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and Molecular & Cellular Therapeutics.
A range of collaborative initiatives such
as joint PhD programmes, students
exchanges and joint research grant
applications have emerged from such
interactions. In addition, two SPGS
staff attended a high profile CONFAP
meeting in Brasília, where they presented
RCSI research opportunities to all the
presidents of the 26 major funding
agencies from each state in Brazil, at
the invitation of Research Brazil Ireland
(RBI) and funded by Science Foundation
Ireland (SFI). The School also hosted
a day-long symposium in February, in
tandem with an RBI conference entitled
Collaborative Research for a Better
Future, which took place in Dublin Castle
and was attended by academics from all
higher education institutes in Ireland.
Since July 2014, ten RCSI researchers
have visited their collaborators in top-
ranked and research-active universities
in China and Hong Kong such as Beijing
Genomics Institute (BGI) Hong Kong
and BGI Shenzhen, Soochow University
the Hong Kong University and industry,
collaborators in Sinnowa (Nanjing) and
Lee's Pharmaceuticals (Beijing). Three
reciprocal academic visits from Chinese
researchers were hosted by RCSI. In
March 2015, eight RCSI researchers
participated at the ISCP/ISCA China
biomedical workshop hosted by the
Guanghzou Medical University.
The School facilitated an academic visit
by Professor Hiroko Ikeda and Naomi
Yonemochi (Hoshi University) supported
by ISCA-Japan funding. As a result of this
visit, RCSI has signed a memorandum of
understanding with Hoshi University to
collaborate in a number of joint activities
such as student, staff and faculty
Postgraduate Students' Union (PGSU)
PGSU coordinated a Careers Week in
April 2014, with the help of Fionnuala
Rahilly, RCSI's Career Manager, to
address the career-readiness of final year
degree candidates. The event comprised
the following workshops: Get Prepared,
How to Present Yourself and Behavioural
Interview Techniques.
Other developments
This year, the School introduced a
valedictorian speaker for the conferring
ceremonies. In the November and June
graduations, the valedictorian addresses
were delivered by Dr Karen Coughlin,
a graduate from the Department of
Physiology and Dr Eithne Sexton, a
graduate of the Population Health and
Health Services Research (SPHeRE) PhD
New initiatives to monitor, mentor
and support all MD candidates were
introduced to ensure the delivery of
an improved learner experience and
outcome. These initiatives included a
rigorous annual progress review of all
MD students and corresponded with the
increased numbers of students that enrol
on this important programme. Other new
initiatives will include a change in the
examination format and the introduction
of supervisor training for all postgraduate
programmes in 2015/16.
Students must
demonstrate that
they have made an
original and impactful
contribution to
knowledge and their
work must be of
publishable quality.
Valedictorian, Dr Eithne Sexton (centre) with fellow PhD graduates, Dr Ciara O'Dwyer, Dr James Reck and Dr Emmet Thompson, at the Higher Degree Conferring
Ceremony in June 2015.
EDUCATION, TEACHING AND LEARNING - RCSI School of Postgraduate Studies