The Healthcare Scientist Training Research and Evaluation Group

Research Group Leads:

Dr Sharon Buckley, Professor Suzanne Chamberlain and Sandie Gay


The Healthcare Scientist Training Research and Evaluation Group undertakes cutting edge research and evaluation to identify the most effective ways of preparing trainee healthcare scientists for their future roles, focussing particularly on the Scientist Training Programme and the rapidly developing field of genomics education.

About our research group

Established in 2016, our group is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham and Health Education England (HEE), including the National School for Healthcare Sciences and the HEE Genomics Education Programme.

Our aim is to create new knowledge and insights into the education and training of healthcare scientists, to ensure that newly qualified scientists have the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to provide the scientific services and expertise that enable the highest standards of patient care. To achieve this, we work with healthcare scientists and policy makers at all levels, undertaking quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research as appropriate and formulating recommendations for educational enhancement.

Our current focus is research related to the Scientist Training Programme (STP). Introduced in 2011, the STP is a Masters level course that educates over 300 trainees annually across 30 different healthcare science specialties. 

In September 2018, our work will extend to include aspects of the HEE Genomics Education Programme, which aims to ensure that National Health Service staff have the knowledge, skills and experience to ensure that the NHS remains a world leader in genomic and precision medicine. 

Current projects

Current projects include investigations of:

  1. Perceptions of professional identity among healthcare scientists
  2. The relationships between STP applicants’ performance in selection processes and their subsequent achievement in end of programme assessments
  3. The influence of professional standards on individual performance, with particular regard to leadership capability
  4. The career destinations of graduates from the National School of Healthcare Science Scientist Training Programme (STP)

Recent publications

Conference presentations

Jackson M 2017. Who are healthcare scientists? An exploration of their professional identity. The Birmingham Conference, University of Birmingham (poster presentation)

Smith M, Patel J, Davison I, Chamberlain S, Gay S, Buckley S. 2018 How far do aptitude test and interview scores for Scientist Training Programme applicants correlate with subsequent performance in end of year assessments? Submitted for The Birmingham Conference, University of Birmingham, May 2018  (poster presentation)

Patel J, Smith M, Buckley S,  Chamberlain S, Gay S, Davison I. 2018 Developing leadership capacity in the healthcare professions through professional standards: a comparison of the professional standards requirements for doctors and healthcare scientist. Submitted for The Birmingham Conference, University of Birmingham, May 2018 (poster presentation)


Research Group Leads

Dr Sharon Buckley, Institute of Clinical Sciences, College of Medical and Dental Sciences

Sharon Buckley

Professor Suzanne Chamberlain, Deputy Head, National School of Healthcare Science

Suzanne ChamberlainSandie Gay, Deputy Head of Education and Assessment, National School of Healthcare Sciences

Sandie Gay

Research Associates


Jaimini Patel and Megan Smith

Jaimini Patel, Research Associate (left)

Jaimini is in her final year of studying a part time MRes in Clinical Health Research at the University of Birmingham.

Megan Smith, Research Associate 

Megan is undertaking a part time MRes in Educational Studies at the University of Birmingham.  


  • Dr Sharon Buckley,  Institute of Clinical Sciences, College of Medical and Dental Sciences
  • 0121 414 2675