Dr Simon Newell Early Career Investigator of the Year (Sparks) award

The RCPCH, Sparks and GOSH Charity make an annual award for excellence in research to an outstanding young medical research worker in British paediatrics. Applications are now closed.


Since 1999, Sparks (now part of the GOSH Charity family) has funded an annual award that recognises excellence in the field of paediatric research. Sparks joined GOSH Charity in 2017 and this award is now jointly funded by both charities.

The award is offered to recognise an outstanding young medically qualified researcher in British paediatrics.

The award is named in memory of Dr Simon Newell - a renowned and widely respected neonatologist and paediatrician who had a passion to encourage the next generation of paediatric clinicians and researchers. He made an enormous contribution to neonatal medicine across the UK and was a great advocate for paediatric health.

Simon was connected to Sparks throughout his career, first as a researcher, then a member of the Medical Advisory Committee and later a Trustee. This award has been named in his memory and as recognition of the tremendous work he did.

The award comprises:

  • a trophy
  • £1000 for the winner
  • £1000 to the winner's department to buy equipment and cover other expenses such as consumables connected with their research.

The RCPCH present the winner at the RCPCH Conference and exhibition each year. The winner is notified ahead of the conference and the RCPCH covers their travel and conference costs.

Nomination process

Nominations to the Dr Simon Newell Early Career Investigator of the Year (Sparks) award 2020 are closed on 29 November 2019.

Nominees were asked to complete and return the application form, below, CV with details of their research work and a 500-word statement on why they should be selected for the award. They need to secure sign off from a sponsor.

Previous winners

  • 2019 - Dr Sam Behjati
  • 2018 - Dr Karin Straathof
  • 2017 - Dr Chris Moxon
  • 2016 - Dr Manish Sadarangani
  • 2015 - Dr Robert Phillps
  • 2014 - Dr Marc Tebruegge
  • 2013 - Dr Roderick Mitchell and Dr Anthony Wiskin (jointly awarded)
  • 2012 - Dr Matthew Murray
  • 2011 - Dr Andrew Prendergast
  • 2010 - Dr Don Sharkey
  • 2009 - Dr Richard F M Chin
  • 2006 - Dr Amanda Drake
  • 2005 - Dr Howard Clark
  • 2004 - Dr Mark Herbert
  • 2003 - Dr Deborah Tweddle
  • 2002 - Dr Jugnoo Rahi
  • 2001 - Dr Paul Winyard
  • 2000 - Dr Richard Gilbertson
  • 1999 - Dr Jeremy Hull


For further information please contact the RCPCH Research & Evaluation team on research@rcpch.ac.uk.