Royal College of Anaesthetists and Clinical Research Network awards


NHS trainee anaesthetist and trainee network awards announced

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To recognise NHS trainee doctors and trainee networks who are active in research

The National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) is delighted to announce the winners of the research awards run in partnership with the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA). These awards, for members of the RCoA, aim to recognise outstanding contributions of trainee doctors and trainee networks who are active in research.

Running for a second consecutive year, the RCoA is delighted to announce a new Trainee network category for the 2017 awards.

Dr Charlotte Small, University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, won the Trainee award, and the Trainee network winner was South West Anaesthesia Research Matrix (SWARM) of the South West Peninsula School of Anaesthesia. 

Applicants were required to outline their contribution to the leadership of several NIHR CRN Portfolio studies, with particular weight being attached to:

demonstration of clinical leadership, enabling their organisation to increase its participation in clinical studies;
how they engaged with patients to inform them of new opportunities to participate in clinical research;
individual contributions to successful delivery of clinical research studies.
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 trainees and trainee networks 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 Stephen Smye, NIHR CRN Specialty Cluster Lead said, “The NIHR CRN really values its strong partnership with the RCoA and the winners of the RCoA/NIHR CRN joint awards exemplify clinical research leadership at its finest; patient-centred, inclusive and with a wide and lasting impact.”

As part of the application process, the applicants had to set out how they would use the prize money to increase their contribution to NIHR CRN Portfolio studies in the future.

Professor Ravi Mahajan, Vice-President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, said,

"These awards represent outstanding contributions by anaesthetists in training to the field of clinical research and quality improvement. Dr Small and all of the team at Plymouth should be proud of everything they have accomplished this year, particularly at such early stages of their careers. I congratulate them, and wish them continued success for their future research endeavours.”

Her Royal Highness Princess Royal presenting the consultant award

Previous winners


The inaugural Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) and Clinical Research Network awards 2016 were presented at the RCoA 25th Anniversary Meeting on 8 March 2017. The meeting marked a yearlong celebration of RCoA gaining its Royal Charter. Her Royal Highness Princess Royal, RCoA's Royal Patron, presented the awards:

  • Dr Gudrun Kunst received the consultant award
  • Dr James Sheehan received the trainee award

The winners have written about their experience of the day and their award winning research work in the RCoA Bulletin, see page 54-55.

The opening address highlighted the significant developments that have taken place over the last 25 years and looked to the future:

  • With over 21,000 Members and Fellows, representing the three specialties of anaesthesia, intensive care and pain medicine, RCoA is the UK’s third largest Medical Royal College.
  • RCoA’s expertise in education, training and clinical quality plays a vital role in protecting the highest standards of patient care.
  • Anaesthetists are the UK’s largest hospital specialty, playing a critical role in the care of two-thirds of all hospital in-patients.
  • 99 per cent of patients would recommend their hospital’s anaesthesia service to family and friends.