Accelerate your research career with RAFT

RAFT is committed to providing first-class educational programmes that will advance the careers of students and develop the professionals of tomorrow.

Accelerate your research career with RAFT

RAFT is committed to providing first-class educational programmes that will advance the careers of students and develop the professionals of tomorrow.

Surgical Research Fellowships

RAFT runs highly competitive Fellowships for trainee plastic surgeons for a two to three year period, the work from which will form the basis of a thesis submitted for an MD or PhD. Fifty-three Surgical Research Fellows have passed through RAFT so far and over half of these are now Consultant Plastic Surgeons.

RAFT offers combined scientific and clinical training and supervision in order to advance surgical standards, create better surgeons and contribute to improved patient care.

“During my Plastic Surgery training I had the privilege of undertaking a two year research fellowship at the RAFT Institute funded jointly by the Royal College of Surgeons and RAFT. This was without doubt the most stimulating, creative and productive period of my training. We live in a world where evidence based care is essential and patients demand nothing less. My two year research fellowship taught me the essentials of scientific method and gave me the tools to evaluate the efficacy of treatments which I still use as an established consultant plastic surgeon today. The ability to work amongst some of the brightest minds in the field was a great incentive and stimulus to my work. I strongly believe that “best practice” in medicine and surgery demands a thorough understanding of how to critique scientific studies and my time in research at RAFT taught me this and has directed my career from that day to this.”

Rajiv Grover, Consultant Plastic Surgeon and President of the BAAPS



PhD/Masters Programmes

This is another highly competitive programme area. RAFT funds students who, in some cases, might not otherwise have a chance to achieve their Masters or PhD. RAFT collaborates with other scientific institutions to ensure that all students are given first-rate training supervision which will hold candidates in good stead for an academic post within a university or in industry, ensuring that no-one is excluded from such opportunities as a result of their background.

RAFT also offers help in securing on-site accommodation, careers advice and pays a stipend to cover essential expenses. Other skills developed during their time at RAFT include teamwork, project management and presentation skills.

“A doctorate degree in the scientific field is the first step towards understanding research. It makes you independent, creative and improves logical thinking towards research. To continue and move up the research ladder, a PhD is a must.  

“For me, it is the passion for science that made me opt for a PhD, as well as the hunger to learn, achieve something significant and novel and the relentlessness desire to stay in UK, which made me pursue this degree. This course has helped me professionally and personally in numerous ways such as improving my scientific knowledge, problem solving skills and communication skills, and increasing my confidence.  

“I could not have found a better institution than RAFT to carry out my internship because RAFT provides all the scientific equipment required to carry out my research, starting from in-house histology labs to fully equipped tissue culture labs and microscopes, managed by highly knowledgeable scientific staff with expertise in various tissue engineering backgrounds. With all the knowledge and equipment, RAFT provides me a perfect platform to understand, execute and progress in my doctorate degree.”

Vaibhav Sharma (left and below), RAFT Postdoctoral Research Scientist and former RAFT/UCL PhD Student. 


Scientific Internship Programme

Are you looking for research experience in the field of tissue regeneration? Then the RAFT Scientific Internship Programme could be for you!

Every year, RAFT offers graduate and undergraduate students the unique opportunity to gain valuable work experience at the RAFT Institute through our Scientific Internship Programme.

This exciting programme will give you the chance to work alongside RAFT’s talented and dedicated research scientists in an inspiring and innovative research laboratory. During your internship you will work on one or a number of RAFT’s ground breaking scientific projects and will have the opportunity to learn about:

  • Research methodology
  • Laboratory skills
  • Fundamentals of tissue regeneration (biomaterials, cells and in vitro/in vivoanalysis)

You will need to be able to work on your own and as part of a wider research team and will be able to develop your written and oral communication skills.

RAFT’s scientific internships are highly sought after and are only offered to outstanding candidates wishing to pursue a career in research.

Read testimonials from our past graduate interns:

“After graduating with a BSc in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Southampton in June 2015, I carried out a 5 month internship with RAFT.

“Under the supervision of Dr Elena Garcia and Mr Vaibhav Sharma I joined the team in developing new biomaterials for the treatment of chronic wounds.

“Everyone at RAFT was very friendly and passionate about inspiring young scientists such as myself.

“I learnt a great deal, both in and out of the lab. I am extremely grateful for my time at RAFT. In addition to the fantastic research and fundraising that is carried out, the internship programme helps people such as myself at the start of their career. My internship gave me the confidence and skills necessary to gain my dream job.”

Alexandra Levin, BSc Biomedical Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.

I carried out a Scientific Internship at The RAFT Institute of Plastic Surgery in May-June 2016. My internship was with the Regenerative Biomaterials Group, where I worked with both Ph.D students and postdoctoral researchers on regenerative biomaterial initiatives relating to the regeneration of skin and bone. My internship at RAFT allowed me to gain exposure to a variety of scientific techniques and fields of research.

“Prior to carrying out the internship, I had my sights set on attending medical school. RAFT encouraged me to expand my horizons, and I am now pursuing a double major in Biology and Business in hopes of exploring the enterprise aspect of biotechnology and biomaterials.

“My time spent at The RAFT Institute of Plastic Surgery was truly a life-changing experience. The team encouraged me to learn new skills and discuss scientific findings related to the work being done. The internship has allowed me to refine my career choices, and bolster my scientific understanding of biomaterials and biological processes. I would highly recommend a RAFT internship to anyone interested in biology, health, and biomaterial sciences!”

Evan Kotler, third year student at St. Francis Xavier University, Canada.


Work Experience Programmes / Internships

RAFT offers tailored programmes for Work Experience/Intern students as a period of practical experience in industry relating to science, communications, administration & fundraising.

This experience is valuable to students as a means of allowing them to experience how their studies can be applied in the ‘real world’ which, in turn, can be highly attractive to potential employers on a candidate’s CV.

RAFT works hard to ensure that everybody has the chance to do well and have access to professions, regardless of their background. Students are required to attend a formal interview where they are asked to make a presentation stating why they wish to work at RAFT and what they hope to achieve from their time. We then draw up a bespoke programme for each student to ensure that they achieve the maximum from their time with us.

RAFT was a finalist for a National Work Experience Award in 2012 and was featured in the Graduate Careers section of The Times in recognition of its internship programme.

“Having read about all the incredible work that RAFT does, I was really excited to start my work experience placement, if not a little apprehensive! However from the minute I arrived I was made to feel welcome and all my questions were answered with patience and enthusiasm. I was able to observe and take part in a huge range of tasks from histology to the production of the Smart Matrix™ and learnt practical skills which will definitely prove useful when I reach university. The dedication and kindness of everyone at RAFT, alongside the amazing work they carry out is so inspiring and has reinforced my desire to study medicine. Thank you!”

Pippa – Work Experience Student



So if you want your research experience to stand out from the crowd, send your CV with a cover letter explaining which programme you are interested in and why you want to study with RAFT to Dr Elena Garcia at