About the programme

The MD award is considered a key element in the professional training of registrars and specialist registrars who are on a career trajectory towards consultant level.

Established in 2016, the StAR MD programme offers a highly prestigious and unique opportunity to obtain this award – which is at level 10 on the National Framework of Qualifications – while partnering with one of our participating private hospitals.

The programme encompasses a salaried clinical commitment and funded MD fees sponsored by the private hospital or college, and an RCSI research consumable budget of €10,000 p.a. for two years.

Specific details on the RCSI/ICGP programme are available here

Your proposed research project should reflect one of the following major research themes:

  • 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

To be eligible to apply you must 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 you research activity
  • Liaised with potential supervisors to have agreed the focus of the research you wish to carry out. You can identify research supervisors from the RCSI researcher database.

For enquiries please contact: starmd@rcsi.ie

What our scholars say

"The MD StAR programme offers learning opportunities of exceptional quality in a supportive research environment, with quality supervision and shared practice.”
– Dr Aoife Doolan

"The RCSI StAR MD is a prestigious scholarship programme that offered me, not only research funding and salaried clinical commitment, but also protected research time. It opened doors for me to secure a fellowship in the top-ranking institute in the UK. My StAR MD supervisors were remarkably helpful and guided me to improve my work and present it at international conferences."
– Dr Razia Aslam

"This has been an outstanding research opportunity under experts in the fields of epilepsy and genetics, who have been very supportive and encouraging throughout. It would not have been possible without the financial support and protected research time provided by the private hospital, and RCSI, who provide an incredible learning/teaching environment for StAR MD scholars."
– Dr Michael Doyle

"The StAR team were incredibly supportive throughout the MD programme. I found the six-monthly progress reviews to be invaluable in providing structured feedback and guidance. They also provided an opportunity for learning and sharing common challenges with fellow MD scholars."
Dr Michael Flanagan

“The StAR MD scholarship programme offered me the perfect blend of protected research time, consumables funding and salary. The StAR MD team were incredibly helpful and gave me the platform to discuss and improve my work through regular updates and presentations."
– Dr Dan Ryan