ICAT Programme Fellowships
The application call for fellowships starting in 2023 has closed. The next application call will open on the 24th August 2023, for fellowships starting in 2024. The deadline for applications will be the 28th September.
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 2024
- Online application form opens on the ICAT website (24th August 2023)
- Webinar for potential applicants will be held on 30th August (a recording will be uploaded to the ICAT website; last year's webinar can be viewed on the Fellowship Call page)
- Applicants complete the online application form and submit it with two references by the deadline of 28th September 2023
- Applications are reviewed and shortlisted (applicants notified mid-November)
- Shortlisted applicants will be invited to complete the application process and attend an interview in Dublin (provisional dates 12-13th December 2023)
- Interviewees notified of outcome
- ICAT works with successful applicants and their training schemes to organise a training plan
- ICAT pre-PhD year 1 starts July 2024
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.
The list of underrepresented specialties encouraged to apply is under review and will be published in advance of the application call.
Those applying from the listed specialties that are currently underrepresented in clinical academia in Ireland are also eligible for the open fellowship application call.
Fellowships available in 2024:
- 6 fellowships open to all medical and dental graduates (including those within the identified underrepresented specialties).
- 1 veterinary fellowship.
- 1 fellowship for a trainee in an underrepresented specialty (list to be published in advance of the application call).
- 1 fellowship for a trainee enrolled in a College of Anaesthesiologists higher specialist training scheme.
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.
If you feel that you need support with the application process, please contact us and we will connect you with a mentor.
Webinar for applicants
A previous webinar for potential applicants was held on Thursday 25th August 2022.
You can view a recording of the webinar here.
The next webinar will be held on the 30th August 2023.
Please note that applicants are welcome to contact ICAT at any time for advice about the programme and application process.
Sign up for the webinar on 30 August 2023
Application Process 2023/2024
All parts below must be completed before the deadline for submission at 5pm on 28th September 2023.
- Fill in the application form online (see end of this webpage, this form will open on the 24th August 2023).
- Upload a copy of your CV (please read the guidelines in the form carefully).
- Download the referee form and create two copies - send to your two referees.
- Please ask your referees to return their referee forms to ICAT by the deadline.
- Please note that application forms and references must be received by 5pm on 28th 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.
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).
The Fellowship Application Form will open on 24 August 2023
QuestionsIf 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 firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance. Specific queries can be referred to the ICAT programme director at the appropriate university.
For questions on postgraduate training, please contact the appropriate postgraduate training body in the first instance.