StAR MD

In collaboration with: Highfield Healthcare, Hermitage Medical Clinic and Blackrock Clinic.

The informing principle of the StAR programme is to accelerate the delivery of innovative, impactful research in health sciences across a range of critical research themes by attracting the best research talent in Ireland. To implement its strategy, in 2016, RCSI established the StAR MD programme to strengthen translational research and build on skilled clinical expertise to improve modern healthcare issues. The programme is a highly prestigious and unique opportunity for registrars and specialist registrars who are on a career trajectory towards consultant level.

The StAR MD by dissertation is a body of work representing two calendar years of research activity and holds a place among the higher doctorates at level 10 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). The MD is a key element in the professional training of clinicians, and in order to graduate with the MD degree, you must provide evidence of an original contribution to any area of medicine, surgery, psychiatry or medical science.

RCSI is committed to supporting an effective supervisory system for each candidate registered for the MD and thus a principal and co-supervisor is appointed for each StAR MD candidate.

The 2020 StAR MD programme encompasses funded MD fees for two years sponsored by the private hospital, a RCSI research consumable budget (€10,000 p.a. for two years) and a salaried clinical commitment to Highfield Healthcare, Hermitage Medical Clinic or Blackrock Clinic.

Highfield Healthcare is Ireland’s leading provider of acute and specialist mental health services and is one of the largest providers of care to older persons. The organisation is highly regarded for its expertise in dementia and Alzheimer’s and the challenges associated with ageing. All units have a team of specialised nurses, healthcare assistants and doctors who work alongside consultant psychiatrists, occupational therapists, and activities coordinators.

Highfield also includes recent developments in acute general adult psychiatry including inpatients and day hospital and in addition last year opened a specialised rehabilitation unit which is innovative in its approach to preparing people with complex presentation of mental illness into the community. Steeped in history since its 1825 opening, Highfield offers opportunity for research in a number of areas which can contribute significantly to the development of psychiatry in Ireland.

The Hermitage Medical Clinic is a 112-bed private hospital providing a full range of medical and surgical care across a broad spectrum of specialities. First-class consultant expertise spans a range of clinical specialities including surgery, medicine, endoscopy, oncology and interventional diagnostics.

In 2019 the Clinic was awarded Gold Certification for Excellence in Person-Centered Care by Planetree International. This certification recognises achievement and innovation in the delivery of person-centered care and is one of only 86 healthcare organisations worldwide to receive the Gold Certification since the programme’s launch, and the first and only in Ireland.

Blackrock Clinic is the longest established private hospital and clinic in Ireland. Since it opened in the mid 1980s, the Clinic has built an unparalleled reputation in new high-tech surgical procedures, medical treatments and ground-breaking diagnostics. This reputation means that some of the best international and national consultants work at Blackrock Clinic.

How to apply

Applications are invited from interested registrars/specialist registrars. Interested applicants should have:

  • Obtained general or trainee specialist registration with the Irish Medical Council
  • Previously undertaken research or audit projects at undergraduate and/or postgraduate level
  • Presentations and publications confirming the quality of their research activity

The proposed research project should reflect one of the major research themes listed below:

Your research profile should align with one of RCSI’s or collaborating private hospital’s areas of research strength as follows:
Medicine (respiratory, cardiology, gastroenterology and endocrinology) Acute care emergency medicine (including infection, immunity and inflammation) 
Psychiatry Neurological disorders
Rheumatology Orthopaedics
Surgical science and practice Neurosurgery
Cancer and palliative care Regenerative medicine
Nephrology Vascular biology and diagnostic imaging
Gynaecology, obstetrics and perinatal health Paediatrics
Anaesthesia and critical care medicine Population health and health science

Shortlisting of applicants will be undertaken by the panel of assessors. All shortlisted candidates will be interviewed. An indicative timescale is given below.

  • Applications open: 27 September 2019
  • Applications close: 6 January 2020 (17:00 GMT)
  • Interviews: End January/early February 2020
  • Position begins: July 2020

Please complete the application form available below and submit it, along with an up-to-date CV and research project proposal (250 words) to starmd@rcsi.ie by 6 January 2020.

StAR MD application form 2020 DOCX | 584.8 KB

For enquiries please contact starmd@rcsi.ie.

StAR MD 2020 private hospitals