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Fellowship Call

ICAT Programme Fellowships


The next application call for fellowships will open on the 22nd of August 2024. The deadline for applications is the 27th of September 2024.

Irish Clinical Academic Training (ICAT-2), an Integrated Pathway for Clinical Academic Training in Human Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Dentistry

The ICAT-2 Programme is an all-Ireland partnership comprising six universities (UoG, QUB, TCD, UCD, UCC, RCSI), the clinical training authorities North and South, the HRB, HSE-NDTP, HSC R&D, NIMDTA, CAI and DAFM. ICAT is founded on the principles of providing integrated, fellow-centric clinical academic training to excellent postgraduate clinical trainees across all disciplines of human medicine, veterinary medicine and dentistry through a programme which integrates PhD research training of the highest quality with higher specialist training.

It is ICAT-2’s ambition to train 42 fellows through five intakes and to commit to supporting each fellow throughout their entire career pathway. Through combined partnership, ICAT offers infrastructure, experience, expertise with matched financial support to provide the broadest possible range of research and training opportunities.

The overarching shared vision for ICAT-2 is to train world-class clinical academic leaders, across the island of Ireland to: 

  • develop a diverse, vibrant, globally competitive clinical academic workforce in Ireland.
  • meet the need for academic leadership by health professionals.
  • prioritise the role for clinician scientists in understanding disease through research and innovation.
  • create flexible career structures for clinical academic researchers.
  • increase the output of high-impact, high-quality, strategically relevant research aligned with structured academic career pathways.

Central to our vision is to build an all-inclusive, diverse and broad-ranging programme which develops a lasting and integrated network of academics across the island and internationally. The need for disruptive thinking and cross-pollination of ideas between our fellows, mentors and supervisors dictates that we recruit broadly from all clinical disciplines to promote wide-ranging sharing of ideas and interests. We especially encourage and support applications from clinical specialties and disciplines heretofore under-represented in clinical academia.

A key aim of the ICAT programme is to train the next generation of clinical academics to lead the highest quality research with the most impact. We wish to provide training in the highest quality of cutting-edge research to drive change within the Irish Healthcare system, and to inform patient care internationally. ICAT-2 aims to be a catalyst for change and progress in how we approach research and deliver its impact to society.

Structure of ICAT-2

Research within ICAT is conducted within a well-supported, mentored and highly networked environment which is collaborative in focus and which mandates a cross-disciplinary, cross-institutional approach for all fellows. Each year over five intakes, fellows with a passion for research, problem-solving and addressing unmet need across the health sciences will be recruited to the ICAT-2 programme. Each fellow will enter into (i) a preparatory pre-PhD year, fully accredited for clinical training, followed by (ii) a fully funded 3-year PhD from which they will (iii) return to completion of higher specialist training in an environment supportive of continued academic pursuit through the ICAT-2 Alumnus Committee.

It is important that fellows have not chosen a supervisor or project at the time of recruitment to ICAT-2. Essential to fellow-development and training of each ICAT fellow is the opportunity provided during the first year to develop their research interest into a knowledge-gap-focussed research question and PhD proposal with the support of an advanced mentorship structure.

Academic mentors work with each fellow to choose a team of cross-institutional, cross-disciplinary supervisors which exploits the full opportunity provided by the ICAT-2 network of six universities and 250 supervisors across the areas of science, engineering, health & social sciences. Each ICAT fellow chooses a cross-disciplinary supervisory structure which spans at least two Irish universities. International collaborations are encouraged and supported through funded opportunities within the programme to avail of a research elective in an international centre of excellence for up to 6 months.

The execution of high-quality research in ICAT-2 is embedded within a purpose-designed research-training and networking structure which incorporates an annual summer school, annual retreat and study days. Each provides training in research skills and analysis as well as exposure to cutting-edge research techniques and is delivered within a social, supportive environment. Our training programmes challenge our fellows to take a disruptive approach to answering their research questions which press boundaries in a future-ready manner. Through these events, ICAT fellows network with each other, with fellows from other PhD programmes in Ireland, with supervisors, and with guest speakers and experts of international renown.

Application call dates for fellowships starting in 2025

  • Online application form opens on the ICAT website on the 22nd of August 2024.
  • A live webinar for potential applicants will be held on 28th of  August and a recording will be accessible afterwards from this page.
  • Applicants complete the online application form and submit it by the deadline of  1pm on the 27th of September 2024.
  • Applicants must ensure that their two referees submit their references to ICAT directly, by the deadline of 1pm on the 27th of September 2024.
  • Applications are reviewed and shortlisted and applicants are notified of the outcome in mid-November.
  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview in Dublin on the 11th of December 2024.
  • ICAT works with successful applicants and their training schemes to organise an indvidualised training plan.
  • ICAT pre-PhD year 1 starts in July 2025.

