Anne Anderson Award

Submission close 31 August 2020

"I am very grateful and dedicate this Award to those who have come before me for their commitment to paving the way for women in science today. My father always wanted me to be a medical doctor. I rebelled against his wishes after finishing medical school in China because I valued independent thinking and the ability to challenge assumptions and common wisdom more than being told what to do (my medical school training was more didactic than imbibed with critical thinking). This personality trait seems to resonate well with the spirit of Cochrane. Being an optimist, I took a confident leap into the unknown by pursuing a PhD in Epidemiology far away from home at Johns Hopkins University in the United States. Although my first exposure to Cochrane was in medical school, it was Dr. Kay Dickersin, one of Cochrane’s finest, who inspired me to pursue a career in research synthesis. She mentored me in navigating various worlds, persevering in the face of setbacks in research projects (and life), making difficult career choices, finding supportive peers and colleagues, mentoring, in turn, the next generation, and having fun! The most important lessons I have learned over the years are to believe in yourself and believe that what you do matters for science and for society, appreciate and celebrate diversity, value women in leadership, and inspire others!" 
Tianjing Li, winner of the 2019 Anne Anderson Award

Anne Anderson was a contributor to the stream of thinking and effort that gave birth to evidence-based health care. A clinically qualified reproductive physiologist, Anne had an active interest in women’s health, co-editing the first edition of Women’s problems in general practice (1983) with Ann McPherson. Anne also contributed to Effectiveness and satisfaction in antenatal care (1982), edited by Murray Enkin and Iain Chalmers, and was discussing, with Marc Keirse and Iain Chalmers, the possibility of co-editing a companion volume on elective birth. However, her premature death from breast cancer in 1983 ended her involvement. Iain Chalmers, Murray Enkin, and Marc Keirse went on to publish Effective care in pregnancy and childbirth (ECPC) in 1989, dedicating the book in part to Anne. ECPC, through its systematic approach to assessing the research literature, is widely acknowledged to have led to development of a similar project for all of medicine and health - Cochrane. Anne Anderson was 46 years old when she died.

Read more about Anne Anderson's life and work

In the footsteps of Anne Anderson, many outstanding women continue to contribute and inspire other women to improve health knowledge for the good of their communities. Often these women are quiet achievers who might otherwise not be recognized. The goal of the Anne Anderson Award is to recognize and stimulate individuals contributing to the enhancement of women’s visibility and participation in the Cochrane leadership. The Award is given to a Cochrane member who has contributed meaningfully to the promotion of women as leaders and contributors to the organization. The establishment of the Award was approved in principle by the Cochrane Steering Group (CSG) in 2010, and was awarded for the first time in 2011. At its meeting in Split in March 2011, the CSG agreed to put 1000 GBP per year for three years from core funds towards the newly established Anne Anderson Award. Additional donations may be made via the 'Donate now!' button on the Cochrane website, earmarked 'The Cochrane Collaboration Anne Anderson Award'.


Past or current active women members of Cochrane are eligible for the Award. Recipients will be selected based on emotional and cognitive intelligence, serving as an inspiration to others, evidence of cumulative accomplishment, originality and independence of thought, personal qualities, team building, leadership, and mentorship. The nominee’s contribution to or enhancement of women’s visibility within Cochrane, participation in Cochrane and other leadership, and other accomplishments within the context of Cochrane will also be considered in the selection process.

Nominations may be made by anyone within Cochrane. Nominations should be submitted via this online form, summarizing the nominee’s involvement in Cochrane and how she meets the following criteria:

  • Meaningful contribution to the promotion of women as leaders and contributors to Cochrane.
  • Contribution to or enhancement of women's visibility within Cochrane.
  • Participation in Cochrane and other leadership.
  • Other accomplishments within the context of Cochrane.

The nomination form should include specific examples of the nominee’s contribution to the enhancement of women’s visibility and participation in the Cochrane leadership. These contributions may include, but are not limited to, serving as a role model and inspiration to others, mentoring, training, encouraging, supporting and promoting women for their work in Cochrane. We suggest the following specific areas should be covered in the nomination:

  • involvement in Cochrane;
  • contribution to the promotion of women as leaders and contributors to Cochrane;
  • enhancement of visibility of women within Cochrane, including team building and independent working;
  • participation in leadership in Cochrane;
  • accomplishments within the context of Cochrane.

Please submit all nominations via this online form.

Prize and award winners will be announced during the virtual AGM this year planned for 12th November 2020 – time to be confirmed. The Anne Anderson Award winner receives a plaque from Cochrane honouring her contributions, as well as a cash award of 3000 USD. The recipient designates the cash award to assist a woman from a low-resource setting with Cochrane activities; this recipient should provide a brief written report on how the funds have been used.

Award recipients


Tianjing Li
Cochrane Eyes and Vision


Kay Dickersin
Cochrane US


Sally Green
Cochrane Australia


Nicky Cullum
Cochrane Wounds

Nicky Cullum's prize money prize fund was gifted to Prof Angela Chimwaza


Lisa Bero
Co-Chair, Cochrane Steering Group


Elizabeth Waters
Cochrane Public Health


Cindy Farquhar
Cochrane Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility

Cindy Farquhar's prize fund was gifted to Luisa Fajardo from Colombia.


Award not made in 2012


Caroline Crowther 
Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth

Caroline Crowther’s prize fund was gifted to Sarah Manyame from Zimbabwe.