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Royal College of Emergency Medicine and NIHR award winners announced

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine & NIHR

Published: 18 January 2021

The NIHR Clinical Research Network is delighted to announce the winners of the research awards run in partnership with the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM). 

The Young Investigator winner is Dr Tom Roberts, Emergency Medicine Registrar and RCEM Doctoral Fellow, University of the West of England and the Principal Investigator winner is Dr Rebecca MacFarlane, Emergency Medicine Consultant and Research Lead, Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust.

It was a strong field of candidates and those who were shortlisted were asked to present at the RCEM Research Engagement Day on 15 January 2021.

Principal investigator nominees were required to demonstrate an outstanding contribution to:

  • the design, delivery, conduct and/or dissemination of research
  • building research capacity in the specialty.

Young investigator nominees had to submit a research proposal that demonstrated:

  • the potential for the award to develop the academic career of the individual and to lead on to further funding
  • methodological rigour demonstrated in the written proposal and oral presentation
  • evidence of structured and realistic costings that represent value for money to RCEM.

Professor Stephen Smye, NIHR CRN Specialty Cluster Lead said,

“Clinical research has never had more prominence than over the last year. If anyone was tempted to think clinical research was the "icing on the cake" for a health service, it is now much more likely they will regard it as absolutely central to a service which puts patients at the centre. The RCEM awards confirm that emergency medicine has a vibrant and growing community of clinical researchers, many of whom have made signal contributions to the national response to COVID-19, and are well-placed to lead research that will make a real difference to clinical practice.”

Since its inception in 2006, the NIHR has significantly increased the scale of clinical research in the NHS, particularly through NIHR CRN. The enthusiastic engagement of consultant and trainee doctors is an essential condition for sustaining and building on this success, particularly given the many competing demands on clinician time and resources. These awards aim to recognise outstanding contributions of NHS clinicians to the conduct of NIHR CRN Portfolio research studies.

Professor Jason Smith, Chair, Research Committee, RCEM said,

“The prestigious Principal Investigator and Young Investigator of the Year awards are an initiative and collaboration between the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) and the NIHR. They are a great opportunity to showcase excellent research practice while giving young researchers the chance to bid for small amounts of funding to get further work underway. Emergency care has historically been an under-resourced topic in research but this and other initiatives will hopefully increase the profile of this important area.”


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