Cuthbertson Award

The Nutrition Society Cuthbertson Award has been awarded annually since 1990 as a tribute to Sir David Cuthbertson. 

It is awarded to scientists or clinicians at an early stage of their career for excellence in clinical nutrition and/or metabolism research providing an evidence base for clinical practice.
Applications will open in Summer 2021.
What will I be awarded?
The successful candidate will be awarded free membership of the Nutrition Society for one year, will receive the award and present their research during the Nutrition Society Winter Conference (topic does not need to be linked to the topic of the conference), and be invited to prepare a paper for publication in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society (PNS).

This Senior Award is applicable to scientists within the area of Whole Body Metabolism and Animal Nutrition.  Candidates will have made a major contribution to either, or both, of these fields. The Award is open to members of the Nutrition Society and to scientists in the UK and Ireland in closely allied fields who are not members; there is no upper age limit.  Both nominations and applications are invited.


Nominations and applications will be judged by a panel of distinguished senior nutritional scientists.

How to apply

Applicants for the award must supply:

  • A brief up to date curriculum vitae
  • A 1000 word summary of their contribution to an area of relevance to clinical nutrition and/or metabolism
  • An abstract summary of the proposed lecture at the Nutrition Society Winter Conference
  • Copies of up to three published papers in support of their application
  • The names, addresses and emails of three Proposers who are familiar with the applicant’s work and who will support the application

Applications for 2020 are now closed.

Dr Richard JE Skipworth, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, for his research entitled ‘Muscle and fat wasting in cachexia: the metabolic response to cancer’ .

Sir David Cuthbertson (1900-1989) was bom in Kilmamock, Scotland, and educated at Glasgow University, where he studied both Medicine and Biochemistry. As a young man, he became the first biochemist to be appointed at Glasgow Royal Infirmary (1926-1934). In 1945 he became director of the Rowett Research Institute, Aberdeen, a position he held until his retirement in 1965.

However, he continued to work actively as a senior research fellow at Glasgow Royal Infirmary until his 'second retirement' in 1986, 3 years before his death.  He is most remembered for his landmark studies on the metabolic response to accidental injury, in which the loss of nitrogen (N) was shown to correlate with loss of other intracellular constituents, presumably originating from skeletal muscle.

A negative N balance, which often peaks several days after trauma in association with an increase in basal metabolic rate, became a hallmark of injury. The characterization of the injury response into an early (ebb phase) and late phase (flow phase) provided a framework for considering catabolism and the development of wasting and its treatment.

He is remembered annually at the annual congresses of the European Society of Parenteral Nutrition (ESPEN) and the Nutrition Society Winter Conference, when the prestigious Sir David Cuthbertson lectures are delivered.

The list of previous winners, who have been awarded the Cuthbertson award, as promising young scientists, is a tribute to the legacy he has left behind.

The Cuthbertson Award has been awarded annually since 1990 as a tribute Sir David Cuthbertson. It is awarded to young scientists for excellence in Clinical Nutrition and/or Metabolism research providing an evidence base for clinical practice.


If you have any queries or would like to find out more, please contact the Society’s Conference Manager, Carollina Fernandes.