This page includes guidance on completing the 'supporting information' page of the ST3 application form.
The supporting information page of the application form is where many of the marks available to candidates can be gained, and where candidates tend to spend the most time answering.
Included within this section will be details of any items you have had published, any presentations/posters produced, any experience you have in teaching and clinical audit; as well as areas to add information on achievements you have gained outside of medicine; plus a section where you can give a statement describing your commitment to your chosen specialty.
Before beginning the supporting information page, please view the general guidance below.
These points will help you both in terms of completing the page quickly and accurately, as well as avoiding any actions which may cause issues later in the recruitment process.
We have summarised the guidance into several points; clicking on the relevant heading below will reveal further details:
While completing your application, you may find that some items could be included in more than one section; for example, if you had given a presentation relating to an audit.
However, each item you add to your application form should not be included in more than one scoring section.
Including something twice will be viewed as an attempt to have this 'double-counted', and thus gain more marks; if this is identified, you may be penalised for this.
[NB if you have given an audit-related presentation, this should always be included in the 'clinical audit' section.]
If you have added an item to a scoring section, and then wish to include it in a non-scoring section of the form (eg referring to an audit project within the 'commitment to specialty' section), you will not be penalised for this.
However, we would still advise that each individual section should contain new, 'fresh' information wherever possible.
Recruiters/interviewers will encounter all achievements elsewhere in your form, so you should make use of each different section to give as wide a picture of your candidature as possible.
When presented with a drop-down list in one of the scoring areas, you should select the highest option which is relevant to your experience.
This is because the achievements are listed in score order, highest-first; although please note that some achievements do carry equal weight.
Details of the scoring breakdown can be found on the scoring page of this website.
Each of the areas within this section, barring 'achievements outside medicine' and 'commitment to specialty', require you to select the appropriate option, and to then provide information on, and justification for, your selection in an accompanying textbox.
For example, if you are adding details of a presentation, you should say when it was, where you gave it, to whom it was delivered, etc.
As for the 'justification' of your selection, this will involve suggesting how this relates to hospital medicine.
In some cases, you may feel this is unnecessary (eg having a paper published on cardiology is obviously relevant to hospital medicine); but you should still attempt to expand on the information given, as this will help facilitate discussion at interview.
Following on from the point above, each of the textboxes accompanying each of the items on this page has its own strict word limit.
Please note that these are maximum limits. It is recommended that you make you answers as succinct as possible, do not feel you need to utilise the full word limit unless this is necessary to demonstrate an achievement; being able to present and summarise information succinctly is an important skill for a physician!
Each textbox will display a word count based on the text already added.
As described elsewhere on this website, this word count is not necessarily calculated in the same manner as that of other software, such as MS Word; but it is to the word count/limit in the application form that you must adhere.
It does not matter if MS Word suggests a piece of text is 250 words, for example; if the application system word count is 253, then this is the count that will be registered.
In previous rounds, candidates have preferred to draft textbox answers away from the form, using software such as MS Word, and then copy and paste into the application form once ready.
While there is no problem with drafting answers 'offline', due to the different format setups of MS Word and the application system, pasting directly into the system from Word can cause problems with formatting on the submitted version of the form.
You are recommended to first paste the text into a plain-text application such as MS Notepad, to 'clean' any formatting from the text, and then paste from Notepad into the application form.
Once the clean text is in the application form, you can apply formatting as need be.
Scores & evidence
The supporting information page is the second (of two, the other being the qualifications page) where scores will be awarded, hence you should review the scores available for each option and each sub-section.
Any item you include here which will see scores awarded to you will need to be backed up at interview by documentary evidence of the item.
For reference, on each of the areas described below, we have marked the maximum number of marks available.
However, we would advise visiting the scoring page of this website, and reviewing the scoring framework therein.
You will then be able to refer to this when considering the options available, and to be aware of the scores available for each option.
All achievements to be supported by evidence
Please be aware that, should you go on to be invited to interview, you will need to provide evidence to support each item of information you add to this section of your application form.
So for example, if you state you have had an item published, evidence of publication must be produced at interview.
Any instances of candidates found to be making claims on their application form which cannot substantiated will be taken extremely seriously.
For more details on providing such evidence at interview, please see the interview preparation page of this website.
Supporting information - sub-sections
There are six areas in this section of the form, four of which contribute towards the short-list score awarded to your application.
These four areas account for 34 of the 78 marks available; and the two non-scoring sections are considered and discussed further at interview. Hence this part of your form is of major significance.
The six sections are listed below; click on the relevant heading for more information:
‹ Achievements outside of medicine [no marks] ›
This section is a free-text box, allowing you to provide information on any significant achievements you have gained outside of your time in medical work/training.
However, you should try and make clear the relevance to your ST3 application of anything you do add here.
Consult the relevant person specification for details of the person skills required of an ST3 trainee to guide your response.
Completion of this section is not mandatory, although you are advised to try and include something here if possible.
