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Dr Simon Newell Early Career Investigator Award

GOSH Charity, Sparks and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) make an annual award for excellence in research to an outstanding young medical research worker in British paediatrics. Nominations are now open until 30 November 2018.


Since 1999, Sparks has funded an annual award that recognises excellence in the field of paediatric research. In February 2017 Sparks became part of the GOSH Charity family, 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 and the selection process is coordinated by the RCPCH.

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 associated with their work.

The RCPCH will present the winner at the RCPCH Annual Conference in May 2019. The winner will be notified ahead of the conference and the RCPCH will cover the winner's travel and conference costs.

Nomination process

The deadline for nominations is 30 November 2018 and the process is managed by the RCPCH. To apply, please visit the RCPCH website.

For any questions please contact

Previous winners of the award:

  • 2018 Dr Karin Straathoff
  • 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

Sparks, GOSH Charity and RCPCH logos

GOSH Charity and Sparks National Funding Call 2018/2019 - this call is now closed**

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Sparks have a shared passion and commitment to support paediatric research nationally. Through our partnership that was established in 2017 we are able to make £2 million available annually to support project grant applications from researchers across the UK. 

This year we are also proud to partner with Action for A-T, Krabbe UK, Dravet Syndrome UK, Myotubular Trust and Diamond Blackfan Anaemia UK. Further information on these partnerships can be found below.

Remit of the funding call

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Sparks are inviting project grant applications for child health research from researchers across the UK. The emphasis of this call is on complex childhood illness, including rare diseases.

The call will support translational research across the spectrum of medical conditions affecting the fetus, neonates and children directly, as well as pregnancy disorders that affect the child.

All projects must aim to improve understanding and/or outcomes of the child and have the potential to lead to the development of new diagnostic tools and novel interventions. Proposals will be asked to demonstrate a clear route to clinical application and strong partnership between clinical and laboratory based research.


This is a national funding call and is open to researchers across the UK. For this funding call, you do not need to have a co-applicant or collaborator from Great Ormond Street Hospital or the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. 
We particularly encourage applications from early career researchers and those who are still consolidating their independent research careers.

Funding available

Applications will be considered from researchers across the UK. Up to £2 million is available to spend under this call and it is anticipated that we will fund a range of proposals from different investigators and institutions. Therefore, applicants are asked to carefully consider their request for funding and whether it represents good value for money. The charity would not expect applications to exceed £250,000. Funding will be provided for the direct costs of research (such as research staff and consumables) but will not cover consultant Programmed Activities, team-leader salary time or PhD studentships. Typically, projects will be up to 3 years duration. 

Funding Process

Applications will be received and managed by Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and considered by its Research Assessment Panel. Final funding decisions will be announced in February 2019. 

Full details about the application process, including members of the panel, are available on our FAQ page.

Research Partners

We are also delighted to be in a position to offer possible joint awards in partnership with our research partners in the specific areas outlined below. 
With our partners we are specifically interested in receiving applications that:
Have the potential to lead to treatments and cures for Ataxia Telangiectasia (A-T). Research should demonstrate to be of actual or future potential benefit to A-T patients.
Aim to address the cause, diagnosis, understanding and treatment of Krabbe Disease
Address the causes, understanding and treatments of Dravet syndrome and related genetic sodium channel epilepsies. 
Aim to significantly advance the search to find a cure and/or a treatment for any of the genetic forms of centronuclear and myotubular myopathy.


Please note that all applications to this call will be considered in open competition with one another, there is not a separate process for applications addressing specific research partner areas.

For more frequently asked questions about this funding call please click here.

Alternatively, if you would like to know more about the funding call, our research partners or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Grants team at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity on


The deadline for submission of outline applications is 5pm, Thursday 26 July 2018

To submit an application please visit our online application system or use the button below.

Apply online

GOSH Sparks and National Call research partner logos