Researchers shortlisted for prestigious Newton Prize

Two University of Liverpool researchers have been shortlisted for the 2017 Newton Prize, an annual £1 million fund awarded for the best research or innovation that promotes the economic development and social welfare of developing countries.

The double success comes as a result of Newton Fund collaborations between the University of Liverpool and partners in India.

Professor Atif Rahman, from the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, has been shortlisted for the prize along with his research colleague Professor Prabha Chandra, from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bangalore, for research on reducing exposure to second-hand smoke for mothers and babies.

Professor Miren Iturriza-Gómara, a virologist at the Institute of Infection and Global Health, has been shortlisted along with her collaborator Professor Gagandeep Kang, from the Christian Medical College in Vellore, for research on improving rotavirus vaccinations to reduce infant deaths.

More than 150 Newton funded projects, fellowships or other awards applied for the Newton Prize from the eligible countries for this year – India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. There are 25 shortlisted applications and five Prizes of up to £200,000 will be awarded to each winner. There will be two winners in India and one in Malaysia, one in Thailand and one in Vietnam.

The winners will be announced at celebratory award ceremonies held in each of the countries during November 2017, with the India ceremony taking place on 1 November.

The Minister for Universities, Science and Research Jo Johnson will also host a UK event in London on 4 December to celebrate the first year of the Prize and to announce the 2018 Newton Prize countries.

The Newton Prize is part of the broader Newton Fund, which builds research and innovation partnerships with 18 partner countries to support their economic development and social welfare, and to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth.

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