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

Enhanced Clinical Microbiology Skills Programme

This is a summer research programme embedded within the RCSI Research Summer School, provided by the Department of Clinical Microbiology. The aim of this programme is to enhance skills in clinical microbiology.

This course will teach core skills in clinical microbiology via seminars, workshops, weekly visits to the ICU in Beaumont Hospital, as well as practical placements within the microbiology diagnostic laboratory. The programme is open to all Undergraduate Medicine and Pharmacy students, and GEM students in RCSI in Dublin, as well as Undergraduate Medicine students in Bahrain and Perdana.

Enrolees will be competitively selected from candidates who have submitted their CV to the Research Summer School portal and selected a clinical microbiology project. Preference will be given to those who demonstrate a strong interest in microbiology.


Core skills that will be covered in interactive workshops led by an expert in the topic will be as follows:


  1. Healthcare-associated Infections & Infection Prevention Control. In addition to this workshop, students will be able to attend Infection Prevention Control meetings in Beaumont Hospital.
  2. Diagnostic Approaches & Clinical Applications. This WS will be complemented by a weekly placement in the diagnostic laboratory. Students will rotate through the various "benches" of the diagnostic laboratory e.g. specimen reception, urine, blood, faeces, sputum, CSF.
  3. Host-Pathogen Interactions & the Immune Response to Infection. Students will participate in a WS focussing on innate immunity and adaptive immune response to infection.
  4. Antibiotic Prescribing & Stewardship. This WS will build upon and be more advanced than the material taught in IC1/IC2. Students will learn how to complete a prescription for an antimicrobial e.g. a drug KARDEX, calculate doses for therapeutic drug monitoring.
  5. Public Health Issues & Health Promotion, especially for vaccine-preventable diseases and other highly communicable diseases e.g. STIs.


Clinical: Weekly visits to the ICU with a mentor and shadowing the clinician on call will provide clinical exposure. During the ICU visits each student will be allocated a patient on whom they must complete a case-study covering presentation, diagnosis and management. Each student will present their case to the entire group towards the end of the course.

Journal Club: Students will attend the weekly microbiology journal club in Beaumont Hospital.

Research project: Each student will complete an eight-week project on a topic related to clinical microbiology with a member of academic staff. Three laboratory-based and three clinical projects will be available.

Presentation skills: On completion each student will present an oral presentation of their project to members of the Department. Each student will also present their completed case-study to the group and a facilitator. Students will be encouraged to submit an abstract on their project for oral or poster presentation at RCSI Research Day or ICHAMS.