The Rob Clarke Awards

Recognising excellence in undergraduate physiology projects.

Submit an application

Who can apply?

  • Undergraduate Members
  • Affiliate and Associate Members within the first year after their undergraduate degree
  • The Physiological Society is committed to the principles of diversity, equality and inclusion, and thereby welcomes applications from individuals of all background

What is the award?

  • This award is given independently for the best abstracts and the best poster(s) presented of undergraduate research
  • Entrants selected for a Rob Clarke Abstract Award will be given £200 to attend and present their work as a poster at one of The Society’s conferences
  • A panel of judges will review the posters and present the best project(s) with a Rob Clarke Presentation Award
  • All presenters receive a certificate

How do I apply?

Get inspired!

During my undergraduate research project, I worked to determine the role of G-protein coupled receptor GPR56 in pancreatic islet development using fluorescent immunohistochemistry. It was a great experience to present a poster at Future Physiology and win the Rob Clarke Award. I attended a number of workshops and talks, met other early career researchers and even made new friends.

Klaudia Toczyska, Award Winner in 2017

I was very impressed with the standard of work, but even more impressed with the way that the entrants were able to discuss with the judges the general context and potential impact of their research, as well as the specific details.

Dr Sarah Hall, judge and Chair of The Society’s Education and Outreach Committee

The following individuals received both an Abstract and a Presentation Award at Physiology 2019:

  • Tamara McErlain, Queens’ University Belfast
  • Max Weston, University of Exeter
  • Yizhou Yu, Imperial College London

The individuals listed below received the Abstract Award and presented their work at Physiology 2019:

  • Zahra Alhumaidi, University of Salford
  • Holly Bond, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Natasha Howley, University of Cambridge
  • Cian O’Connor, Trinity College Dublin
  • Rebecca Robertson, University of Liverpool
  • Khalil Saadeh, University of Surrey
  • Lucy Venables, University of South Wales
  • Juliette Westbrook, University of Oxford
  • Ella White, University College London
  • Sijia Yao, University of Cambridge

The individuals below received the Abstract Award for their work:

  • James Barber, University of Bath
  • Samuel Burden, University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University
  • Edward Gray, University of Bath

Rob Clarke (1956 – 2004) made an important contribution to physiology and to the life of The Physiological Society, as a member of the Committee (now called Council). He was a hands-on research scientist and regular attendee at Society meetings where he presented more than 60 communications over the years in his own unique laid-back style. As well as a committed researcher, Rob was an innovative teacher who taught physiology across the board at undergraduate level, and was involved with many Society initiatives to engage and train young people in physiology.

The Rob Clarke Awards honour his commitment to undergraduate physiology and to nurturing the next generation of physiologists.

  1. Entrants must be an Undergraduate Member or an Affiliate/Associate within the first year after their undergraduate degree (or have submitted a membership application at the time of entering the Rob Clarke Awards).
  2. Work must have been carried out as an undergraduate, and can include summer, final year or Integrated Masters projects. Research undertaken after graduation would not be eligible.
  3. Recent (first year) postgraduates must have completed their research as an undergraduate and their higher status will be taken into account in the judging process.
  4. All types of project will be considered (including science communication, undergraduate ambassador and library projects), as long as they are hypothesis-driven and show data collection and analytical skills.
  5. The supervisor must approve the abstract being submitted for presentation.
  6. The abstract must have been written by the student (it is acknowledged that abstracts may not include the final results and conclusions of a project).
  7. The abstract must have only one author: the student. Projects completed jointly by more than one undergraduate are eligible but each student must write and submit their own abstract for the Awards, and describe their contribution to the project as well.
  8. The abstract must follow these guidelines.
  9. If the student is successful and receives a travel grant award to support their attendance at the poster judging, they must return any funds they have received if they do not attend the conference.
  10. The poster must follow these guidelines.

For further information, please contact

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