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It's All About the Science

The path to a scientist training programme

Sophie celebrating her masters
Sophie celebrating her masters

Sophie Ward (2008-2015) loved biology and chemistry at school and opted for the biochemistry route, studying for her degree at Aberystwyth University with the bonus of its location on the coast (as she says she spent a lot of time on the beach!).  From there, not ready to leave academia, Sophie decided to study for a Masters’ degree at Manchester University, and thoroughly enjoyed the change of being in a city and all it has to offer. 

Studying for the Masters’ was a massive help to Sophie getting onto the extremely competitive NHS Scientist Training Programme, with over 600 applicants for every place and a series of interviews and online tests to complete.  It prepared her well for coping with the demands of the programme, spending time on rotations in different departments, as well as being involved in some big projects as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Sophie is keen to point out that you need to be willing to move around departments and work with lots of different people to get the most out of the learning experience. 

As a trainee, Sophie spends time in a laboratory working on areas such as setting up samples for requested tests and analysing test results. This includes working through case studies to ensure her knowledge is correct and up to date, supported by a lot of academic reading. Based in London, Sophie has already moved around four different hospitals and plans to complete residences in a further three before she is fully qualified, including an overseas post. 

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