World-class research

Our internationally-recognised researchers strive to enhance human health through developing new diagnosis, treatments and interventions across multiple disease areas and influencing policy relating to population health and surgical and medical practice.

The pioneering research directed by RCSI experts covers a broad range of health science disciplines, with a particular focus on our six research pillars. Work in these areas has led to a number of discoveries that are having a profound effect on the understanding and treatment of diseases and disorders. These include the potential to predict epileptic seizures before they occur, the development of a drug to halt the progression of sepsis and biomaterials that can repair tissue damage in the body.

Continued success in research awards from national and international funding bodies has led to RCSI having the highest success rate of any Irish institution in winning funding from the EU Horizon 2020 programme. Our individual researchers have also secured multiple prestigious European Research Council grants and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Awards.

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Our researchers are prolific and influential in their fields; over 19% of RCSI’s 5,900 publications are in the top decile of most-cited publications, including The Lancet, Nature, the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA, and 61% of our publications appear in the top quartile of journals (CiteScore). As an indicator of the scale of RCSI research activities, in 2021, RCSI was awarded €37.5m in external research funding from national and international funders. RCSI annual income for 2020/21 was €175m of which €14.1m (8%) was invested in research. Annual research expenditure for 2021 was €24m (8% of which was from industry sources). 

With over 760 policy mentions, our research has informed and influenced healthcare policy makers including the World Health Organisation, United Nations, European Union and and multiple international Government agencies, across cancer, population health, infectious diseases, health system change, and more.

Based in hospitals across the RCSI Hospital Group, our clinician scientists are all significantly engaged in one or more ways with clinical practice, clinical teaching and clinical laboratory leadership. Supported by access to RCSI resources and guidance, our state-of-the-art facilities and the potential to work with our world-class researchers, our clinicians conduct translational research that fosters academic and clinical collaboration, driving discoveries from the early development stage to the delivery of excellent patient care. Their significant contribution to patient-centred research at RCSI ultimately works to inform healthcare policy and enhance healthcare outcomes internationally.

Our academic and research staff work collaboratively, producing interdisciplinary and comprehensive research to tackle complex health problems. This collaboration occurs both internally within our departments, research centres and research groups, as well as nationally and internationally between our researchers and other leading institutions and research centres. RCSI researchers have collaborated with over 3,800 institutions globally and co-authored over 5,900 publications.

RCSI is ranked in the top 300 in the Times Higher World University Ranking 2024 and number five in the world for SDG3 ‘Good Health and Well-being’ in the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings 2024, reflecting the University’s singular focus on improving human health for the benefit of patients and communities across the globe through translational research.

Learn more about our researchers and their areas of expertise

Please note: All referenced metrics are sourced from SciVal for Altmetrics for the period 2017-2021 and correlate with our performance in the Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2023.