NIAA Research Award

Open for applications until Monday 7 October 2019
Shortlisted finalists will be invited to present at Anaesthesia Research 2019


The NIAA Research Award aims to promote and encourage current (within 18 months of the submission deadline) and active researchers within the field of anaesthesia, perioperative medicine or pain research in the UK.

  • It will be awarded to an individual who has demonstrated excellence in scientific research relevant to anaesthesia, perioperative care or pain.
  • The award will allow new investigators to achieve recognition through presentation at a national meeting with peer-review.
  • The award will be presented at Anaesthesia Research 2019 on Tuesday 3 December, at the Principal Hotel in York. Applicants should ensure they are available to attend and present on this date, in the event of being shortlisted. The 1-day registration fee will be waived for those shortlisted to present, and standard class travel expenses will be reimbursed.

Eligibility Criteria

  • This award is open to all investigators of anaesthesia, perioperative or pain research within the UK who are members of one of the NIAA's founding partners or funding partners. This includes consultants or equivalent within 2 years of appointment.
  • The applicant will have completed a 'body of work' that may have been presented at an equivalent scientific national or international meeting or published as an abstract or full paper in a peer reviewed journal.
  • A 'body of work' will include a project that covers a clear, evidence-based research question, appropriate methods, well-conducted study/studies and statistical analysis of results drawing to a valid conclusion. A 'body of work' would typically be the equivalent to two or more research papers on one subject area or from a higher degree thesis (MD/PhD).


Applicants are invited to submit a summary of their 'body of work', this should be fully referenced and state the author's contribution. The summary should fit two A4 sheets with 12 point font, 2.5 cm margins and single line spacing; it should be formatted as follows:

  • Abstract title
  • All authors' initials and last names (indicate any non-members using an asterisk)
  • The name of the Institution where the majority of the work was carried out
  • The text of the abstract should not contain headings, but should follow the general progression through background, methods, results, conclusions
  • Use a blank line to separate paragraphs
  • Two tables or figures are permitted, and which should be incorporated into the document
  • If a figure is used, ensure that a figure caption is provided within the abstract document. The figure will be reduced in printing; please do not use any font in the figure smaller than your text font
  • References are listed and cited as specified by the British Journal of Anaesthesia, except that you do not need to provide the titles of papers
  • There is no restriction on the number of references cited but they are included in the page limit.
  • Please acknowledge any source of funding for your study at the end of the abstract
  • Please include the following statement in your email of submission: "I confirm that all authors listed support the submission of this abstract to the NIAA."
  • Where appropriate, please also include the following statement: "I confirm that this study received ethics committee approval or was conducted under the Animal (Scientific Procedures) Act (1986) (include licence numbers) or equivalent."
  • Summary with word count, title and author should be submitted as plain text, rich text or Microsoft Word format to: Applicants should also indicate membership of NIAA partner(s) in their covering email.
  • Deadline for applications is 5pm, Monday 7 October 2019

Work may have been and can subsequently be presented or published elsewhere. The summary of research will be published in the NIAA newsletter and website following agreement from the author. In some circumstances applicants may submit a modified version for publication if inclusion of data may preclude future publication or presentation.


The finalists will be selected by a panel of judges from the NIAA. They will review the summaries based on the following criteria:

  • Originality and relevance
  • Evidence based background and hypothesis
  • Quality of study design and methodology
  • Appropriate statistical analysis
  • Description of limitations
  • Discussion and appropriate conclusions drawn from the summary of results including the impact that it would have on the future of anaesthesia and perioperative care.

We will endeavour to notify finalists by Friday 1 November 2019

Presentation and Judging

The top scoring applicants will be invited to present their work on Tuesday 3 December at Anaesthesia Research 2019 in York, and will be eligible for the NIAA Research Award competition. The overall winner will be selected and announced on the day.

The following criteria will be used to score each oral presentation:

  • Oral presentation that is clear, delivers a logical approach to the evidence-based background and hypothesis leading to relevant conclusions.
  • Robust and well-designed study methodology.
  • Accurate presentation of results including appropriate statistical analysis with use of figures and tables.
  • Questions answered clearly and constructively. Clear viewpoint on application of results to clinical practice and future direction of research.

Reviewers and Judging Panel

Prof Fang Gao

Panel Chair

Professor Fang Gao MB BS, MPhil, MD, FFICM, FRCA
Perioperative, Critical Care and Trauma Trial Group Theme Lead, Institute of Inflammation and Aging, University of Birmingham

Consultant in Critical Care and Anaesthesia, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust

NIHR WM CRN Anaesthesia, Perioperative and Pain Specialty Lead

NIHR Senior Investigator

Main research interests
Clinical trials and translational research in cardiothoracic anaesthesia, emergency laparotomy, and chronic pain. 'Big Data' risk prediction for hospital outcomes of surgery.


Professor Phil Hopkins
Professor of Anaesthesia, University of Leeds, St James's Hospital

Honorary Consultant Anaesthetist, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Director UK Malignant Hyperthermia Investigation Unit, St James's Hospital

Phil Hopkins graduated as a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at the University of London in 1984. In 1996 he was awarded an MD by thesis by the University of Leeds. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

Phil holds the post of Professor of Anaesthesia at the University of Leeds, based at St James's Hospital. He is an Honorary Consultant Anaesthetist to the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Director of the UK Malignant Hyperthermia Investigation Unit, also based at St James's.

