto populate some parts of the application. When entering your employment history, 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 date 31 August 2024.

We use direct messaging in Oriel to contact you about applications in progress. Make sure you check your Oriel account on a regular basis to stay informed. We may also use the email address supplied to us, but your main source of information will be via Oriel.

When using Oriel do not have the programme open in more than one tab within a single browser. Doing so will cause accidental data changes to be made when a save occurs in one of the tabs. We recommend that you access Oriel using Google Chrome or you can check the browser requirements below.

Minimum browser requirements for Oriel
Browser Version
BlackBerry >=6
Apple Safari >=7
Google Chrome >=30
Microsoft Internet Explorer 9, 10*, 11
Microsoft Internet Explorer Mobile 11
Microsoft Edge all
Mozilla Firefox 24 – 26*, >=27

Search for a vacancy

Once registered and logged into your Oriel account click on the vacancies tab. You can search for the vacancy using the name of the programme you would like to apply for.

Make sure you select the correct post type as there will be two to choose from:

  • one for direct entry applications – ‘healthcare science’ (this is the vacancy for the majority of applicants)
  • one specifically for in-service entry – ‘healthcare science in service’ (this is for existing NHS staff who have been nominated by their employer who has an approved post)

Once you have found the correct vacancy select ‘Apply’.

In-service applicants will be sent a code from their employer which will be needed to complete the application form. If you are an in-service applicant, you can also apply for a direct entry vacancy. If successful in getting a direct entry post, you would have to resign from your current role.

Direct entry applicants do not require a code for their application and cannot apply for in-service vacancies.


Be aware of opening and closing dates

Application opening and closing dates are available on our website.

There are additional opening and closing dates for the Situational Judgment Test (which is for direct entry applications only) which are separate to the application window dates. If this is the first time you have taken the Situational Judgment Test you will receive an email before the test window, confirming your account login details.

Shortlisted applicants will also need to be aware of the opening and closing dates for choosing their sub-preferences (locations/organisations you would like to be considered for).

Any of these dates may be subject to change so make sure you check them on a regular basis.


Complete the application form

You can only make one application per vacancy. If you try to submit more than one application for a single vacancy, you will be removed from the recruitment process. You can save and return to your application as many times as you like, before finally submitting it.

It is very important that you complete your application form in a timely manner. The NSHCS cannot guarantee all queries will be answered during the last 48 hours of the application window.

Screening questions

The application form has initial screening questions. You must meet the minimum eligibility criteria to be able to proceed with the application. You must provide:

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

You may have already provided some of this data when completing the registration process. If so, this will auto-populate your application form.

Supporting information

This is where you will need to demonstrate how your skills and experience meet the person specification for the programme. This section of the form, along with the education section, will be viewable by shortlisters.

Choosing your preferences

Your ‘preferences’ is the specialty you would like to train in. Direct entry applicants must select one chosen specialty as part of the initial application form. To select and save your preference, you will need to use a ‘drag and drop’ motion. You must select and drag your chosen preference from the ‘not wanted column’, and ‘drop’ it into the ‘wanted column’. Further guidance can be found within the Oriel resource bank.

Fitness to practise questions

The fitness to practise questions in the application form cover things such as criminal convictions. If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you are required to email further information to We must receive this no later than the closing date of the vacancy. Please mark your email as ‘confidential’.

If you are successful at the interview stage, the information you have provided will be considered by a panel. They will decide whether the information you have provided makes you unsuitable for the programme.

False declarations

Any false declarations will invalidate your application.