top of page
Anchor 6

Douglas Stephens Paediatric Research Scholarship

Douglas Stephens.jpg

Dr Douglas Stephens - Paediatric Urologist

1913 - 2011

Born in 1913, for much of his long and distinguished career, Frank Douglas Stephens was a world authority on patho-embryology of developmental processes in congenital abnormalities in the foetus and new-born. His research led to major advances in the treatment of and surgical procedures for abnormalities of bowel, urinary and genital organs.

Graduating in medicine from the University of Melbourne in 1936, he undertook residencies at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in 1936-38 and later the Royal Children’s Hospital. During World War Two he enlisted as a surgical specialist in a forward operating field ambulance in the Australian Infantry Forces. He was awarded a Nuffield research fellowship in 1947 and headed to London to spend three years at the Hospital for Sick Children (now Great Ormond Street Hospital), where he began studies of major congenital anomalies affecting the quality of life of children. Returning to Melbourne in 1950, he continued his clinical and surgical research at the Royal Children’s Hospital becoming Director of Surgical Research in 1958, as well having an appointment as an honorary paediatric surgeon at the Royal Women’s Hospital. From 1975-86, he worked in the United States with joint appointments as a Paediatric Urologist at the Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago and Professor of Urology and Surgery at the McGaw Medical Centre of the Northwestern University.

In 1976 Stephens was awarded the Sir Denis Browne Gold Medal from the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons, in 1986 the Urology Award of the American Academy of Paediatrics, and in 1987 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia. In addition, he held a number of honorary positions at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, including Councillor, Treasurer from 1969-75 and editorial secretary of the college journal for 16 years. He died in 2011.

For an indepth biography on Dr Stephens life and career written by ANZAPS member Durham Smith, please follow this link.

The Douglas Stephens Paediatric Research Scholarship

F Douglas Stephens made significant contributions to the science of paediatric surgery by an outstanding career in original research and practice. Many young surgeons, both in Australia, New Zealand and in many countries, have been profoundly influenced by working with him, or by the study of his authoritative publications. The Douglas Stephens Paediatric Surgery .Research Grant Prize was established in 2009 under the auspices of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Paediatric Surgeons (ANZAPS) and the College for presenting in alternate years when ANZAPS meet at the College Annual Scientific Congress (ASC).


ANZAPS, as the official body representing Paediatric surgery for the College; liaises with and provides advice to the F Douglas Stephens Family Committee regarding the prize and administers the eligibility, entrants, judging and awarding of the Douglas Stephens Paediatric Surgery Research Grant.

The value of the scholarship is $10,000.00 AUD. 



Conditions of ANZAPS Seed Grants

Instructions to Applicants for Completing Form

Application Form & Policy Guide

Previous Douglas Stephens Paediatric Research Scholarship Recipients
Donate to the Douglas Stephens Paediatric Research Fund


  1. Chief investigator A or B of the research proposal needs be a financial ANZAPS member

  2. Paediatric Surgical Education and Training (SET) Program trainee investigators are eligible to apply providing there is the involvement of a financial ANZAPS member thus ensuring that the research remains paediatric surgically focussed.

  3. The projects need be prospective if clinically orientated or used in order to set up a good quality laboratory and/or animal research project: retrospective chart reviews would not be considered

  4. The project has received all local regulatory approval (Scientific advisory committee, human or animal research ethics and local clinical governance) prior to the funds being released, with a preference given to preapproved projects

  5. Not eligible if have received the ANZAPS grant in the previous funding cycle

  6. If having received a previous ANZAPS grant should have completed the previous project as outlined and presented at an ANZAPS meeting

  7. Acceptance of the award must be done in person at the ASC accompanied by a talk on the proposed research

  8. At the completion of the research this must be presented at the ANZAPS ASC




  1. The prize is to support an original research project by the candidate in Paediatric surgery.

  2. Applicants who have not previously received an ANZAPS research grant may receive preference if there are equally ranked applications

  3. Previous publications and completed research would be an indication of a suitable applicant in ranking applications

CONDITIONS OF ANZAPS SEED GRANTS                                  

General - ANZAPS Investigator Seed Grants are intended to support research projects conducted by members of ANZAPS. The research undertaken must be in the area of paediatric surgery as decided by the reviewing board and the ANZAPS executive whose decision is final in this regard. The salary and position of the investigator (chief investigator A [CIA]) should be reasonably assured for the duration of the grant.

