STP Applications open in January! – get some tips and advice from experienced trainees


Check out the STP Perspectives Blog  for some great tips and advice on STP application process and how to make your application stand out.

STP Perspectives is and independent blog ran by trainees already undertaking the programme.  This blog is a great resource for potential and current trainees and will become an invaluable mechanism for trainees to share info and support each other.

3 months until STP applications open!


‘What research means to me!’ – Photography Competition with £300 up for grabs.


Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust introduces What research means to me –  a photography competition for budding photographers of all abilities to celebrate healthcare research in Manchester 2018 with £300 up for grabs for the winning entry.

In order to celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS, the competition aims to to reflect on one of the greatest gifts people can give; taking part in healthcare research. This is a great opportunity to celebrate healthcare research and its role in shaping the NHS today.  That’s why anyone interested in healthcare research is invited to enter images that show what health research means to them.

The winning entry will receive £300 and a framed print of their image and there will also be a runner-up prize of £100 and certificates for those who are highly commended. Winning photo’s will be displayed at the Manchester Clinical Research Facility.

The closing date for entries is 9th November 2018. Entries submitted after this point will not be accepted. The winners will be announced on the 15th November 2018.

Click here for details on how to enter  and for full T&Cs of the competition 

Photography Competition: ‘What research means to me’

Good Luck and Enjoy!


MAHSE Deputy Director Announcement

Anne WhiteThe Manchester Academy for Healthcare Scientist Education (MAHSE) is pleased to announce that Prof Anne White has been appointed as a MAHSE Deputy Director and will lead on the HSST programme provision with MAHSE. Carol Ainley, MAHSE Director said “I am delighted that Anne has joined the MAHSE team as Deputy Director. She has been very effective in leading the DClinSci aspect of the HSST and will work with the NSHCS to take this programme forwards.”

Anne has been working with MAHSE on the DClinSci programme since Summer 2017 and we are looking forward to working closer together in future. Anne said of her appointment “I am very committed to this important goal of training Healthcare scientists to gain the skills to achieve a professional doctorate. The trainees are exceptionally bright and very committed to their aims of becoming future leaders in Healthcare.”

Anne’s appointment follows MAHSE’s decision to appoint two Deputy Director posts given the expansion of programmes within MAHSE. The other Deputy Director post will have a focus on the STP programme provision within MAHSE, and an announcement concerning this appointment will be released in due course.

What does the trainee do as part of the Masters course? (Reproductive Science)

The Association of Clinical Embryologists (ACE) asked Reproductive Science STP trainees ‘What does the trainee do as part of the Masters course?’

The following paragraphs have been written by past and present Trainee Healthcare Scientists about the Master’s in Clinical Science (Cellular Science) from Manchester Metropolitan University. Trainees were asked to write a couple of paragraphs describing what they have had to do for the Master’s course and what they like about the course.

Karimah Douglas – Trainee Healthcare Scientist – Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Coventry – Year of Intake: 2015

In addition to the exams, critical reviews and reflective reports, I have produced a range of presentations that have allowed me to learn from my peers, and gain confidence when presenting to a group. I recently prepared a presentation with the title ‘Infections and Infertility’, whilst other colleagues presented on topics such as ‘Obesity and Infertility’ and ‘Environmental Contaminants and Infertility’. We have all produced presentations for a journal club this year. I discussed artificial oocyte activation in ICSI cycles using surgically retrieved sperm. This encouraged me to explore the process of normal fertilisation and how we can attempt to mimic this in vitro.

The lectures are interesting and thought provoking, and they are not always based on the scientific knowledge we hope to gain during the course. A lecture given by an infertility counsellor challenged me to consider the psychological impact of going through fertility treatment on a deeper level. Additionally, a visit from some patients gave me an insight into the patients’ perception of the process, and a talk given by an ethicist highlighted the complexity of a range of important issues. This was helpful when I was writing one of my favourite assessments of this academic year – an ethical review. I chose to explore an international surrogacy case, and this lecture helped me to think about the case from many different positions.

The Masters course has been dynamic and has complimented my clinical training well. I am looking forward to my final year of study.

