“Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic Health Education England and the National School of Healthcare Science have made the decision to cancel the interview event for admission to the Scientist Training Programme.

The interview event was due to take place between 23 March and 23 April with a total of 1100 applicants being interviewed by over 450 scientists.

Given the ongoing situation, we will be unable to organise another interview event on this scale in time for admission to the programme in September and we will, therefore, look to develop an alternative selection process urgently. 

We feel that this is the correct and responsible decision to make in these exceptional circumstances in view of

  • increased demand on the time of NHS staff in response to the pandemic
  • Trusts across the country instructing that their staff should not travel offsite
  • the need to support more vigilant public health measures.

We appreciate that all parties will want further information swiftly and will be anxious to ensure that the 2020 cohort can be recruited in time for a September start. However, as this is an unprecedented situation, developing a process to replace the interviews will require careful consideration. We will need to do this with buy-in from the scientific community including the employers and HEIs, so that all our stakeholders can be satisfied that selection is based on a robust and fair process.  We will let all parties know as soon as a decision has been taken.

We are not able to issue any further updates at this stage, so are unable to respond to any general queries about the status of the revised recruitment process. We will make further announcements through our various communication channels (Oriel, the NSHCS website and Twitter feed) as quickly as possible.  We have created a specific webpage to answer frequently asked questions.

We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support and understanding during this unprecedented situation.”