Phil's major clinical and research interest is malignant hyperthermia (MH) and this includes its relationship with exertional heat stroke. The UK Malignant Hyperthermia Investigation Unit has investigated more than 6000 patients at risk from the condition, making it a global leader for research into MH and the largest of its kind in the world.

Over the last 30 years Phil has published more than 300 papers, abstracts, articles, book chapters and four books. He lectures widely across the world and Chair of the European Malignant Hyperthermia Group. He is a member of the editorial board of the British Journal of Anaesthesia and was formerly an Editor and Director of the British Journal of Anaesthesia and President of the Anaesthetic Research Society.


Dr Gudrun Kunst, MD, PhD (habil.), FRCA, FFICM
Consultant Anaesthetist and Reader, King's College Hospital London

Dr Gudrun Kunst has been Consultant Anaesthetist at King's College Hospital since 2004. She trained at Heidelberg University Hospital (Germany) and her clinical interests include perioperative medicine, cardiovascular anaesthesia and anaesthesia for day surgery procedures.

She is a Reader in Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia at King's College London and the anaesthetic and perioperative research lead at King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Her research interests include perioperative organ protection and she conducts national and international clinical collaborative research studies.

Gudrun is an examiner for the Primary FRCA and is the Pan-London Anaesthetic Academic Training Programme Director.

She was awarded the 2017 National Royal College of Anaesthetists - NIHR Senior Research Clinician Prize and is currently the Scientific Officer and the Treasurer of the Association of Cardiothoracic Anaesthetists and Critical Care (ACTACC).

Internationally, Gudrun is a Board Member of the European Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (EBCP) and she chairs the Cardiopulmonary Bypass Committee of the European Association of Cardiothoracic Anaesthesiologists (EACTA). Gudrun is frequently invited as a speaker to national and international meetings.

Prof Lambert

Professor David G Lambert BSc, PhD, SFHEA FRCA

Professor of Anaesthetic Pharmacology

Doctoral College Director

College of Life Sciences

University of Leicester, UK

Professor Lambert trained as a biologist before completing a PhD in Diabetes Research (1987).

He completed a post-doctoral 'conversion' to Pharmacology in Leicester then moved to the Anaesthesia Department in Leicester in 1991 where he has been Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader and Full Professor.

His anaesthetic research interests are predominantly related to peptides and their receptors with emphasis on opioids/pain, cannabinoids and anaesthesia/sepsis and lately the cardiovascular peptide urotensin II. >250 publications (excluding abstracts) with h-index 42. Publications include a book in 3rd edition and one patent.

Prof Lambert was awarded the Humphry Davy medal, an eponymous chair and Fellowship by election by the Royal College of Anaesthetists, and an Association of Anaesthetists Foundation Award.

He is currently Chairman of the Board of the British Journal of Anaesthesia.


Dr Ben Shelley

Consultant in Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Golden Jubilee National Hospital

Ben Shelley is a Consultant in Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital and has been working with the Academic Unit of Anaesthesia at the University of Glasgow since 2009. He completed his MD thesis on 'acute lung injury after lung resection' in 2015 and is currently principal investigator on several collaborative studies examining acute lung injury and right ventricular dysfunction after thoracic surgery. Dr Shelley was awarded an NRS/CSO Career Research Fellowship in April 2017 for his work on 'Stratified perioperative medicine to improve outcome after lung resection.'


The award winner will hold the 'NIAA Research Award' for one year and will receive an honorarium of £500 and be presented with a certificate embossed with a gold emblem. If awarded, any runner up will receive an honorarium of £250.

Travel expenses (standard class with supporting receipts) to attend and present at Anaesthesia Research 2019 will be reimbursed for the short-listed finalists, and the 1-day registration fee will be waived.

Previous Winners

  • 2019 Winner: Dr Brendan McGrath, Manchester; Improving tracheostomy care: An evidence-based approach

Brendan McGrath Mike Grocott

Dr Brendan McGrath & NIAA Board Chair Prof Mike Grocott

  • 2018 Winner: Dr Andreas Themistocleous, Oxford; The pain in Neuropathy Study (PiNS): deep phenotyping to explore differences between painful and painless diabetic neuropathy

  • 2017 Winner: Dr Katie Warnaby, Oxford; Slow wave activity saturation (SWAS) as a marker of perception loss under anaesthesia

Dr Katie Warnaby and Dr Liam Brennan

Dr Katie Warnaby & former RCoA President Dr Liam Brennan

  • 2016 Winner: Dr Pervez Sultan, London; Acquired hypometabolism in lymphocytes underlies postoperative immunosuppression and risk of infection

Prof Mythen_Dr Sultan

Dr Pervez Sultan & former NIAA Board Chair Prof Monty Mythen

  • 2016 Runner up: Dr Jaimin Patel, Birmingham; Statins in sepsis - investigating the role of simvastatin in the modulating neutrophil function in healthy ageing and sepsis

Originality and Copyright

The author confirms the originality of the work. The submission does not infringe upon copyright, proprietary on personal rights.