IAT Competition

2019 IAT Competition

The 2019 IAT competition has now launched. The application form and guidance notes can be downloaded from this webpage by clicking the links below or in the right hand navigation pane. Partnerships will have until 30th March 2018 to submit their bids and details of their formula allocated posts.

Partnerships have been allocated ACF and CL posts via funding formula.  All partnerships are required to submit an application form indicating which GMC specialties they intend to advertise their formula allocated posts in, irrespective of whether the partnership intends to bid for additional posts via the competition.

     2019 Guidance Notes      2019 Application Form       2019 Allocation        2019 FAQs


As piloted last year, the IAT competition is now based around cross-disciplinary research themes identified by DH and NIHR as priority areas. The theme-based competition allows NIHR to help shape the research portfolio.  ACF and CL posts in these theme areas may be held in a number of different clinical specialities.

Partnerships are free to appoint posts in GMC specialities according to local expertise, with the condition that the research programme undertaken by the ACF or CL will be in the theme area, and evidence of this provided as required.

Partnerships may bid for competition posts proposing up to three GMC specialties for the post. It should be noted that partnerships are able to select fewer than three GMC specialties for each post if they so wish. This may be desirable in cases where partnerships have capacity considerations regarding managing recruitment to their proposed specialties, for example.

Number of Competition Posts Available

Around 100 ACF and 40 CL posts will be made available via the 2019 IAT competition. Eligible partnerships will be invited to bid for up to seven ACF and three CL posts in GMC specialties where the research associated with the post specifically supports one of the priority research themes listed below. Partnerships should not bid for more posts than they have capacity to accommodate, in the event that they are awarded all of the posts in their bids.

2019 Research Themes

  1. Platform Science (“-omics”) and Bioinformatics
    There have been rapid recent advances in high throughput technologies that allow large-scale assessment of disease process. This has been exemplified by advances in genomic medicine, and the advent of large-scale genomic diagnosis resulting from the 100,000 genomes project. NIHR previously and successfully introduced a genomics ACF in the IAT competition and aims to build on this, broadening out from but still including genomics into the biology of transcriptomics, metabonomics, proteomics and, critically, the underpinning sciences of bioinformatics essential for the utilisation of the technology. Access to, and availability of, vast population-level data sets ('big data') could also provide the basis for research to inform approaches to prevention, diagnostics, and treatment. NIHR believes that Platform Science and Bioinformatics has the capacity to become a flagship theme area. ACF and CLs supporting this theme could be held in an underpinning science area e.g. pathology, or in a clinical speciality in which the technology can be effectively applied.

  2. Therapeutics or Clinical Pharmacology
    Therapeutic opportunity exists beyond clinical pharmacology in GMC specialities where application of therapeutics is key. ACF and CLs supporting this theme could therefore be held in clinical pharmacology or another speciality linked to therapeutic developments.  Biomarkers are critical in therapeutic development so these ACF and CL posts could be linked to platform science and bioinformatics.

  3. Older People and Complex Health Needs
    NIHR aims to build on its’ recent workshop to identify priorities for further research on older people with complex health needs and will contribute to the 2017 themed call led by Professor Tom Walley. This theme would include research that helps to manage and understand multi-morbidity, which was highlighted in the RAND Futures of Health Report. ACFs and CLs appointed to these theme posts could be held in, e.g. geriatric medicine, or in a GMC speciality where age-related morbidity represents a critical component e.g. diabetes, cardiology, general practice, orthopaedic surgery, etc.

  4. Dementia
    Dementia remains a key theme for NIHR. ACFs and CLs may be held in a number of GMC specialities e.g. geriatric medicine, old age psychiatry, neurology, histopathology or clinical radiology, etc.

  5. Medical Education
    Medical education research focuses on the education and development of clinicians and clinical teams across medical training and continuing professional development and research may draw upon sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, linguistics as well as disciplines such as management and business. These ACF and CL posts could be held in any GMC speciality.

  6. Acute Care
    ACF and CL posts supporting the acute care theme could be held in a range of GMC specialties, which may include e.g. emergency medicine, intensive care medicine, anaesthetics, or acute care surgical specialties.

  7. Mental Health
    Mental health is a new theme for 2019 where ACF and CL posts could be held in a number of GMC specialties, which may include e.g. general psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, old age psychiatry, psychiatry of learning disability, or medical psychotherapy.

Should you have any questions regarding the IAT competition please submit these by email to IAT.Management@nihrtcc.org.uk