SAPC Principal Investigator of the Year Prize

The deadline for entries is 31st March 2021

SAPC Principal investigator of the Year Award launched in 2019

In 2019 we ran the inaugural Principal Investigator (PI) of the Year Award.  We wanted to find the best, most dedicated and successful primary care PI and we were not disappointed! We asked you to nominate the PI who gives exceptional support, leadership and encouragement throughout the highs and lows of research, career and life. We sought to find the PIs who helped early career academics to develop opportunities, identify ways you can build your career, write papers, support fellowship applications or identify conferences you should be presenting at. We were looking for those PIs who helped to support you and your career by providing inspiring and dedicated leadership.  I’m very happy to say that we had a great response from the membership with early career academics nominating PIs from across the UK who give that support and mentorship on top of everything else because they care and value their colleagues. These PIs had a deep and profound impact on how people prioritised and shaped their careers and work. From providing time, support and flexibility for early career academics to developing their research focus or applications, supporting people’s careers, helping to find the illusive work-life balance, and to develop supportive teams where all feel valued. The examples given were inspiring. The judging panel commented on how difficult it was to judge because of such high quality nominations and all candidates provided a high level of support and care for their early career academics. Thanks to everyone who nominated their PI and to all the PIs for their support-it doesn’t go unnoticed! Congratulations to Professor Christian Mallen who was our first winner in 2019 and to Professor Miriam Santer, our second winner, in 2020 . They exemplify all of these traits and more to have been named the inaugural PI of the Year!

We are running the award again in 2021 in search of our 3rd candidate.

How good is your Principal Investigator?

It’s competition time! Here at SAPC, the search is on for the best, the most dedicated, and the most successful primary care Principal Investigator. But we’re not interested in grants, or papers, or prizes. Oh no: we’re interested in something much more important than that. We want to find the star PI who provides exceptional support, leadership and encouragement for their team through the highs and lows of research, careers and life. Does your PI pay particular attention to facilitating opportunities for your development? Are they always looking out for the paper you should be writing, the Fellowship you should be applying for, or the conference you could be presenting at? Are they great at appraisals and reviews, understanding of your needs and concerns, and supportive in your career? Have they gone out of their way to help when things haven’t gone as planned? In short, who gets the prize for being an inspiring and dedicated leader? We want to know! We’re looking for examples of great practice to inspire all Principal Investigators to better support their early career research staff. And if your PI is selected as “Primary Care PI of the Year” there’s a great prize for them to say “thank you” for going the extra mile.

Who is eligible?

A principal investigator is anyone who holds research grant funding and has staff working on their projects. They might have one member of their research team or twenty, but the qualifying condition is that they have grant money and have staff working on the grant, including you.  

How do I nominate my PI?

Simply send us a statement of 200 words or less outlining why your PI should be “PI of the year”. Let us know what it is about them that has particularly impressed you and – if possible – any particular examples of what they have done to support you or your colleagues. Entries may be from an individual researcher or a team. Please submit only one statement per PI. We won’t tell the PI who nominated them.  

Please complete the form before the end of 31st March 2021.

How will the competition be judged?

Competition entries will be judged by the SAPC early careers working group, with input from the SAPC executive where necessary. We will judge entries solely on the basis of the statement submitted. Details of the winning PIs will be circulated to SAPC members explaining what it is they did to merit the award.

Awarding the prize

The prize will be awarded in the summer of 2021. The lucky PI will win a certificate to put up in their office, and of course, the ongoing respect of their peers and the academic primary care community.


Please contact Sue Stewart