The Wellcome-HRB ICAT Programme kicked off its first year with a welcome event at RCSI for the new ICAT fellows. The eight fellows were appointed after a rigorous selection process and come from a range of clinical specialities, including Psychiatry, Infectious Diseases, Endocrinology, Dermatology, Nephrology and Public Health Medicine.
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 career paths. The ICAT team also led workshops in topics such as the development of research concepts and protocols and skills gap analysis.
At the core of the event was the opportunity for the ICAT fellows to meet each other, to meet the Executive team, and to introduce themselves and their research interests to the group. ICAT organises several events throughout the year for the fellows, including the annual induction event, an annual scientific retreat and monthly meetings hosted by each participating academic institution across Ireland.
ICAT is an exciting, new all-Ireland clinician PhD programme funded primarily by the Wellcome Trust and Health Research Board, with ongoing collaboration and additional funding support from multiple partners including six academic institutions (TCD, UCD, NUI Galway, Queen’s University Belfast, RCSI and UCC), the Health Service Executive National Doctors Training and Planning, the Forum of Irish Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies, the Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland R&D Division and the Northern Ireland Medical & Dental Training Agency. Molecular Medicine Ireland coordinate the ICAT Programme.
The fellows embark on year 1 of the programme in their institution of choice (TCD, NUIG, UCC, RCSI, UCD or QUB) and can use this year to investigate ICAT PhD supervisors selected for their research excellence, design and conduct a mini-project, and access a large curriculum of educational modules. ICAT fellows will spend 70% of their time in clinical training in year 1.
Following the development of their PhD proposals with their chosen supervisor, ICAT fellows will then register for a full-time PhD in their supervisor’s institution. ICAT fellows will benefit from continuing mentorship throughout the programme and while they complete their PhD and clinical training to CCST. 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 here.
ICAT fellows at the 2017 induction event, 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.