Laura Luxon – Trainee Healthcare Scientist – Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Coventry – Year of Intake: 2015

The Masters course that runs alongside the STP training is taught from Manchester Metropolitan University, with visits to the university throughout each year of training. The lectures are very useful as they coincide with your progression as a trainee, providing knowledge of both current research in the field and explanations of clinical procedures. I particularly enjoyed many of the guest lectures on topics such as history and current knowledge of embryo metabolism, and the talks by different members of the clinical team that helped me to understand what happens outside of the IVF laboratory. We also received a visit from a couple who had treatment previously, who explained the emotional rollercoaster of the process and opened our eyes to the patient experience.

One of the best activities in our last year of the Masters was the opportunity to practice different clinical scenarios with patient actors such as breaking bad news or explaining treatment processes and outcomes; this experience was really useful when I returned to the clinical setting and I could use the skills I had practiced in my role at work. Throughout the Masters course I was also able to develop my presentation skills regularly. We were tasked with giving presentations on patient case scenarios, problem resolution, journal clubs and presenting our project work to our peers and academics. These sessions were useful for my own development as I could take on a wealth of feedback. Overall I’ve found the Masters course a great accompaniment to my clinical training on the STP.

Jack Pearson – Trainee Healthcare Scientist – Leeds Fertility – Year of Intake: 2015

The Masters course I currently undertake at Manchester Metropolitan University builds the foundations for the practical work and decisions I make as a trainee Embryologist. The first year covered basic biology, genetics, reproduction professional practice, communication and ethics. This was delivered as 6 weeks at Uni and assessed by multiple choice exams and essay submissions. We also performed group presentations on broad aspects of biology such as novel testing of breast cancer genes involved in diagnostics, giving and receiving feedback from our fellow trainees and academic staff. So far the second year has involved more detailed study of reproductive biology and how an understanding of this enables the functioning of the IVF clinic. Topics include reproductive physiology, male and female infertility, semen analysis, stimulation protocols and all of the techniques within the laboratory. Exam questions asking what the pros and cons to using IVF/ICSI are, when to use different stimulation protocols and the causes of male and female infertility were then set. In the second year of the Masters course we also had the opportunity to meet patients and discuss their journey with them.

This has been by far the best part of the course as we had the chance to hear a reflection about their experience and how it could be improved without being in the clinic, which can be a sensitive and anxious environment at the time of treatment.

Section C Workshop – September 2018

On Thursday 6th September, we welcomed 50 HSST trainees and over 30 academic and workplace supervisors to a day of workshops held in Manchester. Programme directors and programme administrators from The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University provided trainees and their supervisors with information and guidance on Section C.

The day started with trainees completing the full DClinSci and their supervisors attending programme specific sessions ran by their programme directors on how to plan the research project. Trainees who are not completing the full DClinSci attended a session on the extended innovation proposal and lay talk.

All trainees then attended a workshop on how to give a lay talk. The majority of trainees in attendance were in Cohort 3 so we welcomed back Joe Wood, a Cohort 2 Medical Physics: Radiotherapy trainee to give his lay talk to help trainees understand what the lay talk assessment involves.

In the afternoon, trainees attended a workshop on literature reviews and systematic reviews whilst supervisors met with programme directors to discuss assessment. The day ended with a Q&A session. Unfortunately a representative from the NSHCS was unable to attend the event, however, the NSHCS has provided responses to the relevant questions raised in the Q&A session and these are given below.

Podcasts and presentations from the day are provided below.

Please note that the content of the below presentations and podcasts is subject to change, any updates will be posted on the MAHSE website. 

10:00 session
For trainees doing the full DClinSci and their academic and workplace supervisors



How to plan your research project


For trainees not doing the full DClinSci and their academic and workplace supervisors


Your extended innovation proposal and lay talk presentation (for all specialisms)

11:00 session
For all trainees

How to give a lay talk



For academic and workplace supervisors

The Role of the Supervisors



13:00 session
For trainees doing the full DClinSci

Literature review vs systematic review

For academic and workplace supervisors

Discussion on assessment



14:00 session Q&A session

Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence

0075_croppedThe Manchester Academy for Healthcare Scientist Education (MAHSE) are very proud to be one of fifteen winning teams of the Advance HE Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE). The CATE recognises and rewards collaborative work that has had a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning. The award is recognition of the incredibly hard work that all our collaborative partners have put in since 2012 when MAHSE was first established.

