Early Researcher Award

EAPC Early Researcher Award – The Winners of 2013

The EAPC is pleased to announce the outcome of the 'Early Researcher Award' competition for 2013.  The overall winner is Dr Meera Agar (Australia) with joint runners up being Dr Jeroen Hasselaar (Netherlands) and Dr Barbara Gomes (Portugal/United Kingdom). The Awards Panel of Professor Sheila Payne, Professor Joachim Cohen and Dr Ondrej Slama were pleased to receive 17 applications by the deadline.

The standard of applications was very high, with a small group of outstanding candidates. Applications were assessed on the published criteria; namely evidence of sustained engagement with research in palliative care, evidence of emerging grant capture, an increasing portfolio of published research papers and other factors that indicate international esteem. The accompanying statements of support were also scrutinised.

The Panel are both delighted and reassured that there are so many excellent emerging researchers who will contribute to the development of palliative care research and practice.



Discipline of palliative and supportive services

Flinders University,

Adelaide, Australia

Associate Professor Meera Agar is a Palliative Medicine Specialist and clinical director of a large inpatient palliative care service at Braeside Hospital (HammondCare) Sydney, New South Wales. She is the research lead for South West Sydney Local Health District Palliative Care Service, clinical trial director for the Ingham Institute of Applied Medical Research (South West Sydney). 

She has academic appointments with research, undergraduate and postgraduate teaching roles, with the Discipline of Palliative and Supportive Services, School of Medicine, Flinders University, South West Sydney Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Centre for cardiovascular disease and chronic disease (University of Technology Sydney), School of Medicine University of Notra Dame  and School of Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Sydney. She submitted her doctoral thesis for examination on the topic of management of delirium at the end of life in 2013.In 2011 the South West Sydney Palliative Care Clinical trials Unit that she leads won the New South Wales Premier’s Cancer Research award for innovations in clinical trials. She was also awarded the Palliative Care New South Wales award for significance in palliative care research in 2011. Her key research interests are cognitive impairment and delirium, pharmacological clinical trials for symptom management; health service intervention evaluation in advanced cancer and palliative care; and end of life care in advanced dementia.

As the overall winner Dr Meera Agar will give a plenary lecture in the first plenary session of the congress taking place on Friday, May 31 from 9h00 to 10h10, titled “Delirium at the End of Life: Developing the Evidence Base?”.
(Download CV here)




Radboud University Nijmegen Medical

Nijmwegen, Netherlands 

Jeroen Hasselaar, Phd, is assistant professor in palliative care at the Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen, the Netherlands. At this university, he also attained his PhD addressing the medical and ethical aspects of palliative sedation. Jeroen has a background in health sciences (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and bioethics (Utrecht University). In 2012 he received, in his function of coordinator of a broad international consortium, an FP7 grant from the European Union for a research project on integrated palliative care. 

Before, in 2009, he received a research grant of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) for an intervention study concerning video communication in palliative care. Besides research, Jeroen is vice-chair of the expert center for pain and palliative care at the Radboud University Medical Center and chair of the platform for palliative care Eastern Netherlands. In addition, he is coordinator of the national project for palliative care research and innovation on behalf of the Dutch Federation of University hospitals. 
(Download CV here)




Dept. of Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation

King’s College London, Cicely Saunders Institute, United Kingdom

Research Fellow, Project DINAMO (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation)

Barbara Gomes completed her first degree in Psychology and Health at the University of Porto, followed by an MSc and a PhD in Palliative Care at King’s College London. She has been a researcher at King’s since January 2004, working with Professor Irene Higginson in a long-term research programme aiming to discover ways of enabling patients with an advanced illness to die in the place of their choice, with quality and support for their families.

Barbara is now leading a five-year project supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation aiming to increase research capacity and evidence in palliative care in Portugal, creating a basis from which to grow a research programme focusing on home palliative care (project DINAMO).

She has research interests and publications in the following areas: preferences and decision-making, place of death, epidemiology, symptom assessment, evaluation of palliative care, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness, cancer care, home care, public education about end of life care issues, bereavement and cross-national research.
(Download CV here)