The 19th International Clinical Researcher of the Year took place at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in London’s Kensington last night, hosted by BBC news presenters Charlie Stayt and Ros Atkins.

A special reception for sponsors, members of the executive steering group and judges was held prior to the event, with Charlie Stayt speaking about the history of the competition and its aims for the future. “As many of you will know, in July last year, PharmaTimes Media appointed a new executive management team to take its already very highly regarded portfolio of skills based competitions to the next level. I’m pleased to report that since then, the competitions have gone from strength to strength," he said, adding: “Tonight is a fine example of what, with your support, has been achieved: 2018 has seen more people taking part in the competition. We’ve also had more companies taking and passing the MCQ, which has in turn lead to an increase in the number of essays.The quality of entries, I’m told, just gets better and better, making the judges’ task of choosing the winners all the more difficult.”

At the ceremony itself, Carol Parish, chair of the executive steering group re-iterated just how well each of the 50 individual finalists and 14 teams had done to make it to the event, adding: “This competition is unique in that it’s competency based, providing a real opportunity for research professionals to compete with fellow professionals on a level playing field and to gain valuable feedback on their performance.The competition is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2019 and to celebrate, we hope to make it the largest event to date.”

First up was Clinical Trial Administrator of the Year, with PRA stealing the show by occupying each of the top spots. The company's Marta Fornals was awarded Bronze; Shrusti Tripathy, Silver and Nursabrina Gofar, Gold.

Next it was the turn of the Aspiring Clinical Research Associates. PRA’s Liam Mistry was awarded Bronze ; Natalia Moschou of BMS took Silver and in Gold position was PPD’s Lauren Cassidy.

The Clinical Research Associate category saw PRA Health Sciences sweep the board again: Hans van der Meulen (Bronze),  Lucy Martindale  (Silver)and Sara Pasqualini (Gold).

In the Project Manager category, Anika Salim from Summit Therapeutics was awarded Bronze; Victor Muts of Syneos Health took Silver and in Gold position it was PRA again, with Joanne Whitehead raising the coveted pharma.

In the Team Leader category, Bronze went to Els Vanpee of PAREXEL, Silver Wei Ting Chua of Syneos Health and Gold, Guat Hoon Ong of PRA Health Sciences.

New for this year, the In-House Clinical Research Associate “attracted some great entries,” said Carol Parish and this time it was Syneos Health’s turn to dominate the leader board, with the company’s Jenny Redelius taking Bronze; Hana Grach, Silver and Nicola Baxter, Gold.

Before moving into the team categories, host Charlie Stayt said: thanked Carol Parish on behalf of PharmaTimes for “structuring and facilitating the team finals day – which, with more teams this year,  was quite the operation!”

PRA Health Sciences scooped Clinical Research Team of the Year Bronze and Silver: Amber Nuyts, Charlotte Errygers, Nele Pittevils, Inge Saels and Isabelle Vrancken (Bronze); Simona Petrini, Libby Covell, Noa Fuchs, Vikki Miles and  Anna Rask (Silver). First place went to Ashlee Lucas, Katie Ellegard, Krishna Letchemanan, Natalia Sadowska and Ekaterina Sakwa from BMS.

Guys and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust took scooped not one, but two awards  in the Clinical Site of the Year category; Michelle Wild, Jennifer Curley and Lucy Featherstone were awarded Bronze and Nicholas Gomm, Catherine Rogers, Saoirse Daly took Gold. Silver went to University Hospital Southampton NHS FT - MarieNelson, Jane Forbes, and Kirsty Gladas.

Company of the Year, which was presented by Paul Quinn, vice chair of the executive steering group, went to PRA Health Sciences.

More to follow.