Important announcements for STP applicants

Last Updated: 26th February 2021

If you are interested in applying to the Scientist Training Programme, please make sure you read these statements.

Latest statements


Statement updated on 26th February 2021

Statement to STP applicants about revised shortlisting process from Professor Berne Ferry

I would like to thank each and every one of you for applying to the Scientist Training Programme. As Head of the National School of Healthcare Science I am delighted to see applications rise again in 2021. This is really wonderful news. I want to reassure all applicants that we are absolutely committed to completing this year’s recruitment round as planned and welcoming a new cohort of trainees in September.

I would like to apologise for the issues many of you experienced with the platform that we used to deliver the situational judgment test for longlisting and for the added stress and uncertainty this may have caused you. We introduced a situational judgment test for longlisting applications to enhance and improve our recruitment processes this year, to base longlisting on something that is appropriate for scientific trainees. Unfortunately, a series of problems occurred with the third-party platform that we use to deliver these tests and, as a result, the test did not produce valid results. We had no alternative but to abandon its use.

Therefore, as Head of the National School of Healthcare Science, I am writing to let you know of a significant change to the process we will follow for STP recruitment. After considering all other options we have decided that the only fair way to continue is to put every application received through the shortlisting process.

By putting every application through the shortlisting process we are ensuring that every applicant is treated fairly. Your application will be reviewed by two experts in the specialty you are applying for. We use ‘blind’ shortlisting to remove the potential for bias. Applicants who are successfully shortlisted will be considered for interview.

All of us at the School are focused on putting revised processes in place as quickly as possible. The School will be publishing new information and timelines as these are firmed up and will communicate them to you through Oriel and the website. Please do keep an eye on these channels for new messages. We will provide information and updates as soon as we can.

We are confident that this year’s revised process will deliver a cohort of the highest quality applicants and I look forward to welcoming those successful candidates at our induction events in September.

Best wishes from all of us here at the School
Professor Berne Ferry
National Dean for Healthcare Science
Head of the National School of Healthcare Science


Statement updated on 8th February 2021

High volume of queries

The recruitment team are currently dealing with a high volume of queries. Before emailing any queries please ensure you have read through the guidance documents and information available on the website in full.

Additionally, the recruitment team are continually updating FAQs with any consistent queries therefore please ensure to check for most recent updates. This will be the quickest way to finding the answer to a lot of the queries being received.

Previous statements

22nd February 2021 - Withdrawal of Situational Judgement Tests

We are aware of applicants’ concerns and issues about the Situational Judgment Tests used for this year’s Scientist Training Programme recruitment. There have been a series of problems with the third-party platform that we use to deliver these tests. These problems have affected applicants’ ability to undertake the tests and they have also led us to question the efficacy of the test results. Therefore, in the interests of fairness, we have decided that we should discontinue the use of the Situational Judgement Tests. We will NOT take into account the results of tests completed so far, and we will NOT rely on the tests as part of the selection process.

We are also aware that a small number of applicants have been reporting issues with submitting via Oriel.

We apologise unreservedly for the impact that these problems with the Situational Judgement Tests technology platform have had upon applicants. Importantly, the School remains committed to completing this year’s recruitment to the programme. We are now working urgently on an alternative plan to ensure that recruitment can progress without undue delay and without disadvantage to any applicant.

We will make further announcements as soon as we can about how we are going to proceed. Please, therefore, do not contact the School about this topic: we will inform all applicants as soon as we have new processes in place.

We know this will be an anxious time for applicants but we ask everyone to be patient and to wait to hear from us.

As a result of the technological issues experienced, we are extending the submission deadline for applications until 4.00 PM on Wednesday 24th February 2021.

20th February 2021 - Situational Judgment Test for the STP has been disabled

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and we understand that this is an anxious time for applicants. Please bear with us: we are fully aware of the problems applicants are experiencing in relation to the test and we are receiving a high volume of emails, so please be assured you do not need to contact us further while we are investigating.

We will send out further communications throughout the week commencing 22 February. Once again please accept our apologies: we are working hard to resolve this issue.

19th February 2021 - Oriel application platform currently unavailable for submission of STP applications

There is currently some work in progress to the online application platform which has disabled the submission of applications. We are assured this is a temporary measure and that submission will be possible again early this afternoon from approximately 3 p.m. Please therefore do not attempt to submit your application before that time. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

19th February 2021 - Situational Judgement Test website temporarily down for critical updates

We have been notified that the website hosting the Situational Judgment Test’s for the Scientist Training Programme, is temporarily down for essential, critical updates and maintenance. This means that all STP applicants will be unable to sit the tests until further notice.

We will notify you as soon as we know when the website is operational again. The School would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

7th February 2021 - Oriel offline

The Oriel system will be offline between 0600hrs and 1000hrs (GMT) on 7th February 2021 for scheduled system maintenance.

5th February 2021 - Multiple applications

A message was sent to all applicants yesterday (Thursday 4th February) as a reminder that multiple applications to the STP are not allowed, after our software noted some instances of this having taken place. If you have only submitted one application, please do not worry.

Anyone submitting multiple applications will be withdrawn from the recruitment process. There has been no change to STP application rules: it has always been the case that multiple applications are not allowed. Our application software identifies any duplicate applications and any individual who has submitted more than one application will have all applications and situational judgement scores discounted from recruitment.

If you have contacted us about these questions, we will not respond individually to emails on this topic.

28th January 2021 - Update on Situational Judgement Tests

We are pleased to announce that the platform providing the Situational Judgement Tests is back online and functioning as normal.

The platform providing the Situational Judgement Tests is currently down for technical maintenance and will be back up by close of play today (Tuesday 26th January). If you have recently submitted your application on Oriel and then been unable to access the Situational Judgement Test content this will be resolved later today.

Yesterday on completion of the Situational Judgement Test several applicants were able to view a test results score. Any score that you might have seen is not a true reflection of your performance in the test and was generated by a technical error. Scoring of the SJTs will take place once the test window closes on Wednesday 24th February. The results tab has now been removed to avoid any further confusion.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause applicants.