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

Make a difference to a student’s life in RCSI today.

Your gift will help provide our students with the opportunities to have the best educational experience while at RCSI. Four priority areas which need your support include Clinical Electives, the Research Summer School, Scholarships and Student Hardship.

You can read about these priority areas by clicking on the links below.


"The Hardship Fund is vital for students as the stress was really affecting my studies and now I can focus on my studies."

One of the most difficult times for a student is when they might find themselves in unforeseen financial crises which may impact on their studies. Thanks to gifts from RCSI alumni, the Student Hardship Fund is there to help students who find themselves in need. Circumstances vary but generally the main issues facing students are a change in family circumstances such as the break-up of a relationship, serious illness or death in the family, one or both of their parents becoming unemployed which in turn impacts on the family’s ability to provide for the student financially. Students who apply for funding share their circumstances with Student Welfare who award a grant based on the extremity of their situation.


A drastic economic change in the home country of the student below meant that her parents had to take a huge reduction in salary and the salaries they were receiving were often times delayed. Below she shares her story and how the Hardship Fund helped her.


"The Hardship Fund has helped me a lot. I was not able to get enough money every month due to my parent’s problems. It was very stressful trying not to spend and doing the calculations every now and then. It was sometimes embarrassing trying not to spend when with friends. Now, I am able to just concentrate on my studies. I have enough money to be able to go on my rotations with the extra expenses and I sometimes have extra money that might help me in any emergencies. I was also able to get medications I needed. Everything is now completely different. No more stress about the money. I am very happy and I cannot be more thankful for what I currently have. The Hardship Fund is vital for students as the stress was really affecting my studies and now I can focus on my studies. "


We anticipate an increase in applications for the Student Hardship Fund which means your support is needed now more than ever to ensure that we can help as many students as possible to continue with their studies. Please give a gift today.


"The Student Innovation Challenge in an experience I will never forget"

RCSI’s Research Summer School gives students like Rebecca an opportunity to explore the world of research.


"This was my first year doing RCSI’s Research Summer School (RSS) and it did not disappoint. I was fortunate to do a research project on a topic I had a huge interest in – musculoskeletal health. The RSS opened my eyes to a lot of things. It showed me both the vastness and quality of research that is available to students who are interested in musculoskeletal health. It allowed me to develop an understanding of the hard work, dedication and time that is involved in creating a high standard publication. And it also showed me the multiple opportunities that are available to students and health care professionals alike to further their careers through research. As a student, being able to gain all of this knowledge and experience in one summer, while being able to afford to stay in Dublin and look after myself, was something I thought would never be possible.


The Research Summer School also allowed me to be part of a new initiative in RCSI – the Student Innovation Challenge. 120 students like me from the Research Summer School came together and were tasked with trying to solve some of the biggest challenges facing global healthcare. We presented our ideas and innovations to a distinguished judging panel comprised of Professor Fergal O’Brien, Professor of Bioengineering & Regenerative Medicine; Professor Richard Costello, Associate Professor of Medicine; Dr Aoife Gallagher, Head of Innovation; Mr Brian Kelly, CEO Kelada Pharmachem Limited & Dr John Gleeson, CSO SurgaColl Technologies Limited. We were presented with challenges in biomaterials and drug delivery, cancer, neurobiology, population health, respiratory medicine, infection and immunity. The challenge allowed students to gain an insight into real and important issues that health care professionals are facing today and pushed students to come up with ways to potentially solve or begin to solve these problems.


I spent a day with a group of likeminded health care students, coming up with an idea to tackle obesity in young Irish girls. Our team was called Proactiv and our idea was a peer-led initiative that used an app linked to a heart rate monitor. If a student’s heart rate increased to at least 50% of their maximum heart rate for 1 hour a day, that student would be awarded a point towards their class’ total points for the week. We used the idea of a heart rate monitor, rather than a pedometer for example, so that students who might not like typical exercise could gain a point from simply cleaning their house, riding their bike or going for a swim. The class with the most points at the end of the week would be awarded a prize. The app uses positive reinforcement and peer pressure in a constructive way to encourage students to be active. Getting a point would impress the student and their peers and potentially lead to getting a prize at the end of the week. We presented our idea in front of the panel and won the award. It was an experience I will never forget."


