Irish Clinical Academic Training Programme appoints its first clinical fellows

The Wellcome-HRB Irish Clinical Academic Training Programme (ICAT) has welcomed its first intake of fellows at an induction event. The eight fellows, from a range of clinical specialties, including psychiatry, infectious diseases, endocrinology, dermatology, nephrology and public health medicine, were appointed after a rigorous selection process and have now commenced their integrated academic and specialist clinical training.

The fellows embark on year 1 of the programme in their institution of choice (Trinity College Dublin, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, University College Cork, National University of Ireland Galway, University College Dublin or Queen’s University Belfast). Fellows use this year to design and conduct a mini-project, access a large curriculum of educational modules and develop PhD projects with ICAT supervisors, selected for their research excellence. ICAT fellows will spend 70% of their time in clinical training in year 1.

Following the development of their PhD proposals, ICAT fellows register for a full-time 3-year PhD. ICAT fellows will benefit from continuing mentorship throughout the programme, up to completion of their PhD and clinical training to CCST.

Professor Michael Gill, principal director of the ICAT Programme and Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin, commented “We are delighted to welcome our first eight ICAT fellows and we look forward to working with them in their combined academic and specialist clinical training with ICAT. For medical doctors with an interest in research, ICAT is a fantastic opportunity to develop their careers as leading clinician academics.” 

ICAT fellows at the 2017 induction event, pictured from left: Dr Kapil Sharma, Dr David Mongan, Dr Liam Townsend, Dr Delia Bogdanet, Dr Róisín Hambly, Dr Peter Barrett, Dr Conor Judge, Dr Sarah Cormican.

Several leaders in Irish research including Professor Louise Kenny from the INFANT Centre in Cork, Professor Jose Bengoechea from the Centre for Experimental Medicine in Belfast and Professor Orla Sheils from the Trinity Translational Medicine Institute presented at the induction event, along with clinician academics who spoke about their varied career paths.

At the core of the event was the opportunity for the ICAT fellows to introduce themselves and their research interests, and to analyse their training needs with mentors. ICAT organises several events throughout the year for the fellows, including an annual scientific retreat and monthly meetings hosted by each participating academic institution across Ireland.

Other partners in ICAT include the Wellcome Trust, the Health Research Board, the Health Service Executive National Doctors Training and Planning (HSE NDTP), the Health and Social Care Research and Development in Northern Ireland (HSC R&D), the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA) and the Forum of Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies. The ICAT Programme is coordinated by Molecular Medicine Ireland.  

The next call for applications to ICAT will open in September 2017. More information about the programme structure and how to apply can be found on the ICAT website:

About the ICAT Programme:

The Wellcome-Health Research Board Irish Clinical Academic Training (ICAT) Programme is a unique all-Ireland cross-institutional programme for Clinician Scientists based at six major Irish academic institutions and their affiliated hospital groups. Eight ICAT fellows will be appointed every year and will embark upon integrated clinical and academic training, up to completion of PhD and Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (CCST).  ICAT is dedicated to training Ireland’s brightest clinicians and will mentor them as they develop careers in academic medicine.  

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