Professor Voysey was honoured by awards organizers the Australia Day Foundation for her successful career as a researcher in vaccinology and work as the lead methodologist for the Oxford vaccine trials.

She said: ‘I’m extremely honoured to receive this award. Medical research is very much a team sport, and the achievements of the last two years were the result of the hard work of many hundreds of people.

‘It was an honour and a privilege to work on the development of this vaccine and to know that so many lives have been saved as a result.’

Prof Voysey received the award from the Australian High Commissioner to the UK, His Excellency The Honourable George Brandis QC.

Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said: ‘This award recognises the brilliant work of Professor Voysey in the pandemic, is an appropriate tribute to her leading role in the development of the life-saving Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, and rightly highlights the important (though often unnoticed) work of medical statisticians everywhere.

‘It is a monumental achievement to receive the Australian of the year (UK) award, adding our Merryn to the list of many household Aussie names who have gone before, and it is also a triumph for science.’

The Australia Day Awards is an annual ceremony that recognises those among the UK’s Australian community who have made a significant contribution to bilateral relations.

Prof Voysey is the latest in a line of illustrious personalities to have been honoured – a list that includes Sir David Attenborough, Sam Kerr, Germaine Greer.