  1. Payment- Sums awarded will be paid upon request and all payments will be made in Australian Dollars, upon receipt of a fully correct tax invoice from the administering institution.

  2. Conditions of professional research personnel -The conditions for professional research personnel shall be those of the institution in which the work is carried out or as ANZAPS may determine in particular circumstances.

  3. Alterations in research program and budget -The CIA is expected to adhere to the approved research program or budget, and to notify any absences other than for short periods (e.g. three to four weeks). Full details of any proposed major alterations to either program or budget, or of any absences during the course of the grant, should be submitted in advance by the CIA to the ANZAPS executive for approval by the Chair of the Committee (or his or her delegate).

  4. Reporting requirements- Eligibility to apply for future funding will be contingent on complying with the reporting requirements of the ANZAPS Grant Agreement Terms and Conditions. Unless otherwise specified, grants are awarded for the period of two calendar years following the year of the grant decision. The CIA may request in writing a onetime-only extension or roll-over of funds if the project is not completed at the end of the two year period.

    • Progress report -The CIA is required to forward a progress report to the ANZAPS executive, both annually and within three months of the completion of the project, or any future funding requested in subsequent years by the CIA may not be considered.

    • Final report The CIA is required to forward a final report to the ANZAPS executive, within three months following the completion of the project. The final report must include a statement of expenditure charged to the grant. Any unexpended balance of the grant should be returned to ANZAPS and must not be used on other projects.

  5. Publications and presentations ANZAPS requires that its contribution be acknowledged in all publications and presentations of the research project, for example “This study was supported by a Grant from the Australian and New Zealand Association of Paediatric Surgeons” and that a presentation relating to the project be made at a major College meeting. A hard copy or pdf of the reprint should be sent to ANZAPS executive officer.

  6. Patents -Any discovery arising out of work supported by ANZAPS must not be the subject of application for patent except with the written approval of ANZAPS and the agreement of the institution in which the work is carried out.

  7. Audit of research projects - ANZAPS reserves the right to conduct a random audit of ANZAPS funded research through the administering institution’s research office.

  8. Termination of grant - A grant may be terminated if the conditions of the grant are not observed. A grant will terminate, unless other arrangements satisfactory to the ANZAPS executive are made, if the CIA leaves the institution before the expiry of the grant. In such an eventuality, the recipient and the Head of the Department are expected to notify the ANZPAS chairperson. When a grant terminates any unexpended balance must be returned to the ANZAPS.


Procedure for evaluation of grant applications

  1. Each application is assessed by 2 reviewers, one of whom is a spokesperson appointed for the grant Committee; expert opinion may be obtained in relation to the particular grant application.

  2. To assess the scientific merit of the project and to determine the ability of the investigators to carry out the research, reviewers are requested to (i) rate the grant application and (ii) provide a written report.

  3. The written report addresses the scientific merit of the application (originality of hypothesis, substantiation of objective, soundness of research plan and methodology, and feasibility of the project), the track record of the applicant and the budget, and raises questions on areas of the research which require clarification, including problems and limitations likely to be encountered.


  1. Lay description of research - Provide a brief description of the department and/or chief investigator(s), the achievements of the department and/or chief investigator(s), and the proposed research and its significance [suitable for a media release]. No more than one page is allowed. Please provide a lay title.

  2. Grant synopsis - This information is used primarily to assign the application for review. This one page synopsis should describe the project and include a description of the aims, significance, context, objectives, methods and likely benefits of the research plan to the research group and the specialty.

  3. Requested non-reviewers: Applicants preferring particular reviewers NOT to be approached to assess their application should attach a letter containing details of up to two non-requested non-reviewers. This letter should be attached to the original application only. These requests will be considered by the ANZAPS Research Committee.