Both the CATE and National Teaching Fellows (NTF) were announced yesterday on the Advance HE website. The nomination for MAHSE was submitted by Manchester Metropolitan University but contained all of MAHSE’s cross-University activities with the Scientist Training Programme (STP) and Research & Innovation Project.

You can read more about the MAHSE team and the other successful CATE winners on the Higher Education Academy website (which now forms part of Advance HE).

MAHSE Director Carol Ainley said of the award “The team are proud of this national recognition for the joint approach we have taken to ensuring a positive student experience with successful outcomes. We are now applying this experience to the DClinSci and will use the CATE award as a platform to share our experience more widely.”

MAHSE Research Day 2018



On Monday 4 June 2018, MAHSE held the fifth annual STP Research Day at theStudio, in Manchester, which was attended by over 110 trainees and delegates. The programme included poster presentations from seven students and talks from a further six students, all showcasing research projects from a range of disciplines, as well as presentations from two 2017 Service Improvement and Innovation Fellowship holders.


MAHSE was delighted to welcome back Dr Elaine Cloutman-Green, Principal Clinical Scientist for Infection Prevention and Control at Great Ormond Street Hospital, as the keynote speaker. Elaine gave a talk about her career journey to becoming an influential Clinical Scientist, and some of the challenges she has overcome.  She spoke about the importance of engagement, not only with colleagues, but also the need for outreach and engagement with the public, to ensure future improvements and innovations within healthcare science.



First prize for the student presentations went to Audiology trainee, Andrew Causon, who looked at Electrically-evoked auditory brainstem responses (eABRs) and how they can be used as a pre-operative test to verify auditory nerve function in cases of auditory nerve hypoplasia. Throughout the project Andrew compared various stimulation techniques in eABRs and identified that extracochlear stimulation was the preferred approach for testing auditory nerve function because it consistently produced results for all patients, without the need for exploratory surgery.


Feedback from the event shows that trainees found the keynote speech to be motivational and they valued the opportunity to network and share knowledge with their peers and potential collaborators. Delegates continue to be impressed by the range and standard of the research being undertaken by third year trainees and first year trainees felt that the programme provided useful ideas and tools to help them begin preparing for their own research projects.



1st Prize

Andrew Causon (Neurosensory Sciences – Audiology): An assessor-blind comparison of stimulation techniques in pre-implant electrically-evoked auditory brainstem responses (eABRs).

2nd Prize

Verity Fryer (Clinical Bioinformatics – Genomics): Evaluation of in silico tools for pathogenicity prediction of missense variants in the diagnostic laboratory.

3rd Prize

Angel Masih ( Reconstructive Science): Comparing the post-processing accuracy of digitally manufactured sur
gical wafer material and conventional orthognathic surgical wafer materials.


1st Prize

Elizabeth Smith ( CCVRS Sciences – Respiratory and Sleep Science): Could portable CPAP improve the exercise capacity of adults with tracheomalacia?

2nd Prize

Abigail Jones (Neurosensory Sciences – Audiology): Exploring a Categorisation Framework for the Individual Management Plan – Outcome Score (IMP-OS): Clinicians’ Perspectives


IMG_0109-2 IMG_0063-2 IMG_0014-2 Prize IMG_0055-2 venue view 2




















Meet our 2018 Service Improvement & Innovation Fellowship Award Holders

In November 2017 MAHSE opened its second round of applications for its Service Improvement and Innovation Fellowship Scheme.  The scheme is aimed at healthcare science staff who are undertaking service improvement and innovation projects in NHS Trusts across the North West.  Earlier this year MAHSE awarded over £35,000 in funding to support the following projects:

Catherine JukesCatherine Jukes, Orthoptist, Blackpool Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Catherine graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Orthoptics from Liverpool University. She has 20 years of clinical experience and works at Blackpool Teaching Hospital as an advanced Orthoptist specialising in stroke, thyroid eye disease and adult neurological conditions. In 2017 Catherine completed a Research Internship run by the University of Central Lancashire. She developed and conducted a prospective randomised controlled feasibility study. She is interested in designing and developing new ideas to improve patient care in Orthoptics. During the MAHSE fellowship Catherine will undertake an MPhil at Sheffield University.

