Robert Austrian Research Awards

2024 Funding Round

Robert Austrian Research Awards


On behalf of the Robert Austrian Research Award Committee and the ISPPD Board, we are pleased to announce that thanks to the generous support of Pfizer, a second round of 2024 Robert Austrian Research Award applications was conducted. After review of the submitted applications by the RARA Committee, submitters will be notified of the results via email. 


To honour the memory of Robert Austrian for his pioneering and immensely important research on pneumococci and pneumococcal diseases, the ISPPD board announces its intention to award the Robert Austrian Research Awards in Pneumococcal Vaccinology and has defined the research topics and criteria for the selection of award recipients. Based on these criteria, a subcommittee, consisting of ≥3 members of the ISPPD Board will propose the award recipients to the full ISPPD Board for approval. Recipients of the Robert Austrian Research Awards in Pneumococcal Vaccinology will be selected on the basis of an application detailing career achievements and a research proposal.

In this round, up to ten Robert Austrian Research Awards in Pneumococcal Vaccinology ≤$25,000 USD each will be sponsored by Pfizer. Pfizer has selected the International Society of Pneumonia and Pneumococcal Diseases, ISPPD, to manage the Robert Austrian Research Awards in Pneumococcal Vaccinology. Payments will only be made to the administering (i.e. host) institution and not to individuals, and will be made by wire transfer. ISPPD takes no responsibility for the further administration or use of the funds beyond the point of disbursement. The award recipients are expected to submit a short final report within two years of being awarded, and to present their results at the following ISPPD Meeting, ISPPD-14, in Copenhagen (2026). It is also anticipated that their award, bios/photo and the final report will be posted on the ISPPD website.

The winners from the second round of 2024 RARA applications will be announced online, and we may have the opportunity to further acknowledge this outstanding achievement at future ISPPD meetings such as the ISPPD-14 Meeting in Copenhagen (2026).



Preventing pneumococcal disease by affordable and effective vaccination. Research proposals must be aimed at discovering, developing, and evaluating new and improved vaccines, delivery systems or vaccination strategies, and/or investigating the value of vaccination.



Geographical representation

At least one applicant from each major geographical region (Africa, Asia/Australasia, Europe, Latin America and North America) will receive an award, provided that the ISPPD Board considers that the submitted application is of suitably high quality and there is sufficient budget available.


Eligibility requirements

  • Early-career scientists including PhD students, and post-doctoral researchers who have received their PhD in the previous 5 years.
  • <40 years of age at the date of application.
  • Professorial level scientists are not eligible for the awards.
  • The Robert Austrian Research Awards are open for application to ISPPD members (if you’re not a member yet, get your free membership at

At the sole discretion of the ISPPD Board, these criteria may be waived for:

  • Career interruptions– Applicants who have received their PhD more than 5 years ago and/or who are aged over 40, but whose career development was interrupted because of major illness, substantial caring responsibilities including pregnancy and caring for small children, prolonged part-time study/employment or extensive employment in an unrelated field.
  • Other postgraduate qualifications– Applicants with other postgraduate qualifications that will enable them to undertake high-quality research.

Applicants who are applying for an eligibility waiver will need to provide additional information as indicated in the online form. You must include sufficient detail to enable the reviewers to determine whether an exemption can be granted, or your application will be deemed ineligible. No determinations will be made in advance.



Applicants will need to submit the documents from the list below. All documents need to be uploaded to the online application form. Click on the “plus” icon to read the requirements for each document.

Application is now closed. Deadline: Monday, 24 June 2024

The CV can be in any style, but must not exceed 5 pages (A4, 1.5 line spaced and Arial font size 12). A full list of grants and publications should be included.

*Applicants must use the template provided.

Please download and complete the research proposal template. The Research proposal must not exceed 5 pages (A4, 1.5 line spaced and Arial font size 12), with an additional sixth page for the proposed budget. Any additional sources of funding, for projects expected to exceed $25,000 should be declared.

Download Template

*The letter must adhere to the listed requirements or the application will be deemed ineligible.

Please download the requirements for the letter from the host institution.

Download Requirements

Applicants are requested to register for an ISPPD membership via the society website here:

ISPPD membership is free of charge and provides you with amazing benefits such as Meeting discounts, online learning and journal access.

In case of questions, please contact the Meeting Organisers at


2024 RARA Winners (first round)

Sophie Belman, Spain
Investigating the compound effects of air quality, meteorology, and pathogen population genetics on pneumococcal disease in a Bayesian hierarchical framework

Laura Boelsen, Australia
Changes in circulating pneumococcal AMR following vaccine introduction in the Asia-Pacific

Akuzike Kalizang’oma, Malawi
Identifying and characterising the reservoir of capsule biosynthesis loci encoding novel serotypes in Streptococcus mitis that may drive vaccine escape by Streptococcus pneumoniae

Chikondi Peno, United States
The inter-relationship between respiratory microbiota and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) immune responses in infants

Previous RARA Winners

Stephanie Lo, United Kingdom
Manmeet Pal Singh Bhalla, United States
Amelieke Cremers, Switzerland
Dennis Hoving, Netherlands
Kevin van Zandvoort, United Kingdom
Tasson Rodrigues, Brazil
Abel Abera Negash, Ethiopia
Deus Thindwa, Malawi
Elissavet Nikolaou, Australia
Naïm Ouldali, Canada

Rebecca Gladstone, Norway
Elena Mitsi, United Kingdom
Felix Dube, South Africa
Rama Kandasamy, United Kingdom
Sandra Kwarteng Owusu, Ghana
Chrispin Chaguza, United Kingdom
Eleanor Neal, Australia
Thi Trang Dai Vo, Vietnam
Nicholas Conradi, Canada
Jocelyn Chan, Australia

Maimuna Carrim, South Africa
Lindsay Grant, United States
Lea-Ann Kirkham, Australia
John Lees, United States
Joseph Lewnard, United States
Salvatore Manna, Australia
Courtney Olwagen, South Africa
Dodi Safari , Indonesia
Madikay Senghore, Gambia
Irina Tsvetkova, Russia

Pui-Ying Iroh Tam, USA
Simon Jochems, UK
Rama Kandasamay, UK
Tila Khan, India
Nasreen Mahomed, South Africa
Jane Manning, Australia
Ioanna Papadatou, Greece
Sabine Snyder, USA