ST3 2021 timeline published and information about specialties recruiting


The timeline for applying for higher specialty training posts has changed for 2021 recruitment and will open for applications earlier than in previous years.  The application window for ST3 posts will open on 26 November 2020 and close on 17 December 2020; please visit our timeline section for the full timetable, although specific specialty interview dates will only be available nearer to the application opening date.  If you wish to apply, please ensure that you register for an Oriel account on the new version of Oriel (, familiarise yourself with the application requirements and submit an application ahead of the deadline.  Late applications will not be accepted under any circumstances.  

ST3 specialties recruiting

As IMT has changed to a three year programme, some specialties will have no or limited recruitment in 2021 as posts are being used for IMY3. The Physician Specialty Recruitment Office published indicative guidance in January about the recruitment that will be going ahead and this is the latest information available about which specialties will be recruiting. In summary: 

  • Group 2 specialties will be recruiting as normal and current IMY2 trainees are welcome to apply, provided they are on track to successfully complete IMY2 by 4 August 2021.
  • Group 1 specialties will depend on the specialty:
    • Cardiology, genitourinary medicine, neurology and palliative medicine will be recruiting as normal at ST3 level. Recruitment is not open to current IMY2 trainees, who will be welcome to apply for posts starting in 2022 at ST4 level.
    • Acute internal medicine, clinical pharmacology and therapeutics, endocrinology and diabetes, gastroenterology, geriatric medicine, renal medicine, respiratory medicine and rheumatology will not see recruitment for any posts in England starting in 2021. Each devolved nation is deciding on whether to recruit to any of these specialties and this will be confirmed nearer to the application opening date. Recruitment will resume in 2022 at ST4 level.

Changes to the process

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic there will be some significant changes to the process compared to previous years. All interviews will be delivered online in a similar format to 2020 round 2, which has just completed interviews. Although the process may see some changes, the applicant guide addendum which is available from the Document Library, is an indication of what you might expect. 

2021 applicant guidance

The website is being updated for 2021 recruitment and will be ready approximately one week before applications open; due to the timeline being moved forward we are sorry that it is not possible to release guidance any sooner. In advance of this an applicant guide will be published with an overview of the process; a news item will be published when this is available.