The Rainbow SIG Essay Prize

In memory of Professor Michael King 

The executive committee of the RCPsych Rainbow (LGBTQ+ Mental Health) Special Interest Group are delighted to have launched an Essay prize in memory of Professor Michael King.

Michael was a prolific researcher who contributed greatly to our understanding of the inequalities faced by LGBTQ+ people. He co-founded the College’s Gay and Lesbian Mental Health (now the Rainbow SIG) in 2001 and was a very valued member of the SIG following its inception. To find out more about Michael and his many contributions, please see this obituary published in the BJPsych Bulletin by Rainbow SIG member Professor Helen Killaspy.

Information about the prize can be found below. Please circulate this information to your medical student and trainee networks. The theme of the essay prize will change each year. 


  • Prize: We are pleased to offer £100 to the winner of this Essay prize. The successful author will have their Essay published on the SIG Webpage and invited to present their essay (as an oral presentation) at national Rainbow SIG Webinar.
  • Word count: Maximum length 2,000 words (excluding references).
  • Eligibility: Psychiatry trainees, at any stage of training, and Medical Students in the United Kingdom.
  • Judging criteria: We will judge anonymised essays in terms of presentation, structure, understanding and critical appraisal of the literature, and originality. A panel of assessors from, or appointed by, the Rainbow SIG executive committee will review entries.
  • Deadline: 31 December.
  • How to enter: Please email your submission to by the deadline 
  • Terms and conditions: A single submission per applicant will be accepted. The submission should be an original piece of work, by the submitting author, and not previously published elsewhere. All submissions should be formatted as a word document without any identifiable details. Should a minimum standard not be achieved, the prizes may not be awarded. The essay prize is subject to annual review by the SIG.

The inaugural Royal College of Psychiatrists Rainbow SIG Essay Prize – In Memory of Professor Michael King was on the theme of 'LGBTQ+ Mental Health – The Role of the Psychiatrist in Reducing Stigma'

In the history of psychiatry, LGBTQ+ identities have been stigmatised through the lens of disorders. Discriminative practices, and negative attitudes, can lead to significant consequences on the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ patients and colleagues. We invite entrants to discuss the role of the Psychiatrist in reducing stigma. We are very proud to dedicate this annual essay prize to Professor Michael King.

Read the winning prize here, by Projit Kar.

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry