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

RCSI receives Erasmus+ funding for student and staff mobility between Chinese and US partners

22 July 2015

The School of Pharmacy of RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) has been awarded significant funding to finance staff and student exchanges between partner institutions Soochow University (SU) in China and Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, East Tennessee State University (BGCOP) in the USA. This award will be used to fund further undergraduate, postgraduate and academic staff exchanges over the next two years, with the goal of deepening the academic links between our institutions.
 
RCSI already has existing collaborations with both of these institutions, having previously exchanged staff and students for teaching, training and research purposes. The Erasmus program is a long running EU initiative that funds the exchange of students and staff between EU nations in order to foster collaboration and to strengthen the European economy through the sharing of knowledge and skills. Since 2014, a new evolution of the program (Erasmus+) has opened the door to funding for mobility of staff and students between European (Programme) countries and non-EU (Partner) countries, to facilitate learning exchanges in both directions.
 
Speaking on the funding award, Professor Paul Gallagher, Head of the School of Pharmacy said, "I am delighted that the School has been successful in this application and it is a true testament to the strong relations we have built with both SU and BGCOP. My thanks go to those who prepared our Erasmus+ application, Dr Helena Kelly and Dr Liam Burke, with administrative support from the RCSI Erasmus officer, Professor Marc Devocelle, and Mary Plunkett in SARA."
 
Soochow University (SU) is ranked in the top 5% of Chinese universities and has a strong culture of internationalisation, with active collaborations with over 100 universities in 30 countries. The SU College of Pharmaceutical Sciences (CoPS) was founded in 2005 and is one of the premier and fastest growing institutions of pharmaceutical education and research in China, achieving a ranking of 17th in 2012 amongst 150 of the same type of colleges. RCSI signed a Memorandum of Academic and Research Collaboration with SU in April 2015 which has been cemented this summer through RCSI's first International Research Summer School exchange programme. Research areas between both institutions are synergistic and include drug development and delivery, pharmacology, nanomedicine, neuroscience, tumour immunology, molecular cancer research and molecular diagnostics.

Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy (BGCOP) is a privately-funded College of Pharmacy within East Tennessee State University (ETSU) in Johnson City. Founded in 2007, BGCOP, is a young School of Pharmacy whose mission is "to develop progressive pharmacists that improve healthcare, focusing on rural and underserved communities". BGCOP has a strong culture of experiential learning. Student placements in international clinical and community pharmacies and research laboratories play an important part in their curriculum. RCSI School of Pharmacy formed a partnership with BGCOP in 2014, which has since been solidified by student and staff exchanges.

RCSI is among the top 50 most international universities in the world (Times Higher Education University World Rankings, 2014-15). It is a not-for-profit health sciences institution focused on education and research to drive positive change in all areas of human health worldwide. RCSI is headquartered in Dublin and is a recognised College of the National University of Ireland. In 2010, RCSI was granted independent degree awarding status by the State, which enables the College to award degrees alongside its traditional powers to award licentiates.