  4. Research plan - Describe your research project in this section. Do not use more than seven (3) pages in total, including references. Note that the minimum page margin is 2 cm and the minimum font size is 10 pt. Any additional pages will be removed prior to review. You must use the headings listed below to describe your research.

    • Aims and significance: Use this space exclusively to describe the broad aims and potential significance of the research. Hypotheses to be tested must be clearly stated.

    • Background: Describe the significance of the broad area of research, the objectives of the research and the background including scientific aspects.

    • Methods: Include details of the experimental design of the project and statistical methods to be used. Include sample size estimations.

    • Feasibility: You must provide evidence that the proposed study can proceed in a timely fashion (i.e. recruitment of subjects is assured, instruments have been developed and piloted).

    • References: References should be provided within the 3-page count. Do not attach copies of any references. When citing references to other work, include the title of the paper.

  5. Explanatory appendices are not permissible, nor is it appropriate to use such phrases as ‘refer to last year’s application’.

  6. Professional research personnel - Professional research personnel may include nurses, scientists, research assistants and the like. Full-time students, Fellows and trainees may not be included as professional research personnel. Personnel should be named where known.

  7. Budget items

    • Please note that applications for more than the maximum amount will be returned.

    • The budget must be constructed in Australian dollars. The maximum amount available for the Grant is AUD $10,000 for one year only. All items, listed in the space provided, are to be classified under these headings:

    • Personnel: Chief investigators and associate investigators may not receive salary from ANZAPS Seed grants.

    • Equipment requests should not include the type of apparatus normally provided from institutional funds (such as equipment used in the normal course of patient care); requests should cover only those items individually costing over $800, which are essential to the project.. Applicants should ensure that the institution is prepared to meet all service costs in relation to equipment awarded. Maintenance: Enter those items not included within other categories, i.e. such items as equipment costing less than $800, consumables (under major headings), printed materials, microfilms, survey or field expenses .

    • Other items: Include all other budget items here. ANZAPS will consider requests for funding for computer programming and preparation, and storage of data, but will not normally provide funds for the hire of computer time on a computer within the applicant’s institution. Requests for funds for programming, preparation and data storage or the hire of external computer time must be fully justified. Funds for purchase of computer equipment are not permitted.

    • Grants money cannot be used for conference travel or conference attendance

    • Justification of budget: It is important to note that realistic budgetary details for the whole period are provided, as no supplementary requests will be granted. A genuine assessment is therefore required for funding of the grant. Amounts requested should reflect the real needs of the project.

  8. Clearance requirements - The Research Committee strongly encourages investigators to apply for ethics committee approval and submit the approvals to ANZAPS. If a grant is awarded, funding will not be released until all relevant clearances for the initial project have been received by ANZAPS. ANZAPS reserves the right to request full ethics committee submissions and correspondence as part of the granting process. In addition, ANZAPS requires that clinical trials are pre-registered with the appropriate agency (e.g. ANZCTR).

    • Research involving humans

    • (Approval of the institutional ethics committee should be sought for ALL projects in humans. In the case of audit or routine testing, the ethics committee may not require a formal application, but will provide a covering letter that must be submitted to ANZAPS. Human research, in this context, includes research involving any human tissue, no matter what the source, and also includes research in which there is any intervention (physical or psychological) in the normal lives of humans. Projects supported by ANZAPS are expected to conform with the general principles outlined in the NHMRC document `National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research’. (see NHMRC website)

    • Under the various privacy laws, any form of experimentation involving humans (including epidemiological research) which uses personal information that is obtained from a national or state department or agency must be considered by a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC).

    • All projects involving the administration to humans of drugs, chemical agents or vaccines need to be considered by the relevant institutional Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) to assess the appropriateness of their use. Clearance by the IEC is not only required for projects involving the use of imported substances, but also for projects involving the experimental use of locally produced therapeutic substances. ANZAPS funds will not be provided unless appropriate clearance for the use of such substances is given. In the case of multi-centred trials, approval must be obtained from the HREC of each institution involved except where reciprocal arrangements as per the NHMRC are in place, however site specific approval at each site will still be required. (iv) The official letter or statement of approval from the ethics committee must be forwarded to ANZAPS no later than June 30 of each year, or before a tax invoice for funds is sent to ANZAPS.

