What is the difference between direct entry and in-service STP vacancies?

Information about the two different ways you can apply for to the Scientist Training Programme.


The direct entry route

A direct entry post is open to anyone with at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree in a relevant science subject, or a 2:2 with a relevant master’s degree. As a trainee on the Scientist Training Programme, you will complete the full-time 3 year programme (except for any exemptions) and be employed by an NHS Trust. Your fixed term training contract will be salaried at AfC Band 6 per annum and you will also attend University to complete a fully funded, part time Master’s degree.

As a direct entry applicant you can apply for one specialty and then choose multiple preferred locations/employers.


The in-service route

The in-service route is only open to existing NHS staff working in a recognised scientific specialty, who meet the qualification requirements and have been nominated by their employer.

Before submitting an application you should already have:

  • a nomination from your current employer for the STP
  • arrangements for training with your current employer

Your employer will receive an ‘in-service code’ which they must send to you, so you can complete your application.

If you currently work in the NHS but do not have the in-service arrangements in place, you can apply to the STP via one of the direct entry posts.

Last updated on 4th January 2024