SAPC/RCGP awards for Outstanding Early Career Researchers (Academic General Practitioner and Primary Care Scientist)

Closing date each year: 1st January


Professor Yvonne Carter CBE was an outstanding and inspirational leader who had a remarkable impact on academic general practice. To commemorate her contribution to primary care research the Royal College of General Practitioners, through its Scientific Foundation Board, and the Society for Academic Primary Care jointly instituted the Yvonne Carter Award for Outstanding Early Career Researcher in Primary Care.

This award ran for ten years, and has now been revised. From 2021 there will be two awards made annually – one for an Academic GP and one for a Primary Care Scientist.

Purpose of the awards

The awards will recognise the contributions of early career researchers in advancing the discipline of academic primary care through research.  The awards (£500 each) are intended to enable the successful candidate to meet and collaborate with international researchers. While presentation at an international research meeting may be part of that, there must be evidence of plans for additional collaborative activity. The award is not intended purely as a travel grant for conference attendance without presenting, nor can it be used to fund a research project.

The awards

The successful candidates will receive £500 each and will be required to submit a report detailing how they used the award and the outcomes from it and support PR activity relating to the award.  In addition they are invited to present their work at RCGP’s Winners Enclosure at WONCA Europe (28th June to 1st July 2022, ExCel London) and SAPC ASM 2022 (5th or 6th July 2022, UCLan Preston).  Exact dates of presentations to be confirmed.

Funding value: 
Application process: 

We accept two applications (one application per category: 1. academic general practitioner and 2. primary care scientist) per department/centre/group.  Please liaise with your Head of Department about your application before submitting it.

Please apply by submitting the following information by email only to

  • Your CV
  • A letter outlining your current research, including how your work to date demonstrates your contribution to advancing the discipline of academic primary care (whether education or research) through the research process. Your application should include an imaginative proposal for the use of the award funds (including anticipated benefits and outputs). Your application should also include a statement from the overseas host, if applicable. 
  • A letter of support from your Head of Department outlining your contribution to the discipline of academic primary care, including confirmation that your academic post would continue for the duration of the 12 months award. 

Applications will be judged by a panel consisting of primary care academics from the RCGP and SAPC. The awards will be restricted to applicants whose background the Award Panel considers to be genuinely grounded in primary care. The panel will assess applications for evidence of the  candidate’s current and potential contributions to advancing primary care through research, including: personal research leadership, wider promotion of academic primary care, publications, other markers of distinction, as well as the clarity of the proposal for use of the award funds. Particular emphasis will be given to research which demonstrates an understanding of, and contribution to, the primary care vision.  

The decision of the Panel is final and not open to appeal. The successful candidates will be required to submit a report detailing how they used the award and the outcomes from it and support PR activity relating to the award.

For further information, please contact the Research team at the Scientific Foundation Board by email or phone 020 3188 7594.

Saturday, 1 January 2022 - 5:00pm
Previous winners: 
  • 2011 Professor Christian Mallen (GP)
  • 2012 Dr Katherine Cresswell (PhD)
  • 2013 Dr Greg Irving (GP)
  • 2014 Dr Helen Atherton (PhD)
  • 2015 Dr Clare J Taylor, MBE (GP), highly commended Dr Sophie Park (GP)
  • 2016 Dr Kamal Mahtani (GP) 
  • 2017 Dr Nathan Davies (PhD)
  • 2018 Dr Andrew Carson-Stevens (GP), highly commended Dr Emma Wallace (GP)
  • 2019 Dr Emma Wallace (GP)
  • 2020 Dr Sarah Mitchell (GP), highly commended Dr Jessica Watson (GP)
  • 2021 Dr Samuel Seidu (GP) and Dr Shoba Dawson (Primary Care Scientist).  Dr Oliver van Hecke (GP) was highly commended - interviews

The award is open to early career researchers in primary care.

Applicants should have no more than 5 years (pro rata) academic experience, excluding any career breaks, either in General Practice/Primary Care (GP/PC) post PhD or no more than 5 years, excluding any career breaks, since starting a substantive contract in a dept of GP/PC (ie holding a post as a research fellow, lecturer, teacher, 0.4 or more WTE).

They should hold a formal or honorary appointment with a primary care department, centre or group in a UK/Ireland University, have published original research in peer-reviewed journals – at least one as a lead author – and be actively engaged in high quality research which is genuinely grounded in primary care.