ICAT-2 is open to applicants from all medical, dental and veterinary specialties. Medical and dental trainees should be enrolled in or starting higher specialist training in 2024. Veterinary trainees should be nearing completion or have recently completed specialist training. You can find full eligibility criteria in the application form.

Fellowships available in 2025:

  • General Medical and Dental Call:
    • 5 fellowships available, open to applicants who are medical and dental graduates enrolled on higher specialist training schemes in Ireland or Northern Ireland.
  • Veterinary Call:
    • Up to 2 veterinary fellowships available, applicants should be nearing completion or have recently completed specialist training.
  • Specialty Diversity Call:
    • 1 fellowship available, the recipient must be a trainee in one of the listed specialties (see the list on the right hand side of this page).
  • Northern Ireland Call:
    • Up to 3 fellowships available for trainees enrolled in a medical or dental training scheme in Northern Ireland.
    • These trainees are also eligible for the General Call.
  • Anaesthesiology Call:
    • 1 fellowship available for a trainee enrolled in a College of Anaesthesiologists higher specialist training scheme.
    • These trainees are also eligible for the General Call and the Specialty Diversity Call.

We encourage all interested applicants to read the application form carefully and to contact ICAT if they have any questions about the application process. An online webinar will be held during the application call and applicants can submit questions in advance.

We encourage all applicants to seek support with the application process. If you do not have access to support, please contact us and we will connect you with a mentor.

**Eligibility criteria changes**

The eligibility criteria for applicants has been updated for the upcoming fellowship call.

A minimum period of higher specialist training post-PhD is not required, enabling trainees to enter at a later stage of training. However, ICAT remains an integrated research programme, and trainees may not complete CSCST/CCT until the end of an ICAT fellowship.

All offers of ICAT fellowships are dependent on approval from the relevant training bodies, we advise trainees to discuss their application with their training body.

Please refer to the FAQ page

Webinar for applicants

The next webinar will be held on the 28th of August 2024.

You can view a recording of last year's webinar here.

Please note that applicants are welcome to contact ICAT at any time for advice about the programme and application process.

CV Template

You must use the ICAT C.V. template. Please download the template and complete it following the guidance provided.

CV Template

Referee Forms

Download the ICAT Referee Form document in MS Word or PDF formats. Please ask your referees to use gender neutral language when completing the reference form.

PDF   Word


Dentistry

Dental trainees are strongly encouraged to apply to ICAT.

Please contact us for support and advice.

 

Trainees in Northern Ireland

Trainees on or entering a training scheme in Northern Ireland are strongly encouraged to apply to ICAT.

Please contact us for support and advice.

 

Specialty Diversity Call

List of specialties eligible for this fellowship

  • General Practice
  • Opthalmology
  • Obstetrics & Gynaecology
  • Pathology (excluding Haematology, Immunology and Clinical Microbiology)
  • Anaesthesiology
  • Palliative Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • All Surgical Specialties

 

Template application form and guide to scoring

Download a PDF of the template application form (please note, this form is relevant for the application call for fellowships starting in 2023 and may be reviewed and updated prior to the next call).

Download

Application Process 2024/2025

All steps below must be completed before the deadline for submission at 1pm on 27th September 2024.
  1. Fill in the application form online (see end of this webpage, this form will open on the 22nd August 2024).
  2. Upload a copy of your CV (you must use the ICAT CV template download here).
  3. Download the referee form and send it to your two referees.
  4. Please ask your referees to return their referee forms to ICAT by the deadline.
  5. Please note that application forms and references must be received by 1pm on 27th September; late applications will not be accepted.

NOTE: There is the option at the bottom of the online application form to 'Save and Continue' allowing you to complete the form over multiple sittings.

The Fellowship Application Form will open on 22nd August 2024


Questions

If you have any initial questions, please check out our FAQ page where you will find lots of information about the application process and the programme structure. If you have further questions about the ICAT Programme and its eligibility criteria, or for information about the appeals process, please contact info@icatprogramme.org. Specific queries can be also referred to the ICAT Programme Director(s) at the appropriate university.

For questions on postgraduate training, please contact the appropriate postgraduate training body.