Skip to main content
Bursary Recipients

Bursary Recipients


Due to financial uncertainties resulting in reduced income for the Society due to the Covid-19 pandemic, no bursaries will be offered this year. The BMFMS committee will keep this decision under review.

The BMFMS are delighted to announce the following successful applicants for the 2016 research and travel bursaries.

Travel Bursary

Dr Frances Conti-Ramsden

Academic Foundation Programme trainee, Division of Women’s Health, King’s College London


To support a 1 month visit to South Africa, recruiting to “Cradle II” (an observational study of women with pre-eclampsia, sepsis and haemorrhage). Please see report HERE. Fran's team published a paper in 2019 in Hypertension, where it was awarded the Top paper in the category of Clinical Sciences in 2019. Please see a link to the paper here






Research Bursaries

Dr David Carr

Clinical Lecturer in Maternal Fetal Medicine, St George’s, University of London (SGUL)


A study to evaluate the effects of low-frequency electroacupuncture on insulin sensitivity in a rat model of maternal obesity and gestational diabetes. Dr Carr is also this year’s recipient of the Richard Johansson Award. Please see report here.


Professor Michael Taggart

Chair of Reproductive Sciences, Reproductive & Vascular Biology Group, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Medical School, Newcastle University


Pilot study of proteome-wide changes underlying human placental vascular development. Please see interim report HERE.


Dr Raheela Khan

Associate Professor, Division of Medical Sciences & Graduate Entry Medicine, School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Nottingham


Role of the P2X7 receptor in the pro-inflammatory response of pre-eclampsia. Please see interim report HERE.


Dr Lauren Megaw

Clinical Research Fellow, Centre For Reproductive Health, Queen’s Medical Research Institute, Edinburgh


The mechanism by which UVA benefits pregnancy through a nitric oxide mediated pathway.


Dr Inge Christiaens

Clinical Fellow Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Newcastle University


Study on whether labour and mode of delivery alter microbial community structures in term placentas. Please see interim report HERE.


Dr Holger Werner Unger

Specialty trainee Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Centre of Reproductive Health, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary


Anaemia in Papua New Guinea: developing a clinical algorithm to identify women at high risk of anaemia-related adverse pregnancy outcomes for targeted interventions. Holger's interim report is available. Please also see  paper: A sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the quantitation of human plasma ferritin and  paper: The relationship between markers of antenatal iron stores and birth outcomes differs by malaria prevention regimen-a prospective cohort study.




Dr Fiona Mackie


Project: To develop a prediction model for development of complications in MC twin pregnancies. Fiona's interim report is available HERE.


Dr Elsepth Whitby


Project: ‘The Prognostic Value of Consecutive MRI based lung measurements in CDH’Elsepth's interim report is available HERE.


Dr Gareth Waring


Project: The Microbiome of chorioamnionitis. The interim report is available HERE.




Dr Sarah Stock
Clinical Lecturer and Subspecialty Trainee Fetal Maternal Medicine, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh.


The Fetal Inflammatory Response syndrome (FIRS) is associated with excess neonatal morbidity and mortality, and long-term disability. Ultrasound detectable changes in fetal myocardial function, splenic vein pulsatility and thymus size have been associated with FIRS. However, further data are required to determine if these have potential to be used as methods of assessing fetal inflammation. The project aims to aim to characterize changes in fetal myocardial function, circulation and thymus size assessed by ultrasound (US) in a sheep model of intrauterine infection.


Dr Stock is also this years recipient of the Richard Johansson Award.


Dr Alexander Heazell
Senior Clinical Lecturer in Obstetrics, Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre, University of Manchester.


A known genetic cause of placental dysfunction, low birth weight and stillbirth is confined placental mosaicism (CPM). CPM describes the exclusive presence, in some or all placental cells, of a genotype, that is absent in fetal cells. Previous studies of CPM in stillbirths were performed using traditional karyotyping techniques that have limited resolution and are prone to artifacts due to difficulties associated with tissue culture. However, the proportion of stillbirths due to CPM is not known and it is not clear if smaller copy number variations (CNVs) confined to the placenta and not detectable by routine karyotyping may result in stillbirth. The project aims to use array-CGH to answer these questions.


