Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)

Posted on Mar 14, 2019

The World100 Representative

Abi Kelly - Director of International Engagement and External Relations

Abi Kelly joined RCSI in 2020 as Director of International Engagement and External Relations with responsibility for the Office for Institutional Research and Planning.

Her role is to support the University’s reputation raising strategy and build its brand among key stakeholders. A key ambition for RCSI is to be recognised in the Top 200 of universities in the world. 

Prior to her role with RCSI, Abi spent 8 years at Newcastle University (UK) where she was Executive Director of Corporate Affairs managing the external profile of this Russell Group university. She also led communications for the N8 Research Partnership, a collaborative mission group of the eight research-intensive universities in the North of England. 

She has spent 28 years working in the Public Relations industry in the UK, including roles in local and regional government, and as a PR Consultant for private-sector clients including Whitbread and Nissan. 

18,000 alumni, practicing in 97 countries, in some of the most prestigious clinical, academic and research positions in the world

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2,200 (FTE) students from over 60 countries, 68% of which are international, on our Dublin Campus

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Independent, not-for-profit, degree-awarding higher education institution fully accredited by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) and relevant professional training bodies

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Leading academic partner on the RCSI Hospitals Group enabling early clinical exposure and heavy involvement in teaching and curriculum development from clinicians

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€80m invested in 26 York Street, home to Europe’s most advanced clinical simulation facility

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Ranked 65th in the world for International Outlook (Times Higher World University Rankings 2019)

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Research citation impact highest in Ireland and 102nd in the world (Times Higher World University Rankings 2019)

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About the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)

Founded as the national training body for surgery in Ireland, RCSI has been at the forefront of healthcare education since its establishment in 1784. As an independent, not-for-profit institution, we chart our own course in the pursuit of excellence in human healthcare.

Today we are an innovative, world leading international health sciences education and research institution with undergraduate and postgraduate schools and faculties across the health sciences spectrum. We are home to numerous healthcare institutes as well as leading research centres driving pioneering breakthroughs in human health.

A deep professional responsibility to enhance human health through endeavour, innovation and collaboration in education, research and service informs all that we do. We welcome students and researchers into programmes of academic excellence and a lifelong community of colleagues that is clinically led, nurturing and supportive to enable them to realise their potential to serve our global patient community.

International Partnerships

RCSI has extensive international partnerships including:

Clinical/research elective agreements and Erasmus partnerships with an extensive list of international institutions including Johns Hopkins University, McMaster University and University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Joint undergraduate Pharmacy programme with Soochow University, China

Transnational education operations/partnerships in Bahrain (RCSI Bahrain), Malaysia (RCSI UCD Malaysia Campus (RUMC) and PU-RCSI School of Medicine) and Dubai (RCSI Dubai)

5% of research output produced through international collaboration with 1,758 institutions worldwide (Source: SciVal 2013-2017 accessed February 2019)

Notable Research Areas

The mission of RCSI's research strategy is to improve human health through translational research: clinical, laboratory-based and health service research informed by bedside problems, and societal and global health challenges. We promote innovative research that leads to improved diagnostics, therapeutics and devices; tackles important healthcare delivery issues; informs policy and clinical practice and enhances the quality of education of healthcare professionals.

RCSI is developing research centres in areas of excellence and critical mass, focused on clinical and patient-centred research:


Regenerative Medicine

Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders

Surgical Science and Practice

Population Health and Health Services

Vascular Biology