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Twenty Years of Support for Surgical Research

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12 Sep 2014

As the latest Research Report shows, the RCSEd is continuing its support for surgical research, from those in the earliest training years to renowned career academics

The RCSEd has published its biennial Research Report, which showcases a breadth of research from clinicians at different stages in their careers.

The report includes prestigious awards such as the Robertson Trust Fellowship, the Cutner Travelling Fellowship in Orthopaedics and the John Steyn Travelling Fellowship in Urology.

Writing in his introduction to the Report, Professor Kenneth Fearon, chairman of the RCSEd’s Research Allocation Committee, commented: “It is a pleasure to report on the high quality of projects that have been submitted to and funded by the College. The College is keen to fund not only career academics who eventually seek a university position, but also those wishing to be exposed to the research environment and who will eventually practise within the NHS. Both destinations are valued equally.”

To this end, the Committee has re-instituted the joint MRC/RCSEd three-year PhD Fellowship scheme, continues to offer one-year fellowships, such as the Maurice Wohl and Robertson Trust fellowships, and has increased the upper limit to the funding offered for individual small project grants. Professor Fearon also gave special thanks to the donors of research funds, whose generosity supports the many projects in the Research Report.

The latest report marks 20 years of the College supporting research through research fellowships, travelling fellowships, small research grants and bursaries, during which time more than £7m has been awarded to support over 700 individual surgeons working in university departments and hospitals throughout the UK and abroad.

Discussing the challenge of assessing the breadth of applications submitted to the College, Professor Fearon said: “The range of ‘surgical research’ is considerable, from basic science in Drosophila or zebrafish to the health economics of daybed surgery. Given this broad spectrum, it is sometimes difficult to determine what is worthy of funding and what is not. Equally, it can be difficult for applicants to discern what might be attractive to a funding committee. Due to its craft- based nature, surgery – and thereby surgical research – should mostly have a strong clinical component or at least an element that may be translated into the clinical environment.”

College president Mr Ian Ritchie commented on the ‘exciting possibilities’ for future fundraising efforts in pursuit of the College’s key research priorities of translational, clinical and cancer research, along with patient safety through harnessing outcome data.


The Research Report includes studies into:

  • The role of heat-shock protein 90 in modulating ischaemia-reperfusion injury in the kidney.
  • An analysis of retinal digital image abnormalities seen in acute retinopathy of prematurity – is reduced oxygen therapy protective? The benefits of oxygen saturation targeting trial II UK retinal image digital analysis (BOOST-II UK RIDA) study.
  • Case-control genetic association analysis of primary rhegmatogenous retinal detachment using novel high-density exome genotyping.

Download the 2012-2014 Research Report.

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