Please give a gift today so another student like Rebecca can have an unforgettable experience in the Research Summer School.


"The generosity and drive that the alumni of RCSI have shown me will always serve as inspiration to become the best doctor that I can possibly be"

Ryan Leon, a 2nd year Medicine student speaks passionately about coming to RCSI on a Scholarship, thanks to Alumni.;

Ryan Leon 

"Initially when I read about the scholarship award I thought that it was too good to be true and something that I could never achieve. I thought that my chances of being offered a place in medicine the traditional route were slim due to the costs associated and I had accepted that I may have had to set my heart on something else for my future. After spending the entire morning refreshing my offers, the genuine disbelief that I had when I received a place and scholarship in RCSI was followed by an excitement that still follows me today.


The opportunity of studying medicine in such a diverse and globally renowned institution is something that I will be forever grateful for. The alumni of RCSI gave me the chance to pursue a lifelong ambition of mine without having to worry about the financial constraints that can follow and the inspiration to become the best doctor I can possibly be. Whilst my first year of studying medicine was crazy, from anatomy lab, card signings and meeting real patients it is something that I will always cherish and I know that there are many more memories to be made at RCSI thanks to the support of past alumni. "


Please give a gift today so that another talented students like Ryan can come to RCSI on a scholarship.



"I am so thankful to RCSI Alumni who helped to make this experience possible"


Danyal Khan, 5th year medicine student speaks about his experience on a Clinical Elective this past summer.

Danyal Khan

"I spent 4 weeks on a clinical elective in Emory University’s Neurosurgery Department in Atlanta, Georgia. Students spend 1 week at Emory Midtown Hospital, 1 week at Grady Memorial Hospital and 2 weeks at Emory University Hospital. Each hospital provided a unique service style and served a different sub-set of the population, ranging from the very rich to the extremely poor. This culminated in a wholesome and relatively encyclopaedic experience for me of neurosurgery in the U.S. I was afforded opportunities on a graduated basis, which was an ideal scenario for a student such as myself embarking on my first U.S. clinical experience. I was quickly taught what was expected of me from the healthcare team and how to be effective in my role as a sub-intern. Observing swiftly transitioned into helping with pre-operative set up and scrubbing in to surgical cases. I was soon assisting during operations, being allowed to exercise skills such as knot tying, suturing and skull flap preparation and fixation. Outside of the theatre, visiting outpatient clinics, rounding on neurocritical care patients and assisting with the daily resident tasks/procedures gave me an insight into the team-dynamics that are crucial to an efficient multidisciplinary surgical service. I learned about the research opportunities available in the labs of neurosurgical consultants and how these opportunities extended into partner institutions such as Georgia Tech. Being able to both witness research and clinical application of technological innovations in neurosurgery was an awe inspiring experience for me.


I recall multiple occasions in theatre being surrounded by crystal-clear screens and background music from the stereo system mixed with the beeps and buzzes from all these machines. But yet, at the core of this impressive space-age set-up was a patient and a group of dedicated surgeons and allied healthcare professionals. I was simply mesmerized by the state of-the-art operating rooms. The elective provided me with a great opportunity to frame my career development. Students are encouraged to speak about their interests and ambitions to the various consultants.


This allows students to seek career guidance and explore potential options at Emory as well as evaluate the residency programme provided. My experience as a neurosurgical sub-intern at Emory University afforded me an insight into the lifestyle and demands of a U.S. neurosurgical career in a world class academic institution. It was a privilege to witness the forefront of neurosurgery and simultaneously serve such a diverse patient population.


I am extremely thankful to the RCSI Alumni Fund for providing me with this generous clinical elective grant which helped to make this experience a possibility."


Please give a gift today. Gifts from alumni like you mean that more students like Danyal can be given the opportunity to gain practical hands on experience.

Give a Gift Today