NIAA Research Award

Open for applications until Monday 26 September 2022
Shortlisted finalists will be invited to present at Anaesthesia Research 2022 in York


The NIAA Research Award aims to promote and encourage current 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 winner will be decided and presented at Anaesthesia Research 2022 in York on Wednesday 23 November 2022. Applicants should ensure they are available to attend Anaesthesia Research in York 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, trainees and early career researchers.
  • 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 their membership of NIAA partner(s) in their covering email.
  • Deadline for applications is 5pm, Monday 26 September 2022

Work may have been and can subsequently be presented or published elsewhere. The summary of research may 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 shortlisted finalists by 19 October 2022, who will then have until 16 November 2022 to prepare a 10-minute presentation. Those shortlisted finalists will be asked to submit their presentation slides in advance, by 16 November 2022.

Presentation and Judging

The top scoring applicants will be invited to present their work in York as part of Anaesthesia Research 2022, and will be eligible for the NIAA Research Award competition.

Shortlisted candidates will be required to prepare a 10-minute presentation by 16 November 2022, in advance of Anaesthesia Research 2022.

Candidates will be expected to deliver their 10-minute presentation in York on the morning of Wednesday 23 November 2022, as part of the programme for Anaesthesia Research 2022.

The overall winner will be selected by the panel and announced at the end of Anaesthesia Research 2022, on Wednesday 23 November 2022.

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.

Helen G

Professor Helen Galley
Professor Emerita, University of Aberdeen

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

Brendan MugShot PPE1

Prof Brendan McGrath
Brendan is a Consultant in Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, and an Honorary Professor at the University of Manchester. His research interests are predominantly airway management in the critically with a focus on tracheostomy and laryngeal rehabilitation. This has led to device innovations, implementation studies and quality improvement initiatives. Brendan won the Research Award in 2019, presenting his PhD thesis.

Brian Johnston

Dr Brian Johnston
Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine Registrar

NIAA Trainee Rep

Co-founder of Trainee Research in Intensive Care Network (TRICNetwork)

Liverpool Centre for Cardiovascular Science PhD candidate

Research interests:
Machine learning and clinical trials to examine cardiovascular complications and arrhythmias perioperatively and in critical 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

2021 Winner: Dr Shaun May, London
Unravelling the enigma of elevated troponin after non-cardiac surgery

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.