Second cycle of ICAT awarded core funding by Health Research Board

ICAT Fellow awarded a 2022-2023 Fulbright scholarship
June 24, 2022

ICAT has been awarded €11 million by the Health Research Board (HRB) for the second phase of the ICAT Programme.

This funding will equip clinical academics and clinician scientists across the island of Ireland to address the challenges of an evolving global health agenda in innovative ways.

Through core funding from the HRB and additional funding from the ICAT partners, it is ICAT-2’s ambition to train 42 fellows through five intakes (annually from 2022) and to commit to supporting each fellow throughout their entire career pathway. The ICAT partnership offers infrastructure, experience, and expertise with matched financial support to provide the broadest possible range of research and training opportunities. For the first time, ICAT will invite applications from trainees in dentistry and veterinary medicine.

“The HRB is committed to building a strong and supportive environment for health and social care research in Ireland. ICAT 2 is the perfect example of this, as it fosters a positive and respectful research culture that embraces cross-disciplinary, cross-institutional, cross-border and collaborative research.

ICAT 2 also represents our ambition to train and develop researchers who will generate ideas, drive the integration of research and evidence into policy and practice, and improve decision-making and health outcomes. All of this is key to the vibrant and sustainable research ecosystem for which the HRB strives.”

Dr Mairéad O’Driscoll, Chief Executive of the HRB

The ICAT-2 Programme is an all-Ireland partnership comprising six universities (NUIG, QUB, TCD, UCD, UCC, RCSI), the clinical training authorities North and South, the HRB, HSE-National Doctors Training and Planning (NDTP), Health and Social Care (HSC) R&D Division, Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA), the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland (CAI) and Department of Food, Agriculture and the Marine (DAFM).

ICAT Fellows pictured at the Annual ICAT Retreat 2021

“The ICAT programme has created a sea change in how clinical researchers are trained in Ireland, making use of the abundance of high quality research supervisors across our universities. This continued support from the HRB will expand the programme and support fellows to gain cutting edge research skills both in Ireland and abroad. The medical breakthroughs of the future will be made by these trainees.”

Professor Deirdre Murray, ICAT Director

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.

“The first phase of ICAT introduced a fellow-focussed, clinical academic training programme within a mentored environment. It directly influenced the expansion of training opportunities for clinical fellows at pre-PhD, postdoctoral and intermediate career stages. ICAT 2 commits to matching excellence with excellence for postgraduate trainees across a broader remit of medicine, veterinary medicine and dentistry, providing them with the best opportunities to succeed as world-class clinical academics in a collaborative, cross-disciplinary, well-supported environment.

Cross-disciplinary, cross-institutional patient-focused research which translates into policy and practice lies at the heart of ICAT-2. We will continue to leverage the investment and opportunity presented by ICAT-2 to advocate for further training opportunities; to promote a respectful and inclusive research culture; to advance state-of-the-art biomedical science and health research, and to promote understanding of the shared future of human, animal and environmental health.”

Professor Michael Conall Dennedy, Principal Investigator for ICAT-2

More information about the HRB award can be found here.