Professor Sean Tierney Training Fellowship Grant

The Professor Sean Tierney Training Fellowship Grant is an award intended to promote the acquisition of additional surgical skills and knowledge that will contribute to the advancement of surgical science and practice in the East, Central and Southern African region.

It is named in memory of Professor Tierney, who played a foundational role in the long-standing collaboration between the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA), and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). 

One grant will be awarded each year. The successful candidate will be awarded a grant amount of €12,000 to undertake a one-year post-qualification fellowship, after successfully attaining the COSECSA Fellowship of the College of Surgeons (FCS) qualification. This award is funded by RCSI.

The fellowship grant is intended to cover stipend, travel allowance, accommodation, COSECSA fees and other costs.

Note on terminology: This grant aims to enable the successful candidate to undertake a 'post-qualification' fellowship, after completion of the COSECSA Fellowship of the College of Surgeons (FCS) programme. It is not aimed at applicants who intend to enter COSECSA’s FCS programme, but rather those who have graduated from the FCS programme, or will soon graduate from it, and wish to undertake a further post-qualification fellowship year.

Applications will reopen in February 2025.

Applications will be considered from the following candidates:

  • COSECSA trainees, enrolled in a COSECSA FCS training programme and intending to sit the FCS examination in the year of application.
  • COSECSA fellows in good standing who have completed COSECSA FCS training within the previous two years. 
  • The proposed host institution must be a unit with subspecialty service or academic opportunity, anywhere within Africa. The applicant cannot already be based in this unit. It is not a requirement that the host institution offer a formal training programme in the chosen sub-specialty.
  • Applicants must be intending to be on fellowship in the year following application.
  • The fellowship must be full-time and tenable for one year outside of the applicant’s home institution.

Note: COSECSA FCS examination candidates who have not undertaken the FCS training programme are not eligible for this award.

Candidates are encouraged to plan as far in advance as possible. The Selection Board will be constituted of Fellows of both RCSI and COSECSA.

Applicants who have already received academic distinction in their postgraduate education will be favoured, as will applications which demonstrate that the applicant is using their initiative to obtain experience above and beyond that which they would likely derive from clinical experience in the hospital in which they are based.

The applicants must have clear and specific objectives for the proposed fellowship and must demonstrate in their application that this will provide them with the opportunity to obtain sub-specialty training, with an opportunity for academic output.

Among the criteria the Board will consider in making its recommendations, it will primarily consider the:

  • Merits of the proposed centre in relation to the candidate’s learning outcomes.
  • Candidate’s curriculum vitae; and
  • Value to East, Central and Southern African health services from the proposed visit.

Upon completion of their Fellowship, successful candidate will be expected to:

  • Provide COSECSA and RCSI with a full report on completion of the Fellowship, using the template provided. Note: this report may become available for viewing on the RCSI website.
  • Present a report of the Fellowship at a College meeting.
  • Acknowledge the support of the College in any publication arising as a result of the Fellowship.
  • Supply COSECSA and RCSI with copies of the above papers at the time of publication.


  1. RCSI accepts no responsibility for any personal tax liability arising in any jurisdiction from the receipt of this Fellowship.
  2. Applicants who are employed by RCSI will be excluded.
2024: Peter Mushenya