NIAA Research Award

Open for applications until Monday 27 September 2021
Shortlisted finalists will be invited to present at Anaesthesia Research 2021


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 announced at the virtual 2-day conference Anaesthesia Research 2021 on 11 November 2021. Applicants should ensure they are available for the live online Q&A session on this date, in the event of being shortlisted.

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 3 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).
  • We appreciate the effect that COVID-19 has had on research activity over the past 12+ months and that this may have disrupted your research plans; please explain in your application if that has been the case for you.


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 27 September 2021

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 19 October 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be required to submit a pre-recorded presentation before 1 November 2021.

Presentation and Judging

The top scoring applicants will be invited to present their work as part of the programme for Anaesthesia Research 2021, and will be eligible for the NIAA Research Award competition.

Shortlisted candidates will be required to prepare and record a 10-minute presentation by 1 November 2021, which will be available for delegates and the review panel to view in advance of Anaesthesia Research 2021.

Candidates will be expected to participate in a live Q&A session on the morning of Thursday 11 November as part of the programme for Anaesthesia Research 2021.

The overall winner will be selected by the panel, and announced before the end of Anaesthesia Research 2021.

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

Panel Chair:

Prof Fang Gao

Professor Fang Gao MB BS, MPhil, MD, FFICM, FRCA
Director, Birmingham Acute Care Research Centre
Institute of Inflammation and Aging, University of Birmingham

Consultant in Critical Care and Anaesthesia,
University Hospitals of Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

NIHR Senior Investigator

Main research interests:
Translational research in inflammation and clinical trials in cardiothoracic anaesthesia and trauma.

Dr Kariem El-Boghdadly
Consultant Anaesthetist, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

Honorary Senior Lecturer, King's College London

Kariem is a Consultant Anaesthetist at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and Honorary Senior Lecturer at King's College London. His interests include regional anaesthesia, airway management and research delivery.

He is the Scientific Officer for the Difficult Airway Society, the Clinical Lead and R&D Lead for Theatres, Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, is an Editor of Anaesthesia Journal and Anaesthesia Reports and is well published in peer-reviewed literature and books.

Helen G

Professor Helen Galley
Professor of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, University of Aberdeen

Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, University of Aberdeen

Chair of the School of Ethics Review Board, University of Aberdeen

Director and Trustee of the British Journal of Anaesthesia, and President of the Anaesthetic Research Society

Research focuses on modulation of inflammatory and immune responses in sepsis, encompassing discovery science and experimental and translational medicine.

Professor David Rowbotham
Emeritus Professor of Anaesthesia & Pain Management, University of Leicester

Clinical Director, NIHR Clinical Research Network East Midlands

Director & Board Member, British Journal of Anaesthesia

Dr Katie Samuel
Chair, Research & Audit Federation of Trainees (RAFT)


Dr Ben Shelley MBChB, DipPaed, FRCA, FFICM, MD
Honorary Clinical Associate Professor, University of Glasgow Academic Unit of Anaesthesia, Pain and Critical Care

Consultant in Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Golden Jubilee National Hospital/West of Scotland Heart and Lung Centre

NIAA/RCoA British Oxygen Company Chair of Anaesthesia

Main research interests:
Translational and mechanistic research in lung and myocardial injury in the perioperative period and in critical care


Clinical trials in cardiothoracic anaesthesia and intensive care


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.

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 & 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 & 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.