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RCS England educational bursaries

Thanks to generous contributions from our donors, including Margaret Witt, Alban Barros D’Sa and the Worshipful Company of Needlemakers, we can offer a range of bursaries for surgical courses every year.

Educational bursaries are open to applications from RCS England affiliates and members (including FY2-ST8, SAS surgeons and LEDs) who have completed at least 1 full year of post graduate clinical work within a hospital environment and who are not in a consultant post.

Thanks to your feedback, we have streamlined and simplified our application process for 2024.

Applications for the 2024 educational bursaries are now closed.

What does an RCS England educational bursary cover?

Educational bursaries cover the cost of attending an RCS England course at our London HQ (Bjorn Saven Centre for Surgical Education), including Cadaveric Trauma Courses managed by RCS England, or PGCert in Surgery e-learning modules. Each educational bursary is up to £1,000 to cover the course fee and travel expenses. 

Eligibility Criteria

The educational bursaries are open to members who have completed at least 1 full year of post graduate clinical work within a hospital environment (including FY2-ST8, SAS surgeons and LEDs). Candidates must also exceed the pass-mark for the clinical criteria (see below).

People who are on a consultant contract (or equivalent), fellows and surgical team members are not eligible to apply for an educational bursary due to the conditions of the bursary donations.

Not currently a RCS England member? Become a member or affiliate member now.

If you have any queries, please contact the education team on



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Alban Barros D'Sa

Alban Barros D’Sa was a consultant general surgeon at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. The educational award was set up in memory of Mr Barros D’Sa, reflecting his Upper GI and Colorectal specialty and interest in supporting surgeons in training in these areas. 

The Worshipful Company of Needlemakers

The Worshipful Company of Needlemakers is one of 110 Livery Companies in the City of London. They have historic links to the needlemaking industry, although few UK manufacturers remain. They continue their tradition of support for the Lord Mayor and the City of London and their charitable giving supports organisations, including the Royal College of Surgeons England, and individuals associated with the use of needles as well as education.  

Margaret Witt

The Margaret Witt Scholarship Fund for Clinical Excellence was set up with the estate of the late Witt sisters. Margaret Witt was an award-winning surgeon who was keen to develop trainees (and non-training equivalent doctors) by supporting their access to RCS England training opportunities. The Witt sisters were particularly keen to support women in surgery, insisting that at least some of the educational bursaries are awarded to women. 

Clinical Criteria

A. Personal statement (max 150 words): please explain why you wish to attend your chosen course and the benefits that would arise from it.

B. Leadership and team-working (max 100 words): give evidence of how you have made a personal contribution to leadership and management. This does not have to be restricted to your surgical work and can be demonstrated with non-medical activities. Please feel free to provide evidence of ‘distributed leadership’. If you list particular roles in your application, describe the impact that you have had in these roles. We recognise many different aspects of leadership, which could include but are not limited to: 

  • evidence of positive outcomes as a result of effective leadership inputs and processes; 
  • improvements to service effectiveness, productivity or efficiency for the benefit of patients, the public or staff; 
  • development of individuals or a team. You should give specific examples (e.g. of mentoring or coaching); 
  • demonstrating your contribution to removing barriers and positively promoting diversity in the workplace or in non-medical activities; 
  • working across organisational or professional boundaries; 
  • membership of a committee along with evidence of outcomes and your role in these; 
  • excellence in team leadership for which you take sole, rotational or shared responsibility; 
  • qualifications in leadership/management. 

C. Teaching, training and education (max 100 words): for some applicants, teaching, training and education will form a major part of their contribution to the NHS. If applicable, you may list key educational papers that you have published. Examples could be: 

  • acting as faculty on RCS England courses; 
  • leadership and innovation in teaching; 
  • authorship of teaching media; 
  • contributions to postgraduate education and lifelong learning; 
  • contributions to teaching in other UK centres or abroad; 
  • developing innovative training methods; 
  • presentations; 
  • invitations to lecture; 
  • teaching and education of the public, e.g. health promotion and disease prevention; 
  • evidence of personal commitment to developing teaching skills, such as a Certificate in Education; 
  • academic qualifications in education, e.g. MEd. 

 D. Research and scholarship (max 100 words): outline your contribution to research and how you have supported innovation including quality improvement. If applicable you may list key papers that you have published. Areas covered could include: 

  • actual or potential impact of your research, including its relevance to the health of patients and the public; 
  • new techniques or service models that you have developed and which have been adopted by others 
  • how you have encouraged the systematic uptake of innovation to improve the quality of patient care; 
  • membership of research groups; 
  • grants that you hold; 
  • peer-reviewed publications, chapters or books written or edited (please indicate editorial activity); 
  • academic qualifications in basic science or clinical research. 

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