Apply now: the Cochrane-REWARD prize for reducing waste in research

Nominations have been opened for the 2021 Cochrane-REWARD prize, to recognise initiatives aimed at reducing research waste, highlighting the various ways in which that may be achieved along the 5 stages of waste: questions, design, conduct, publication, reporting.

This year, the prize committee especially encourages submissions related to tackling COVID-19 research waste.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen research published at an unprecedented scale, and there is evidence that existing research waste issues have been amplified during this time. However, there are also notable examples of efforts to reduce waste and the Cochrane-REWARD committee are keen to highlight some of these.

All nominations will be assessed using the following criteria:

1. The nominee has addressed at least one of the 5 stages of waste (questions, design, conduct, publication, reporting) in health research;
2. The nominee has pilot or more definitive data showing the initiative can lower waste;
3. The initiative can be scaled up;
4. The estimated potential reduction in research waste that the initiative might achieve.

Nominations for the 2021 prize should be submitted by 24 September 2021. Two prizes will be awarded (a 1st prize of £1500 and a 2nd prize of £1000), but other shortlisted candidates will also be highlighted to help disseminate good ideas.

The winners of the 2021 prize will be announced in a virtual ceremony later in the year, where they will also be given the opportunity to present about their work.

More information on the prize and how to submit a nomination can be found on the Cochrane site

Last year the prize was awarded to Trial Forge, an initiative established in 2015 to address evidence gaps in how randomized trials are designed – and, in doing so, improve trial efficiency.

Joint second prize was awarded to and the Meta-Analysis of SKewed data (MASK) collaboration.

MASK aimed to develop effective methods for handling continuous outcome measures in evidence synthesis. While the project case study focused on trials of rehabilitation interventions for stroke, the methods identified by MASK are generic and could be applied to any situation where a mean or standard deviation summary statistic of a continuous outcome is missing. is an online database where researchers can register their animal studies, upload protocols and link to publications and data sources. While clinical trials now have multiple registration platforms the preclinical field has had no means to register studies; fills the gap.

Read more about the previous winners of the Cochrane-REWARD prize.