Dr Victoria Bills
Subspecialty Trainee in Maternal and Fetal MedicineFetal Medicine Unit, St Michael’s Hospital, University Hospitals Bristol. 


PET and GDM are characterised by increased vascular permeability and endothelial cell dysfunction. Diabetic pregnant women are at increased risk of developing pre-eclampsia, but it is not known why. There are 2 key regulators of vessel permeability: the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family of molecules and the glycocalyx. The VEGF family display increased expression in women with PET, and it is the VEGF isoform VEGF165b present in PET but not normotensive blood that causes an increase in vessel permeability. The glycocalyx is a physiologically active layer that covers the luminal surface of all blood vessels, controlling the vessel wall’s permeability.  The glycocalyx is lost in diabetes but nothing is known about what happens to the glycocalyx in PET.  Dr Bills aims to investigate whether common pathophysiological mechanisms exist between PET and GDM, and if these mechanisms act together to worsen disease severity.


Dr Rachel Ion
Clinical Research Fellow, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.


Project to compare gene activation in intrauterine tissues from women with different phenotypic groups of preterm labour.


Travel Bursary recipient (2013/14)

Dr. Srividhya Sankaran

Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London

£1000 award to travel to Jawaharlal Institue of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research in Pondicherry, south India to facilitate the establishment of a formal obstetric ultrasound training programme among obstetric trainees.

This years applications were all of a high standard and included basic scientific research, clinical research and audit proposals. They were graded by members of the Executive Committee. Srividhya's report is available HERE.


Previous recipients include



Catherine Penny James (£4960) awarded the Richard Johanson Prize for the highest ranking research proposal, Natasha Hezelgrave (£4000), Catherine Collins (£2496), John Lartey (£5000), May Ching Soh (£4705), David Carr (£600) and Stephen Ong (£950).


Amy Walker (£4909) awarded the Richard Johanson Prize, Catherine Aiken (£5000), Martin Cameron (£5000), Manju Chandiramani (£4620), Catherine Hillman-Cooper (£5000), Fiona Menzies (£3500), Katie Morris (£3645), Eleanor Jarvie (£1000).


Natasha Hezelgrove
To fund a research trip to the WHO in Geneva to gain experience in reproductive health research methodology in a low income setting, inform my current and future research proposals, identify potential collaborators for a larger study, and establish a Cochrane Review Group ‘‘Techniques for blood pressure measurement in pregnancy”. Natasha's report is available HERE.


John Lartey (£2994), Marian Knight (£1000), Kelly Cohen (£1000), Inass Osman (£1,000), Catherine Williamson (£1594), Sarah Stock (£2,637.90), David Lissauer (£2,850) and Hsu Phern Chong (£3,000).


Bryony Strachan and Mark Denbow (£1,600) To fund travel to Uganda to develop an obstetric emergency training programme. Anna Kenyon (£1,982) To fund a pilot study in preterm labour. Sarah Stock (£2,850) To fund a pilot study of optimisation of a cell culture technique to use in the area of preterm labour.


Anna David (£1027) funding to visit Professor Fionnuala McAuliffe’s unit at University College, Dublin to find out more about the new VisualSonics Vevo ultrasound biomicroscope. This is specifically designed for use in small animals such as rodents and Dr David was interested to find out how it could be used to measure uterine artery and umbilical artery volume flow in the pregnant mouse and to visualise the mouse fetus in vivo - DetailsMarie Smith (£2944) and Martin Lupton (£2,500).


Victoria Bills (£2,000) used to fund placements at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Pretoria Academic Hospital, and also Kalafong Hospital, in Pretoria, South Africa in order to recruit women with pre-eclampsia into a study investigating the role of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in the pathogenesis of the disease. Lucy Chappell (£1950) - Details and Yvonne Thoroughgood (£2,000).


Gbemisola Okunoye (£1,000), Janice Gibson (£1,000),  John Lartey (£1,900) and Ddharmintra Pasupathy (£2,000).