The Louis Barnett Prize was established by the New Zealand Committee of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1962. It commemorates Sir Louis Barnett CMG, the first New Zealander to become President of RACS.

Sir Louis Barnett CMG

Sir Louis was born in Wellington and was the first New Zealander to gain a Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He returned to New Zealand to a lectureship at Otago Medical School and in 1909 was appointed professor of surgery at Otago. He was awarded the CMG for his services in WW1 and was knighted in 1927 after his retirement from the Chair of Surgery.

In the 1920s Sir Louis was instrumental in the formation of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (initially known as the College of Surgeons in Australasia) and in 1927, at the College’s very first meeting which was held in Dunedin, he was elected the first Vice-President. He later became President of this College from 1937 – 1939.

Sir Louis was a pioneer in hydatid’s research, continuing this work after his retirement from the Otago Medical School. He was influential in the establishment of the College’s hydatid register and was also prominent in the British Empire Cancer Campaign. He endowed the Ralph Barnett Chair in Surgery at Otago Medical School, in memory of his son who was killed in WW1.

Call for abstracts

Abstracts for the Louis Barnett Prize are currently closed.

Valued at $2,500, the prize is targeted at young surgeon scientists. Application for this Prize is open to:

  • New Zealand based surgical Trainees  
  • New Zealand Fellows who are within five years of gaining Fellowship as at 31 August 2021

Research may have been done within or outside New Zealand, within or outside a department of surgery, before or after commencment of surgical training.

Submitters of selected papers will be invited to present on Friday 3 September 2021 at Surgery 2021: Reflecting on Practice, to be held at the Millennium, Queenstown.

Abstracts close on Friday 30 July 2021.

Conditions and procedure

  • Only one abstract will be accepted per submitter.
  • All correctly submitted abstracts will be subject to a blind evaluation by a panel of three adjudicators who will select the best papers, up to a maximum of eight.
  • Those selected papers will be presented together in a session at the College’s New Zealand meeting in Queenstown on 3 September 2021.
  • The presentations are adjudicated by a panel that will include at least one Professor of Surgery. Adjudicators should preferably be neither a supervisor of nor contributor to the papers being adjudicated. The adjudicators for the blind evaluation and the presentations need not necessarily be the same.
  • Adjudication of the abstracts will take into account: complexity of the project, quality of the science, relevance of the project, clarity of the abstract and the amount of work by the submitter.
  • Adjudication of the presentations will take into account: introduction, method, clarity, audiovisual presentation and ability to defend the paper in discussion.
  • Presentations will be for eight minutes with up to two minutes for questions.
  • No award will be made if, in the opinion of the adjudicators, no paper is of sufficient merit.

Research criteria

The research may have been done:

  • Within or outside New Zealand
  • Within or outside of a department of surgery
  • Before or after commencement of surgical training

Abstract format

All abstracts should be original research

General specifications are:

  • Word document only. Please do not use presentation software such as PowerPoint
  • Length: 350 words or less, excluding title, presenter(s) and department
  • Single spaced text with justified margins
  • 11 pt Arial font
  • Number of authors to be limited to no more than seven
  • Do not indent paragraphs
  • All abstracts must be submitted in English

Abstracts should contain the following:

  • Title: Sentence case, bold
  • Authors/presenters: Sentence case. Show initial and then surname only. Presenter's name underlined with asterisks used in conjunction with the department and institution
  • Department and institution of all authors/presenters: Sentence case
  • Body of abstract: Sentence case

The body of the abstract should include these headings in bold:

  • Introduction (including the study hypothesis)
  • Aims, Methods, Results, Conclusions. It is not satisfactory to state that results will be discussed or data will be presented. References (maximum of two). Abbreviations may be used but must be spelled out in full at the first mention followed by the abbreviation in parentheses.

The covering email should contain:

  • A brief explanation of your involvement in the research project.

Submitting abstracts

All abstracts should be submitted by email to New Zealand Office of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons - email