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Early Career Scientist Award

The British Nutrition Foundation Drummond Early Career Scientist Award is an annual scheme run by the British Nutrition Foundation to recognise early career excellence in nutrition science.


The Award is made possible through the British Nutrition Foundation's management of the Drummond Memorial Fund, established in memory of the work and contribution of Sir Jack Drummond.

The 2024 Early Career Scientist Award

We are inviting applications for the Early Career Scientist Award.

Applicants to the British Nutrition Foundation Drummond Early Career Scientist Award are required to complete an application form and submit an abstract for an up-to-date mini review that describes an emerging, topical area of human nutrition science and would be suitable for submission to Nutrition Bulletin

As the official journal of the British Nutrition Foundation, Nutrition Bulletin is an international, peer-reviewed journal publishing concise and informative articles about recent developments in current thinking in human nutrition science. It provides an interface between stakeholders in universities, industry, government, research, healthcare, education and media.


Applicants are judged on their contributions to nutrition science, the scientific merit and clarity of communication of their abstract, as well as their potential to become future leaders in the field.


Eligibility criteria


The award is open to students who are currently studying human nutrition, or a related field, as well as those within three years of being awarded a PhD (i.e. the date that amendments to your thesis were accepted and the degree awarded) or within six years of being awarded an MSc (i.e. the date of receiving your transcript) in these areas.


Those who were awarded their PhD or MSc degrees more than three or six years ago respectively but took formal time out during this period for personal reasons (e.g. maternity/paternity/adoption leave; long-term ill heath) may still be eligible, depending on the time passed since finishing and the time taken as leave. Such instances will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and Emma Rowley ( should be contacted to discuss eligibility. Applications are welcome from any country.


How to apply


Applicants are required to complete all sections of the application form. The form includes space for an abstract for an up-to-date mini-review paper that will describe an emerging, topical area of human nutrition science, including its relevance to public health, the most important research findings to date, where the applicant’s research advances current understanding in the field (if applicable) and implications for future research and practice.


The abstract should be 300 words maximum and must include a title along with author(s) and their affiliations (title, author and affiliations do not contribute towards the word count). We expect that the applicant would be the first or last author. The abstract does not need to include any references but any you wish to include do not contribute towards the word count.


We welcome abstracts on, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • the biochemical and physiological basis for the role of various nutrients in the human body;
  • epidemiological associations between diet/nutrients and aspects of human health, and particular issues related to population sub-groups;
  • human nutrition interventions in disease prevention;
  • psychobiological and behavioural aspects of human nutrition;
  • the impact of methods of food manufacture and supply on human diet/nutrition.

Please note that abstracts describing experimental or modelling work will not be considered for the award. 


Application forms will be used to help identify those applicants who show the greatest potential to become future leaders in the field. The abstracts will be judged on both their scientific merit and clarity of communication.


Selection process


Applications will be reviewed both internally by the British Nutrition Foundation and externally by selected members of the Editorial Advisory Board for Nutrition Bulletin.


Applications are blinded for shortlisting and judging is carried out using a strict criteria.


Recipients of the Award


The winner and any runners up will be invited to turn their abstract into a mini-review paper for publication in Nutrition Bulletin.


Upon acceptance of the paper, the winner receives a year’s online subscription to Nutrition Bulletin, plus a £500 honorarium. The winners and any runners up will be invited to receive their award at the prestigious British Nutrition Foundation Annual Day in central London on 12 November 2024 (attendance is optional).


It is expected that the invited mini-review papers submitted to Nutrition Bulletin will be between 3000 and 8000 words (excluding abstract and references) and include an abstract, six keywords, full referencing and a conflict of interest statement (see author guidelines). The papers should be original contributions and not previously published elsewhere. Submissions will be reviewed by the Nutrition Bulletin Editorial Board and two external peer-reviewers.

Key dates

  • Closing date for applications: midnight on 26 May 2024 
  • Winners and runners up will be notified by the end of July 2024
  • Award presented at the British Nutrition Foundation Annual Day (winner and any runners up): 12 November 2024  
  • Invited papers to be submitted to Nutrition Bulletin by 1 April 2025
  • Expected publication of invited Nutrition Bulletin papers (winner and runners-up): September 2025

Please submit completed application forms to Emma Rowley (

2024 Early Career Scientist Award Application Form

The 2023 Early Career Scientist Award: Dr Helena Fisk

Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton

Dr Fisk said “I am delighted to receive the 2023 BNF Drummond Early Career Scientist Award and am honoured to be recognised alongside so many talented and dedicated early career nutrition scientists. My research investigates inflammation and immunity with focus on obesity and aging, and immunomodulatory actions of nutrients. I aspire to continue to advance the understanding of inflammation in the development and progression of obesity and explore targeted nutritional strategies with the aim to reduce the risk of developing obesity associated chronic diseases. One of these strategies is modulation of inflammatory signalling by oxygenated lipids, an area of rapidly growing interest and importance in human health and the pathophysiology of several diseases.”

Previous winners

  • 2023
    • Winner Dr Helena Fisk, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton
    • Runners-up Rosie Cooper, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford & Dr Indira Paz-Graniel, Centre for Biomedical Research Network in Obesity and Nutrition, Madrid
  • 2021
    • Winner Dr Fiona Lavelle, Institute for Global Food Security, Queen’s University Belfast.
    • Runners-up Dr Aoife Caffrey, Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health (NICHE), Ulster University & Dr Elena George, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University

You can read Dr Lavelle's review 'A critical review of children's culinary nutrition interventions, the methodologies used and their impact on dietary, psychosocial and wellbeing outcomes', which was published in Nutrition Bulletin.

  • 2020
    • Winner Dr Imre Kouw, Australian Catholic University
    • Runners-up Dr Taryn Smith, University of California, Davis & Dr Nanna Julie Olsen, The Parker Institute, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital in Denmark

You can read Dr Smith's review 'Infantile thiamine deficiency in South and Southeast Asia: An age-old problem needing new solutions', which was published in Nutrition Bulletin.


You can read Dr Olsen's review 'Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and metabolic markers in children – a narrative review of the evidence' which was published in Nutrition Bulletin.

  • 2019
    • Winner Dr Henrik Roager, University of Copenhagen
    • Runners-up Dr Elaine McCarthy, University College Cork & Dr Ruairi Robertson, Queen Mary University of London

You can read Dr Roager's review 'Diet-derived microbial metabolites in health and disease', which was published in Nutrition Bulletin


You can read Dr McCarthy's review 'The neonatal period: A missed opportunity for the prevention of iron deficiency and its associated neurological consequences?', which was published in Nutrition Bulletin.

  • 2018
    • Winner Dr Caoileann Murphy, University College Dublin
    • Runners-up Dr Jing Guo, University of Reading, Dr Fiona Malcomson, Newcastle University & Dr Keri McCrickerd, Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences. 


You can read Dr Murphy's review 'Nutrition and physical activity countermeasures for sarcopenia: Time to get personal?', which was published in Nutrition Bulletin.


You can read Dr Guo's review 'Food fortification and biofortification as potential strategies for prevention of vitamin D deficiency', which was published in Nutrition Bulletin.


You can read Dr Malcolmson's review 'Mechanisms underlying the effects of nutrition, adiposity and physical activity on colorectal cancer risk', which was published in Nutrition Bulletin.


You can read Dr McCrickerd's review, 'Cultivating self-regulatory eating behaviours during childhood: The evidence and opportunities', which was published in Nutrition Bulletin.