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The Value of Medicines Awards

Since 2011, Medicines New Zealand has rewarded outstanding researchers for undertaking innovative research into the use of medicines or vaccines through the Value of Medicines Award. In 2022 Medicines New Zealand relaunched the award scheme, after a brief hiatus due in part to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Award Scheme now includes two awards

  • The Innovation Jump Start Award designed to provide financial assistance for an early career researcher. 
  • The Award for Excellence in Innovative Medicines Research which recognises an already established researcher for the contribution they have made to biopharmaceutical research in New Zealand. 

Applications for the 2024 Innovation Jump Start Award will open in July 2024.

The Innovation Jump Start Award

2024 marks the third year of the Innovation Jump Start Award. This Award aims to give a jump start boost to the career of one of New Zealand’s potential future leaders in biopharmaceutical innovation.

Designed to support a new or continuing project in the area of drug discovery and development, the Innovation Jump Start Award will be awarded to one of New Zealand’s potential future leaders in biopharmaceutical innovation.

The award is intended to financially support a promising researcher’s ability to reach their career goals in medicines development.  

Member companies of Medicines New Zealand will also be able to assist the award recipient, by researching out to their networks of international affiliate companies in order to gain opportunities for industry experience.  

This Award is open to applications from early career scientists including current postgraduate students (Masters and PhD Candidates) in life-science disciplines which are relevant to the biopharmaceutical sectors such as pharmacology, genetics, physiology, biochemistry and immunology to Health Care Professionals who are pursuing a research-focussed career. 

As the Award is intended for early career researchers, applicants’ highest qualification is anticipated to have been conferred within the past ten (10) years.  

Value of the Award 

The Award recipient will receive a prize package with a total value of up to $30,000* NZD. This includes:  

$20,000 to support project costs.  

Career support funding of up to $10,000 to enable the winner to participate in an educational programme or another career-enhancing opportunity (industry internship etc). 

*Total value of up to $30,000 exclusive of GST 


The Award for Excellence in Innovative Medicines Research

The second award available this year is The Award for Excellence in Innovative Medicines Research.  It continues the traditions of the earlier Value of Medicines Award (2011-2018) which was awarded for an outstanding research project involving innovative use of medicines or vaccines. The Award for Excellence in Innovative Medicines Research recognises a New Zealander who has made a significant scientific or clinical contribution to the development of innovative medicines or vaccines. The Award takes a broad view of success and is designed to recognise and celebrate the efforts of an established New Zealand researcher to ensure that the biopharmaceutical research sector thrives in New Zealand.

The award winner, to be selected by Medicines New Zealand, will be presented with the Value of Medicines Trophy in recognition of their significant contribution to innovative medicines research in New Zealand.

2023 Recipient - Professor Dame Margaret Brimble

Professor Dame Margaret Brimble highly esteemed New Zealand chemist. Renowned for her exceptional contributions to organic and medicinal chemistry, Professor Dame Margaret Brimble has earned international acclaim for her pioneering work in synthesising bioactive natural products and developing novel drugs. With a distinguished career marked by scientific excellence, Professor Dame Margaret Brimble continues to be a trailblazer in the field of chemistry.

2022 Recipient - Professor Richard Robson

Professor Robson has been a principal investigator on more than 70 clinical trials and as an author on approximately 100 publications. He has gone above and beyond in his commitment to innovative biopharmaceutical research in New Zealand through his decades of involvement with the Health Research Council’s Standing Committee on Therapeutic Trials (SCOTT).

Value of Medicines Award winners, Professor Richard Robson & Dr Emma Wade (Centre) with the MNZ Board and Jump Start Award judging Panel.

Winners of the Value of Medicines Award

Professor Ian Reid
Treatment of Osteoporosis

Dr Sally Eyers
Safe paediatric use of paracetamol

Dr Amy Chan
Paediatric asthma management

Dr Paul Young
ICU fever management

Dr Conroy Wong
Bronchiectasis treatment

Dr Swee Tan
Strawberry birthmark research

Professor Lisa Stamp
Gout management research

Dr Nicholas Lightfoot
Modernising local anaesthesiology