Project: Development of an objective eye movement measuring device for use in a clinical setting  

Limitations of eye movement excursion can indicate serious pathology such as brain tumours, thyroid eye disease and multiple sclerosis. It is important to accurately detect and monitor these limitations. Worsening limitations can indicate disease progression and an urgent need for investigation and management of the underlying condition.

Current clinical methods of eye movement measurement are subjective and inaccurate, relying on estimations graded by the examiner. Objective quantification of eye movements would provide a more accurate and reliable evaluation. The objective method available to most clinicians is time consuming and relies on a large machine requiring its own room.

The aim of this project is to produce and evaluate the effectiveness of a new clinical device. This portable device will provide objective quantification of eye movement excursions. Ultimately this will enable a more accurate and reliable assessment, improving patient care whilst reducing the time and space needed for adequate examination.


Rachel Salmon, Genetic Technologist, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust Rachel Salmon

Rachel currently works as a genetic technologist within the Genomic Diagnostics Laboratory at Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine (MCGM) within St Mary’s Hospital where she has been for the past two years. Rachel works within the cytogenetics department as part of the cell culture and karyotyping team which focuses on pre-natal diagnostic genetics services. Prior to this Rachel gained her BSc in Biomedical Science and her MSc in the Medicine of Aging at the University of Chester with a focus on Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis. Rachel is looking forward to undertaking this project and being able to expand her knowledge of diagnostic cancer services and clinical management.

Project: Expansion of the current BRCA1/2 FFPE service using ctDNA sample testing as a complementary test for identifying BRCA1/2 positive mutations

Currently testing is carried out for somatic mutations present in the BRCA1/2 genes using tumour biopsy samples. This is an invasive procedure prone to various risks and tumours can be inaccessible for biopsy due to anatomical locations.

This projects aims to detect these mutations within ctDNA that is derived from tumour cells and is found circulating blood. The sampling technique is less invasive and more easily obtainable. Obtaining a blood sample would bypass the pathology process and allow for more rapid testing. Furthermore this complementary test may provide more patients with access to targeted, efficacious and well tolerated treatment options in particular poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors, particularly in those patients in whom a tumour biopsy is unobtainable.  This may improve the prognosis for many patients with advanced stage ovarian cancer.



Register for the Understanding Innovation in the Healthcare Sciences MOOC

Find out how you can identify opportunities for innovation and undertake innovation projects effectively within your own healthcare service.

Understanding Innovation in the Healthcare Sciences is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) which has been designed by Manchester Metropolitan University and MAHSE.  This online course is hosted on FutureLearn, the social learning platform (see further details about FutureLearn below).  If you have an idea for a service improvement or innovation that you want to develop or if you are keen to discover more about what the process of making an innovation involves, then register for the Understanding Innovation in the Healthcare Sciences MOOC where you will be able to explore the following topics:

  • Identifying innovation and service improvement within the healthcare sciences
  • Obtaining support and funding for innovation and service improvement projects
  • Measuring the performance of your service
  • Planning, implementing and evaluating innovation and service improvement projects
  • Spreading the adoption of innovation and service improvements

Learners will also have the opportunity to have discussions and network with healthcare professionals from around the world therefore gaining new perspectives on the topics arising from the course.

By the end of this 4 week course learners will be able to:

  • Assess what constitutes an innovation in healthcare science and identify areas for innovation in clinical service.
  • Design an innovation project proposal, including identifying sources of support and communication with stakeholders.
  • Reflect on and then apply the appropriate tools and techniques for project planning.
  • Develop a critical awareness of the steps involved in launching and evaluating an innovation project, including dissemination and communication strategies.

The course is open for enrolment now and will start on 11 June 2018 .  You can enrol on the course for free or upgrade for £62 to enjoy extra benefits. The course can be accessed from any device with internet access offering the flexibility to study when it is most convenient for you.

If you are interested in taking this course please register here.


About FutureLearn

Founded by The Open University in 2012, FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform, enabling online learning through conversation. With over 7.5 million people from over 200 countries across the globe – a community that is continuously growing – it offers free and paid for online courses from world-leading UK and international universities, as well as organisations such as the European Space Agency, the British Council and Cancer Research UK. FutureLearn’s course portfolio covers a wealth of areas to promote lifelong learning for a range of applications including general interest, an introduction to university studies, continuing professional development and fully online postgraduate degrees.