Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Irish Clinical Academic Training Programme appoints its first clinical fellows

22 August 2017

The Wellcome-HRB Irish Clinical Academic Training Programme (ICAT) has welcomed its first intake of fellows at an induction event, held this year in RCSI.

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.

“This programme is dedicated to training Ireland’s brightest clinicians and provides a unique opportunity for RCSI to harness the strengths of our research and clinical environments, to develop and mentor future clinicians as they develop their careers in academic medicine,” Prof. David Williams, ICAT Co-Director and Associate Professor in Geriatric and Stroke Medicine at RCSI said.

Several leaders in Irish research including Prof. Louise Kenny from the INFANT Centre in Cork, Prof. Jose Bengoechea from the Centre for Experimental Medicine in Belfast and Prof. 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 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.

Prof. 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 2017

Pictured from left: Dr Kapil Sharma, Dr David Mongan, Dr Liam Townsend, Dr Delia Bogdanet, Dr Roísín Hambly, Dr Peter Barrett, Dr Conor Judge, Dr Sarah Cormican.

ICAT fellows embark on year 1 of the programme in their institution of choice (Trinity College Dublin, RCSI, 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 in year 2. ICAT fellows will benefit from continuing mentorship throughout the programme, up to completion of their PhD and clinical training to CCST.

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