The Perinatal Research Society is honored to sponsor elite awards at each meeting.

Liley Lecture (Lectureship):  The Liley award is the society's own award and is given each year to recognize outstanding contributions and achievement in the area of perinatal research. In the past, this has been based on the overall advancement of the field and often reflects more prolonged career success rather than a single cutting edge study that the named lectureships otherwise tend to support.  Intentionally there is no restriction on the precise topic or recipient to give the current President and council the maximum flexibility, and it has been awarded to both members and nonmembers of the society.

Origins of the award:  The Liley award and lectureship were established in 1985 to recognize the world renowned perinatal researcher Sir (Albert) William Liley KCMG FRSNZ (1929-1983).  Sir William was a New Zealand physician-scientist who specialized in fetal research in utero and was the first to overcome the problems of rhsesus incompatibility in human fetal transfusions.  Of note, the first recipient was Mont Liggins, another highly prominent clinician scientist who was responsible for the modern day use of steroids to treat lung prematurity.


The PSANZ-PRS Mont Liggins Early Career Award:  A new prestigious award established in 2014 in partnership with the PSANZ.

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.


The winner of the PSANZ-PRS Mont Liggins Early Career Award will be one of the invited early research career speakers, 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). 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
  • 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 Organising Committee in consultation with the PSANZ executive

The Award is named after one of NZ’s most eminent medical scientists, the late Professor Sir Graham Liggins. Sir Graham achieved international fame in 1960s and 1970s for clinical innovations based on fundamental biomedical research which increased the survival of sick and preterm babies. Sir Graham Liggins is one of New Zealand’s most highly respected medical research scientists and he is internationally renowned for his pioneering research on the fetus and newborn.  Sir Graham (affectionately known as "Mont") and his work have been a source of inspiration to the founding scientists at the institute that is proud to bear his name. They continue the pioneering traditions he set for New Zealand medical science. Read a tribute from Professor Wayne Cutfield Read a tribute from Professor Sir Peter Gluckman FRS, Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister Read Professor Sir Peter Gluckman's eulogy for Sir Graham Liggins

View more detailed history of Mont.


Associate Member Paper Prize:  The PRS Prize for an Outstanding Paper by an Associate Member was created in 2016.

The prize will be awarded to three Associate Members (one in each track) for the most outstanding published paper within each track published during the last year as determined by PRS Council. Accepted, but not yet published papers will NOT qualify. Award winners are announced at the annual meeting and will receive complimentary registration to the following year's meeting.


Young Investigator Cassady Presidential Award:

Award Purpose: For Meritorious Performance at the Annual Perinatal Research Society Meeting

Selection Criteria: The award is to be presented to a Young Investigator/Early Career Speaker at the meeting who most embodies the criterion of excellence defined by the PRS president at that time.  The PRS president may invite anyone to assist in this decision as they see fit.  It should be advised the recipient also attend the whole meeting to receive the award.

Origin of the Award:  This award was established in 2012 in honor of Al Cassady, from Mead Johnson Nutrition (corporate meeting sponsor) in recognition of the personal effort that Al made to nurture young investigators far beyond the norm in his work with Mead Johnson.  Al had achieved numerous awards throughout his career including:

  • Chair of the Board of Directors for ADAF
  • Mead Johnson Nutrition President’s Award
  • Mead Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Mead Johnson Legends Award