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The Philip Leverhulme Prizes are awarded annually to early career researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising. This year, one of the Prizes has been awarded to Associate Professor Lucie Cluver from the Centre for Evidence-Based Intervention at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention.

Dr. Cluver and Dr. Franziska Meinck work closely with UNICEF, the World Health Organisation, USAID and governments in Southern Africa. Their work, with an international team of colleagues, has found that AIDS-orphaned children and children whose parents are sick with AIDS are much more likely to become HIV-infected themselves as adolescents. In turn, many HIV-positive teenagers cannot take their lifesaving medication because of family and financial challenges. But the combination of social welfare benefits and support from caregivers can reduce their HIV-risks.

The prize will allow the research group to develop and test programmes that combine abuse prevention and social welfare benefits. Their goals are to reduce HIV-infections and improve teenagers’ capacity to take life-saving medication.

Lucie Cluver

Dr. Cluver said of the prize: "I am honoured and delighted by this recognition of our team’s work. We cannot waste time in identifying effective solutions to these problems. There are 440 new adolescent infections every day in Southern Africa, and 1.6 million HIV-positive teenagers. This Philip Leverhulme Prize will help to take this vital research forward, and we cannot wait to start".

Each year, the Leverhulme Trust awards thirty prizes to recognise researchers at an early stage of their career, whose work has already had a significant international impact, and whose future research career is exceptionally promising. Prize winners receive an award of £100,000 which may be used for any research purpose. Prizes are awarded in six broad disciplines each year

The Leverhulme Trust was established by the Will of William Hesketh Lever, the founder of Lever Brothers. Since 1925 the Trust has provided grants and scholarships for research and education. Today, it is one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, distributing over £60m a year. For more information about the Trust, please visit www.leverhulme.ac.uk.