    •  ANZAPS should have access, if required, to all information relating to ethical decisions arising from an application and the institutional response to the application. Provisional clearances will not be accepted.

    • Research involving animals

    • Projects supported by ANZAPS are expected to conform with the provisions of the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes, and with its general principles outlined in the NHMRC document ‘Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes’ or the New Zealand equivalent.

    • ANZAPS requires a statement from the relevant institutional animal experimentation ethics committee that any project involving animal experimentation has been reviewed and is approved by the Committee as complying with the code of practice. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that a copy of his or her project application is referred to the relevant institutional animal ethics committee; it also his or her responsibility to ensure that the completed approval form is forwarded to ANZAPS, no later than September 1 each year, or before the tax invoice for funds is sent to ANZAPS.

    • ANZAPS should have access, if required, to all information relating to ethical decisions arising from an application and the institutional response to that application. Please identify the institutional animal ethics committee to which the application has been or will be referred. Provisional clearances will not be accepted.

    • Applicants whose projects involve inbred strains of animals must take action to confirm that the genetic authenticity of the colony has been checked at appropriate intervals.

    • Ideally the health status of animals should be known and the colony regularly monitored for pathogens which may influence results in the investigator’s particular area of research.

    • Please summarise all the ethical implications of your research program. Do not use more than one page. Include the issues related to the care and welfare of animals. Please refer to the “NHMRC Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes”. Note that it is not sufficient to state that “the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes will be observed”. The Research Plan must include sufficient detail to enable the project to be fully assessed with respect to ethical issues by an independent animal ethics committee. Applications involving animals must contain adequate information to allow assessment of the ethical implications of experiments, particularly where significant pain and/or distress may be caused, where death is likely to occur, or where experiments in Category 4 are to be carried out.

    • Other clearances

    • Genetic manipulation of organisms: Applicants proposing to undertake research involving genetically modified organisms (GMO) must ensure that all the requirements of the Gene Technology Act 2000 and the Gene Technology Regulations 2011 have been met. Information on the Act and Regulations can be found on the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator website ( Applicants should seek advice from their institutional biosafety committee (or equivalent) on the level of authorisation required for any GMO research. Clearances from an institutional biosafety committee (or equivalent) must be forwarded to ANZAPS prior to release of grant monies.

    • Use of carcinogenic or highly toxic chemicals: Applicants whose projects involve the use and disposal of potent carcinogenic or other highly toxic chemicals must adhere to the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission guidelines, National Code of Practice for the Preparation of Material Safety Data Sheets 2nd edition. Further information is available from the Safe Work Australian website or equivalent. Such applicants must seek clearance to be forwarded to ANZAPS prior to release of grant monies.

    • Conflict of Interest: Applicants are NOT required to complete the questionnaire but rather are requested to read and understand the RACS Conflict of Interest Policy (available at: - 38k - 2012-11-07 declare any conflicts, and state how such conflicts will be managed.

  9. Certification by chief investigators, head of department and of institution - The application is invalid without the signature(s) of all the chief investigator(s). Grants will only be considered for support if the head of department/head of research committee certifies that the facilities available are appropriate to meet the needs of the application (e.g. adequately staffed and equipped laboratories/workshops, secretarial assistance, library resources, research/maintenance support including equipment maintenance, animal housing facilities etc). When applicants are not formally attached to institutions, they should indicate whether they have access to appropriate facilities to undertake the research proposed.​​


Policy Guide 2017 (PDF 37KB)

Anchor 1
Anchor 2
Anchor 3
Anchor 4

Previous Douglas Stephens Paediatric Research Scholarship Recipients

Anchor 5










A/Professor Warrick Teague (VIC)

no recipient



Fibroblast growth factor signalling in duodenal development: Understanding the cause of duodenal atresia.


Anchor 6

Donate to the Douglas Stephens Paediatric Research Scholarship

To donate to the Douglas Stephens Paediatric Research Scholarship, please complete and return the donation form here.

bottom of page