Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

StAR International PhD Programme


RCSI's Strategic Academic Recruitment (StAR) Programme is now recruiting 5 prestigious fully funded PhD scholarships. This programme aims to attract high-achieving international students to an efficient four-year structured PhD training programme at RCSI. 

The RCSI StAR PhD Programme aims to encourage scientists to develop innovative research projects in one of RCSI’s areas of research strength, including but not limited to:

  • Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders
  • Population Health and Health Systems Research
  • Regenerative Medicine (Bioengineering)
  • Translational Cancer
  • Vascular Biology
  • Respiratory Medicine
  • Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences & Chemistry 
  • Infection, Immunity and Inflammation 
  • Nursing and Physiotherapy
  • Surgical Science and Practice
  • Gynaecology, Obstetrics & Perinatal Health


The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) has been at the forefront of educating healthcare professionals since 1784. Today we are Ireland’s only focused health sciences institution, Ireland’s largest medical school and one of the leading health sciences institutions in the world. Based in Dublin, with students from over 80 countries and four overseas campuses, RCSI has a global reach through our network of Alumni in 97 countries.  As such it is the most internationally focused HEI in Ireland and is ranked 4th worldwide in terms of the percentage of international students enrolled in our core programmes.

RCSI has been ranked among the top 2% of universities worldwide in the 2018 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings and joint second out of the nine institutions in the Republic of Ireland. RCSI’s performance in the rankings is linked in particular to the College’s research strength and it is ranked first in Ireland for publication citations and has a field-weighted citation impact (2.06) that is twice the world average. RCSI's Strategic Academic Recruitment (StAR) Programme is an ambitious initiative to accelerate the delivery of innovative, impactful research to improve human health through innovative translational medical research. 



  • Opportunity for an international research training experience in a world class institution 
  • Four-year structured PhD training programme 
  • Funded four-year PhD Scholarship, covering student fees (€6,900 p.a.) and student stipend (€18,000 p.a.). 
  • Relocation package: up to €5,000 per student
  • Annual home travel allowance: ~€300-€800 p/a – depending on EU/Rest of World



The RCSI StAR International PhD Programme aims to encourage scientists to develop innovative research projects in the field of Health Sciences. Depending on the focus of the PhD research, students will choose their project based on 3 internal 10 week rotations or students will develop their proposal through the SPHeRE programme (Population Health and Health-services Research).

This structured training programme will include compulsory core modules in ethics, science communication, biostatistics and intellectual property. Core modules are complemented by many additional optional modules delivering skill sets including innovation and entrepreneurship, data management, coding. The structured training is designed to suit bench scientists, informatics based research, clinical researchers, and population heath researchers. 


The PhD Programme is oriented towards high achieving overseas, international students with a strong profile and a background in Biomedical Research, Clinical Research, Population Health Research, or Health Services Research coming from primary degree courses focusing on:

Cell and Molecular Biology; Clinical and Translational Sciences; Medical Sciences (Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Physiology, Anatomy etc); Bioengineering; Pharmacy; Physiotherapy; Nursing and Midwifery; Medicinal Chemistry; Genetics and Neurosciences; Population Health; Social Sciences; Health Services Research; Education in Health Sciences

Students will have obtained or be about to obtain a 1st Class Honours degree or equivalent (i.e. top 10 % of primary degree - or equivalent) and should provide a grade point average (GPA) for each completed year of undergraduate degree.

English requirements: English language certificate IETLS ≥6.5 or above; or must have completed primary degree through the medium of English.


Please find a list of the available research projects and application portal here

Students will be requested to submit a completed application form, detailing academic progress to date, CV/Resume, supporting tutor letter from degree awarding institution and a brief motivational statement describing your career plans.

Please email for further information.