Centre for Reproductive Health

Dr Varsha Jain wins the IRR Early Career Innovator Competition 2022

​​​​​​​The IRR Early Careers Innovators competition final took place on 10.05.22 and Dr Varsha Jain was selected as the winner (CRH Critchley and Roberts).

IRR Early Career Innovator Competition 2022 winner: Dr Varsha Jain
Dr Varsha Jain is pictured with her trophy alongside the IRR Competition Co-ordinator, Andrew McBride from Edinburgh Innovations.

She has received a £5,000 funding prize.

PhD students, Post Docs and Research fellows were invited to participate. From an outstanding set of applications, five finalists were shortlisted: Varsha Jain from CRH, Sam Benson / Utsa Karmakar / Qiang Wang (runner up) from CIR, and Marilena Candela from CRM.

The finalists presented their innovative ideas which were either a proof of concept study, new technology software, tool development, therapeutic target validation, biomarker discovery, disease modelling or method development that addresses an unmet clinical to technological need.

Each of the finalists delivered a seven minute pitch to a panel of industrial and investment experts. Varsha Jain’s winning proposal was the development of initial clinical Proof of Concept (POC) regarding the potential to utilise magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) to accurately and non-invasively diagnose adenomyosis in women experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding.

Varsha said: “I found the whole experience extremely encouraging and supportive. I did not expect to win at all, and saw this process as a learning opportunity for me to improve my grant writing and presentation skills. I have gained so much more from this competition beyond winning the prize. Thank you to everyone involved. I am so excited to finally get my project started, and move one step closer towards the next part of my academic clinical career.”


The funding prize will be spent on Varsha’s proposed concept within the next year. Many congratulations to the very worthy winner.

Further information:  In simple terms, Proof of Concept (POC) is evidence, typically deriving from an experiment or pilot project, which demonstrates that a design concept is feasible.