PRS-PSANZ Mont Liggins Early Career Award

Sir Graham ‘Mont’ Liggins,

(1926 – 2010)

New Zealand Physician Scientist

Recognizing Early Research Career Speakers Supported by PRS & PSANZ

The PSANZ-PRS Mont Liggins Early Career Award was established in 2014 in partnership with the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ) to recognize an invited Early Research Career Speaker at the PSANZ Annual Congress, which will enable them to attend the following PRS meeting.

PRS shares many aims of PSANZ: to foster multidisciplinary scientific interchange in the field of perinatology and developmental biology, and to foster early research careers.

Origins of the award

The PRS-PSANZ Early Career Award is named after one of New Zealand’s most eminent medical scientists, the late Professor Sir Graham ‘Mont’ Liggins.  Mont became internationally renown in 1960s and 1970s for his pioneering research on the fetus and newborns, and for his clinical innovations based on fundamental biomedical research. His accomplishments increased the survival of sick and preterm babies. 

Mont attended early PRS annual meetings and in 1985, which PRS established the first of its awards, the Liley Lecture, named to honor a fellow New Zealand native, he was the first recipient. The Liggins award was established nearly 40 years later.

Furthermore, Mont Liggins  has been a source of inspiration to the founding scientists at the Liggins Institute that is proud to bear his name. Scientists continue the innovative traditions he set for New Zealand medical science.


The winner of the PSANZ-PRS Mont Liggins Early Career Award will be supported by grants from PRS and PSANZ. PRS will cover registration, which includes accommodation and all meals, and an honorarium towards travel (currently set at US $600 – 2020). PSANZ will provide AUS $2,000 towards travel costs.

PRS-PSANZ Mont Liggins Early Career Award

  • Awarded PhD / MD within the last 5 years, or more
  • Received professional vocational qualification within the past 5 years AND is enrolled in an MD / PhD
  • Research is aligned with the disciplines of Neonatology, Basic Science or Obstetrics (note that the awardee does not need to be from one of these disciplines, but the research presented must align with one of these disciplines)
  • Has not received the PSANZ-PRS Mont Liggins Early Career Award previously
  • Commitment to attend the PRS meeting in the September following the PSANZ Congress at which the award is won
  • Commitment to provide feedback to PSANZ in the form of a newsletter article about the research and the award


  • The award will be made to the best oral presentation at the PSANZ congress by an eligible presenter
  • Presentations will be judged on the basis of scientific merit, on clarity and excellence of the presentation and on ability to answer questions from the audience
  • If a PRS member is present at the PSANZ congress, then a PRS member will form part of the judging panel with the remaining judges selected by the Local Organizing Committee in consultation with the PSANZ executive
Tayla Penny, PhD Candidate, was the winner of the 2019 PRS-PZANZ Mont Liggins award. Ms. Penny is a student at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, associated with Monash Health and University in Clayton, Victoria Australia.

Past Award Recipients

2019Tayla Penny, PhD Candidate
2018Aidan James Kashyap, MBBS/PhD Student
2017Teresa MacDonald
2016Dr. Stacey Ellery, PhD
2015Elisha Josev