No marks will be awarded to your application for this section.
However, should you progress to interview, your application form will be discussed, which may include any information you add here.
‹ Presentations [max 6 marks] ›
In this section you can include details of any presentations you have made at national, regional or local meetings, or posters you have shown.
Please note that for an item to count as a 'presentation', a full presentation must have been given by the time of application.
In general, presentation/production of a poster should be included under the '...shown a poster' option.
Any presentations relating to audits should be included in the 'Clinical audit' section (see further down this page).
A maximum of six marks is available for this section.
For further details on completion of the presentations section and the scores available, please visit the application scoring page of this website.
‹ Publications [max 8 marks] ›
If you have been involved in the production of any articles/items which have been published, you can include details of this here.
Please be aware that if requested explicitly, only items published to PubMed-cited documents can be included; although Cochrane reviews can be regarded as equivalent to PubMed-cited documents.
You will need to give full (where possible) citation details of any articles etc. you have had published, in the same format as that in PubMed (excluding your own name).
For examples of these citations, please visit the PubMed website.
In the event that the citation details you wish to add will not fit into the publications text box (word limit 300 words), you can shorten citations by using author references such as 'Jones et al', for example.
If this is still not sufficient to create space, an alternative option is to add details as possible, then add a note saying 'full details to follow'.
You can then add the remaining citation details to an email and send this to your first-choice deanery/UoA preference (contact details on the deanery/UoA contacts page of this website.)
One key point to note is that, marks can be awarded for articles/publications which have been completely accepted, but are just waiting to be published - ie 'in press'.
Should you have such an item to include, please make absolutely clear this is the situation.
A maximum of eight marks is available for this section.
For further details on completion of the publications section and the scores available, please visit the application scoring page of this website.
‹ Teaching experience [max 10 marks] ›
This section requires you to give information on any experience you have had of teaching health professionals/medical students, and any training you have had in teaching methods.
As with the above areas, this section begins with a drop-down menu, listing possible levels of teaching experience that you may have (including the option 'I have no experience...').
Once you have selected the highest, most appropriate option, a free-text box will appear, allowing you to give further details - the maximum word limit here is 350 words.
Completion of this section is mandatory - if you have no teaching experience, please select the 'no experience' option as mentioned above.
If you add details of teaching experience to the form, you will be required to provide evidence to back this up should you be invited to interview subsequently.
How is 'formal training in teaching methods' defined?
One particular area on which we receive a number of queries is that 'formal training in teaching methods'.
The main gist of 'formal' training in teaching methods is that this needs to be outside of the standard programmes offered by training bodies (foundation schools, deaneries, etc.)
That is: most medical trainees applying to ST3 posts will likely have undergone some training in teaching 'automatically' as part of their training to date.
What the application is looking for in terms of formal training is some experience of teaching training beyond this.
This does not have to be an external course necessarily, but a substantial course that would not have been provided to a trainee as a normal part of their training to date.
While the variety of programmes available prevents us from being very prescriptive over what can and cannot be classed as 'formal', in general we would suggest formal training would last between five and 20 days.
How do I distinguish between 'local' and 'regional'?
The main point of asking you to specify whether a programme was local or regional is to gain an idea of the scale of a programme.
Again, it is difficult to be too specific when giving an indication of where one stops and another starts.
However, a local programme would usually be confined to a local hospital, trust or university setting; a regional programme would extend beyond this - eg to a county, a recognised cluster of hospitals, beyond a city, etc.
As with all areas here, you will need to employ your professional judgement to select the appropriate option.
A maximum of 10 marks is available for this section.
For further details on completion of the teaching experience section and the scores available, please visit the application scoring page of this website.
‹ Clinical audit [max 10 marks] ›
The format of the 'clinical audit' section is just as above; select the highest, most appropriate option from the drop-down list, and then give further details in the accompanying text box (max 250 words) if necessary.
As above, completion of this section is mandatory - and any claims you make here will again need to be supported by evidence at any interview to which you are subsequently invited.
The options available within the clinical audit section of fairly self-explanatory, and do cover most different degrees of experience neatly.
As noted within the 'presentations' guidance, any presentation relating to an audit project should be included here, and not under 'presentations'.
A maximum of 10 marks is available for this section.
For further details on completion of the clinical audit section and the scores available, please visit the application scoring page of this website.
‹ Commitment to specialty [no marks] ›
This section consists solely of a free-text box; here you must describe how you believe that you meet the requirements of the relevant 2013 CT1 person specification(s), the skills and experience you have which make you suitable for a career in medicine, and your future commitment to medical training.
We would advise you to use this section to provide fresh supporting information, rather than repeating any information you have provided in other sections of the application form; or indeed, giving any information here which would be more appropriate in other sections of the form.
Completion of this section of the application form is mandatory, with a maximum word limit of 400 words.
As with 'achievements outside of medicine', no marks are awarded to this part of your form at the short-listing stage; but again, your answer can form a part of discussion of your application at interview.
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