PROGRESS Women in Surgery Fellowship, funded by Olympus

RCSI has a long tradition of excellence in surgical training. Our surgeons, male and female, have, over many decades, earned leading positions in institutions across the world.

The College has been at the forefront in developing transparent selection processes for future surgeons. Yet, despite more than 20 years of gender parity among medical graduates, female consultant surgeon numbers in Ireland remain low.

In 2017, RCSI published a comprehensive report, PROGRESS: Promoting Gender Equality in Surgery, which highlighted the scale of the problem and sought to make meaningful recommendations that could ensure surgery as a profession is an attractive and practical career for both men and women.

The College is committed to the findings within the report and we are seeking to make substantial changes to career pathways for females interested in pursuing a career in surgery. We feel that the provision of fellowships and programmes that advance female role models will do much to break down barriers and unlock the potential of women in surgery.

The PROGRESS Women in Surgery Fellowship, supported by Olympus, is a prestigious bursary awarded by RCSI to promote female participation in surgical training at fellowship level. We hope this will in turn support the acquisition of additional surgical skills and knowledge that will contribute to the advancement of surgical science and practice in the island of Ireland.

The successful candidate will be awarded a Fellowship of €45,000 for one year. She will also be awarded the RCSI PROGRESS Fellowship Medal and her name will be added to the Fellowship in Surgery board, displayed in RCSI. The Fellowship will be presented at the annual RCSI Charter Day Meeting.

The closing date for applications is Monday, 1 November 2021.

PROGRESS: Promoting Gender Equality in Surgery PDF | 2977 KB


Among the criteria which the selection board will consider in making recommendations will be:

  • Academic and training record of the applicant
  • Reputation of the international host institution
  • Defined curriculum and learning outcomes of the Fellowship
  • Value of learning experience to surgical practice on the island of Ireland
  • How the applicant will use their time, during and after the Fellowship, to promote female participation in surgery


Applications will be considered from the following:

Applicants who have received a confirmed offer of an international fellowship opportunity that will commence no later than the end of 2022


Female Fellows of RCSI (in good standing), who have been awarded their CCST in the island of Ireland within the previous five years


Female surgical trainees who, at the date of application, are at such an advanced stage of surgical training on the island of Ireland that they will be in receipt of a CCST on or before the end of December 2022 and are also Fellows of RCSI (in good standing)*

* The assessment board reserves the right to contact the TPD and JCST to ensure that there is no impediment to the applicant receiving a CCST on or before the end of 2022.

RCSI PROGRESS Female Surgical Fellowship Criteria PDF | 316.7 KB

The application process requires candidates to make a written application, providing details of their proposed Fellowship. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their completed application is received in full before the closing date.

The applicant must, before the indicated closing date, submit the following to Caroline McGuinness, Surgical Training Manager, Surgical Affairs at

  • A completed application form
  • A copy of their curriculum vitae
  • Written acknowledgement from the unit to be visited which supports the proposed curriculum and learning outcomes

Key dates

Applications open: 5 July 2021

Applications close: 1 November 2021

Candidate interviews: 6–16 December 2021

Fellowship announced: Charter Day – 5 February 2022

RCSI Women in Surgery Fellowship application form PDF | 278 KB

The successful candidate will be expected to:

  • Provide the College with a full report within three months of completing the Fellowship
  • Provide the College and Olympus with regular updates during the Fellowship, which can be used in internal and external communications by either Olympus or RCSI
  • Use the Fellowship to promote a career in surgery for females
  • Present a report of the Fellowship at two or more RCSI or international meetings
  • Acknowledge the support of Olympus and RCSI in any publication arising as a result of the Fellowship
  • Return to substantial public practice in Ireland after completing the Fellowship