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The Beaven Medal

HRC Beaven medal

Call for nominations

7 May 2021

The Beaven Medal was established in 2010 to recognise excellence in translational health research, that has had high impact on clinical practice and patient health. The medal commemorates the work of the late Professor Sir Donald Ward Beaven and his interest in translating research into the clinic, as part of the pathway to positive health outcomes.

This award is for an individual or research team who best demonstrate over their career: translation of research into clinical practice; knowledge mobilistation; engagement with community and providers of clinical health care; and a commitment to making a difference to the health outcomes and lives of patients.

The 2021 Beaven Medal will be presented at one of three Research Honours Aotearoa events hosted by Royal Society Te Apārangi, and held across Wellington, Hamilton and Dunedin in October. Accommodation and transport will be arranged for the recipient and partner (or two representatives from the team).

The award consists of a medal and certificate.

Eligibility criteria

  • Nominees (individuals or team) are eligible to receive the Beaven Medal more than once, with a five-year stand-down period following receipt of the award.
  • Current Health Research Council members are not eligible to receive any HRC awards whilst in post.

An assessing committee will be convened to discuss the nominations before making their recommendations to Council. The award is open for nominations annually, but may be held over at the discretion of Council if it is deemed no applications meet the criteria.

Nominations are now being sought for the 2021 Beaven Medal and should include:

  • the name and contact details of the nominee
  • a brief statement of how the nominee has addressed the following (3 pages maximum):
    • Demonstrated knowledge mobilisation and translation of research into clinical practice; if the research has influenced health policies/practice.
    • Provided evidence of engagement with community partners and/or healthcare providers and end users.
    • How their work has made a difference and had high impact to improve health outcomes, quality of life, the economy, and society in New Zealand.
  • supporting and selected (rather than comprehensive) evidence of translation of research into clinical practice, such as published papers, may also be included.

Nomination on behalf of others is acceptable, as is self-nomination.

Nominations close at 1pm, Wednesday 9 June 2021 and should be directed to Dr Katie Palastanga via email ( If nominating a colleague, nominators must inform the nominee of the outcome.

Beaven Medal - previous recipients

2019 - Professor Richard Beasley from the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand received the Beaven Medal for helping halt an epidemic of asthma deaths in New Zealand and going on to change the way the world manages asthma, saving hundreds of thousands of lives in the process.

2018 - Dr Colin McArthur from the Auckland District Health Board received the Beaven Medal for his lead role in several multi-centre internationally-recognised trials that have changed guidelines and practices in intensive care units in New Zealand and abroad.

2017 - Professor Alistair Gunn from the University of Auckland received the Beaven Medal for pioneering the use of mild cooling to treat babies with brain injuries at birth.

2016 -  Distinguished Professor Jane Harding from the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland received the Beaven Medal for her ground-breaking research into treating babies with low blood sugar levels.

2015 - Professor Ed Mitchell from the University of Auckland/Auckland District Health Board received the Beaven Medal for his ground-breaking research into cot death (now known as sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS), which has saved many thousands of young lives.

2013 - Professor Parry Guilford from Otago University was presented with the Beaven Medal for his outstanding research into stomach cancer.

2011 - Professor Edward Gane from Auckland City Hospital received the Beaven Medal for his research into whether better surveillance can prevent liver cancer and death in Māori with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.

2010 - The inaugural Beaven Medal for excellence in translational research was presented to Dr Martin Than, a consultant specialist in emergency medicine at the Canterbury District Health Board, for research that will provide an innovative and workable change to the medical decision-making process for patients presenting acutely to emergency departments, with chest pain, that may be due to a heart attack.