Competences and qualifications

Competences and qualifications

This is the introductory page to hints, tips and strategies that we’ve researched and compiled to help you get hired by the NHS. Further sections of this Employer Insight show how you can demonstrate the skills listed below in your application and interview for the NHS scientist training programme.
  • The ‘selling yourself in writing’ section helps you to promote the skills below in the context of written applications to the NHS.
  • The ‘selling yourself face to face’ section helps you to promote the skills below in the context of graduate interviews with the NHS.
  • ‘Applications tips’ and ‘interviews explained’ detail the timings and processes of each stage of the NHS’s selection.

NHS scientist training programme requirements

In addition to all the requirements above, it is essential for those applying to the STP to have a scientific degree with a projected grade of 2.1 minimum. The degrees required for each area of the programme are:
  • Life sciences: biochemistry, biology, genetics, life sciences, or microbiology.
  • Physical sciences and biomedical engineering: applied mathematics, engineering or pure physics (or applied physics).
  • Physiological sciences: biology, engineering, human biology, physiology or pure physics (or applied physics).
Further acceptable degrees include biomedical science, biotechnology or medical electronics, but only if these directly relate to the particular scientific graduate role you’re applying for. You must have acheived your degree by 12 August, 2013.
Bioinformatics genomics is an atypical scheme as it bisects informatics and science knowledge. As such, relevant degrees are broader than the above, and can include biological, biomedical, natural sciences, computing/informatics, computer science, mathematics or similar.
Some experience of work within the NHS would be beneficial for any of the trainee schemes but is not a prerequisite. More on how to find relevant work experience can be found by reading the ‘work experience’ section of this Employer Insight.

Competencies for the NHS scientist training programme

All graduate applicants to the STP will need to be able to demonstrate the following:
  • A good level of computer literacy – particularly with presentations, spreadsheets and reports
  • Ability to analyse various types of technical, medical and scientific information
  • Ability to design research investigations and experiments
  • Compassion and empathy for patients
  • Demonstrable experience of designing and giving presentations
  • Leadership capabilities
  • The ability to be self-reflective and self-analytical
  • An understanding of the values and aims of the NHS
  • An understanding of research in a laboratory environment
  • An understanding of scientific equipment to the extent that you can judge whether there are any faults with it.
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