RCSI undergraduate students explore cutting-edge research topics in healthcare

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More than 200 undergraduate students are participating in the RCSI Research Summer School 2024.

The RCSI Research Summer School aims to provide students with experiences that will help develop their core research skills and potentially inspire them to pursue research careers in the future. The programme of activities helps foster an understanding of how research drives scientific breakthroughs and insights, which ultimately benefit patients and society. This year, the summer school has welcomed the largest cohort of undergraduate students ever. 

Now in its 14th year, the programme immerses undergraduate students in the diverse and vibrant RCSI research environment. Running over eight weeks, the summer school offers students a comprehensive programme of activities to introduce them to fundamental and advanced research skills. The majority of participating students will also have the opportunity to undertake hands-on research under the supervision of RCSI principal investigators and their teams. 

Research topics span a wide spectrum of disciplines, including biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology and inflammation, microbiology, neurosciences, physiology, pharmacy practice, population health and delivery of health services. 

Working with RCSI academics, participating students will develop essential skills in project management, bioinformatics, simulation, scientific writing and presentation, as well as core laboratory techniques and approaches to patient-focused research. 

The programme is supported by RCSI Alumni and friends as well as RCSI corporate partners including GSK and MPS.  

Solving challenges

The annual RCSI Student Innovation Challenge, organised by RCSI Office of Research and Innovation and the Research Summer School, provides students with the opportunity to develop ideas and innovations that have the potential to solve some of the biggest challenges in healthcare. The teams will be tasked with addressing real-world challenges presented by RCSI-associated clinician scientists, pitching creative solutions to a panel of health innovation and venture capital judges at the 2024 pitch event at the end of June. 

Professor Hannah McGee, Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs at RCSI, said: “The Research Summer School is a key initiative that exposes our undergraduate students to our culture of research excellence and innovation at RCSI. By working closely with RCSI principal investigators, students can apply learnings from their education and develop new skills for their future careers solving healthcare issues.” 

Dr Niall Stevens, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Research Summer School, said: “It is fantastic to see such interest from our undergraduate students for the Research Summer School, which this year we are delivering on a larger scale than ever. The diverse programme gives participants a comprehensive insight into the role they will play in ensuring the continued delivery of improved patient outcomes and cutting-edge care.”