About us

The EPSIG raises awareness of the contribution of evolutionary theory to psychiatry.
  1. Raise awareness of the value of understanding the contribution of evolutionary theory to psychiatry
  2. Encourage research into the evolutionary psychiatry
  3. Provide a forum for psychiatrists and others to discuss evolutionary models, research ideas and data with fellow evolutionists
  4. Facilitate networking with academic institutions and evolutionary scientists, biologists, psychotherapists, psychologists and other disciplines such as philosophy
  5. Keep members and supporters of the SIG informed via our webpage and newsletter
  6. Organise workshops, symposia and conferences on evolutionary psychiatry and related subjects
  7. Organise sessions at the WPA and the College's International Congress, as well as with Faculties and Devolved Nations and Divisions.

For more information about aims and objectives for this year please see our Annual Plan 2022.

The EPSIG Executive Committee comprises:

Riadh Abed
Annie SwanepoelFinancial Officer
Paul St John-SmithNewsletter editor
David GeaneyMember
Derek TracyMember
Geoff Lawrence SmithMember
Adam HuntMember
Agnes AytonMember
Tom CarpenterTrainee Member
Nikil ChaudharyMember
Muzaffer KaserMember
Elena Titova-ChaudhryPTC Rep

We are keen to recruit new SIG members and people to become members of the core executive committee.

If you would like to join, please email us, or fill in our online sign up via our website

Increasing trainee involvement

The Evolutionary Psychiatry SIG (EPSIG) aims to increase trainee involvement in its activities to help raise awareness of the importance of evolutionary science to the understanding of mental disorder among trainees in the UK.

We are therefore reaching out to our members to invite expressions of interest from psychiatric trainees at all levels and in all specialties in the UK to join a group of evolutionary-minded trainees to form an EPSIG Trainee Executive Committee (that will work alongside the current EPSIG executive committee). Any psychiatric trainee in the UK is welcome to apply but our aim is to have representation from across the country as far as possible. The only requirements are an interest in understanding the implications of evolution to psychiatry and mental health and an enthusiasm to promote awareness of this among trainees within their Deaneries/regions.

We held a successful whole-day workshop for trainees at the college HQ in London (27 January 2023). Our 2nd Trainee Workshop will take place on Friday 1 March 2024. More details can be found here

For further info please contact Tom Carpenter (CT2, trainee member on the executive committee of EPSIG): carpenter.te@gmail.com

Do you want to be invited to speak at an international conference? If you are a psychiatry core or specialty trainee in the UK, you are eligible to apply.

What you can win

  1. Invitation to give a 10-min oral presentation at the EPSIG International conference held in-person on 22 November 2024 for the winners (and posters for highly commended other entrants)
  2. £250 prize money for each of the two categories
  3. Certificate
  4. Have your essay printed in the EPSIG Newsletter that is distributed to all EPSIG members (currently around 2,800 psychiatrists and other professionals worldwide)

What you need to do

Write a 4000-word essay (including references) relevant to Evolutionary Psychiatry.

The essay should be supported by a review of relevant literature and should be your own work. Suggested titles are "Major mismatches which cause mental disorder"; "The gap between evolutionary explanations and clinical applications" and "What are the most important contributions evolution has made to the understanding of mental disorder?".

You may also pick your own title or topic if something particularly interests you. You may want to visit the EPSIG YouTube channel at Youtube.com/EPSIGUK, listen to the 'Evolving Psychiatry' podcast (on all major platforms), or read our published newsletters at epsig.org for inspiration and information.

Email your submission to sigs@rcpsych.ac.uk with “Entry for EPSIG Essay prize” as the title by 1 September 2024.


The competition is open to Psychiatry trainees (Core or Specialty) in the UK.

What we will do

Entries will be judged by a panel of three EPSIG Executive Committee members. Criteria for judging will include: clarity of expression, understanding of the evolutionary literature and evidence, testability of hypotheses or ideas, critical thinking and the overall ability to convey enthusiasm and originality.

The committee reserves the right not to award the prize if no entry reaching the agreed minimum standard is received. Winners and highly commended other entrants will be informed by 1st November 2024

We look forward to receiving your entry.

Contact us

If you have any enquiries about the EPSIG please contact sigs@rcpsych.ac.uk.

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry