Phase two of the ICAT programme aims to train 42 doctors, vets and dentists to become health researchers.
A €21.3m investment is going towards the second phase of an all-island training programme for clinical health researchers.
Phase one of the Irish Clinical Academic Training (ICAT) began in 2016 with a budget of €17m. It was hosted by Trinity College Dublin and was set up to train academic fellows in medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine.
The second phase of ICAT is now being hosted by University of Galway. It aims to train 42 doctors, vets and dentists to become “world-class clinician scientists”.
ICAT will then have supported 81 fellows over both cycles of its programme.
The ICAT programme has been awarded to six equal stakeholder partner universities by the Health Research Board (HRB). These are University of Galway, Queen’s University Belfast, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College Dublin and RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Phase two of ICAT involves a funding package of €21.3m.
This includes €11m from the HRB, as well as €10m from the partner universities, the HSE National Doctors Training and Planning, Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care Research and Development Division, The College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency.
Announcing the funding, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that the Government is “deeply committed to research and innovation and its role in the future of healthcare”.
“Investment of this scale and with this strategic outlook will help to position Ireland as a place where top-class researchers and innovators are afforded the opportunity to strive for lasting, impactful change which tackle challenges of our time.”
Dr Mairéad O’Driscoll, chief executive of the HRB, echoed the Taoiseach’s commitments.
“This multidisciplinary, collaborative, all-Ireland programme will attract, train and retain a new generation of world-class clinical health researchers that will drive the integration of research and evidence into policy and practice, and improve decision-making and health outcomes,” she said.
According to O’Driscoll, this second phase marks the programme’s expansion to include dentists and veterinarians alongside doctors and medics.
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