VIPSIG Essay Prize
This prize was established to promote interest and encourage excellence in volunteering (UK or abroad) and international psychiatry.
Entrants are invited to submit an original essay of their choice. Submissions may include (but are not limited to): a description of a clinical or charitable experience or project; elective report; reflective essay; editorial; research; audit; or literature review.
- Essay of no more than 3,000 words, which must be the entrant’s own work.
- The spirit of the prize is to promote interest and encourage excellence in volunteering in psychiatry (UK or abroad) and/ or international psychiatry.
- Essays will be judged on their overall quality and value, and relevance for professional development. Preference is likely to be given to essays involving some volunteer work.
- The prize will be judged by a panel of three judges appointed by the VIPSIG, and awarded to the best entry or shared between joint best entries.
- Consideration will be given to an entrant’s seniority and expected level of experience.
- A project involving collaboration with psychiatrists or any other discipline may be submitted, but the prize will be awarded to a single entrant. Where collaborative work is submitted, there should be a clear indication of the contribution by entrant and collaborator(s).
- Please include on your submission: name; grade/ seniority; email address; and declaration of the role of any funding and potential conflicts of interest.
Entries should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by midday Friday 13 October 2023.
Please include on your submission: name; grade/ seniority; email address; and declaration of the role of any funding and potential conflicts of interest.
Medical students, foundation trainees, psychiatry trainees, SAS and specialty doctors
VIPSIG Video Pitch Prize
The video pitch prize has been established to facilitate sharing ideas, thoughts and innovations in volunteering in UK and abroad in an accessible manner with technology at hand.
Entrants are invited to submit a two-minute video pitch of their choice. Submissions may include (but are not limited to): a showcase of a clinical or charitable experience or project; elevated speech; act of micro volunteering, interview, psychoeducation, microdocumentary on harm or benefit of volunteering etc.
Videos should be emailed to email@example.com (no more than two minutes in length) by the deadline of midday on Friday 13 October 2023.
Medical students, foundation trainees, psychiatry trainees, and all practicing and retired psychiatrists based in UK.
£100 and certificate of achievement, as well as complimentary attendance at the conference.
See an example video pitch from Dr Anis Ahmed, VIPSIG Chair.
Past winners of the VIPSIG Essay Prize
- Baher Ibrahim. Public Mental Health Volunteering in Egypt and the Making of a Psychiatric Career: A Reflective Essay (CT1)
- Chiara Buhagiar. How Psychiatry has Affected My Experience of Voluntary Work and Vice Versa - A Reflection (CT3)
- Zahra Legris. Mental health in conflict: research and voluntary experience of NGO work in the occupied Palestinian territories. (CT2)
- Mario Lepore. ‘More Than Just Food’ – A Reflective Essay. (CT1)
- Leigh Milne. “The Living Room; A place to Feel at Home.” (Medical Student)
- Camilla Walker. The Importance of Culturally Minded Practice for International Psychiatry: A Review of the Anthropological Critique on the Cross-Cultural Validity of PTSD. (FY1)
- Adam Boggon. Moral Injury. (SHO/ Clinical Teaching Fellow)
- Jenna Fielding. The effects of music on mood and cognition: supporting the national drive to marry up music and medicine. (Medical Student)
- Anna Iankovitch. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Reflection. (Medical Student)
We're announcing this year's winners on May 25 on the wishes of Dr Zafrina Majid, whose essay received a commendation. This is in memory of her sibling Dr Syad Arshad Abbas, who passed away on this date in 2011. We've included a few words from her below.
Shaheen Sardar. Familial Relationships: A Protective or Detrimental Factor against Psychiatric Conditions in Female Refugees? (Medical Student)
Gunjan Sharma. East vs West: Psychiatry in the Himalayas. (CT1)
Natalie Cook. SKIP: Emotional Wellbeing Interventions. (ST4)
Fiona Martin. Volunteering in a mental health service in Uganda: challenges and rewards. (ST4)
Zafrina Majid. What Appears to be the End, May Really Be a New Beginning. (ST4)
"May 25, 2011 will remain forever etched on my mind. On that fateful day, Dr. Syed Arshad Abbas, my sibling, left us suddenly without saying a goodbye. He was accompanying a critically ill patient in an air ambulance which crashed in New Delhi; there were no survivors in that air crash.
At 34, he had a mission for promoting voluntary health related work, benefitting some of the poorest of the poor. In keeping with his mission, I have travelled to my parental home in Kashmir, every year since 2011, to carry out voluntary work for a charitable trust established in his memory. I am grateful to the RCPsych team for considering to publish my article, based on this work, on May 25, 2020, which coincides with his death anniversary. Getting published on this date will give me an immense sense of comfort and fulfilment and recognition that it is worthwhile sharing such work internationally and continuing his mission in future.
A special thanks to Mark Tuner, Mandip Jheeta and Kit Richardson for making this happen."
- Hosam Elhamoui & Mustafa Alachkar. Adapting UK-based Mental Health Skills to Suit Working with Syrian Refugees (PDF). (STs)
- Jan Klimach. Lost in Translation – some reflections on experience working and teaching in Malawi in 2016 (PDF). (ST4)
- Samuel Trethewey. My Memorable Elective Experience: Working with Homeless People and Project LIGHT (PDF). (FY1)
- Claude Shema. Outreach Psychiatry Volunteering Experience with Aboriginal Communities in Canada. (MSc)
- Andrea Meredith. Mental health services in Cambodia. (ST5)
- Shaheen Zinna. Me, Myself and Volunteering (PDF). (CT3)
- Peter McGovern. Decentralisation of Psychiatric Services in Zanzibar (PDF). (CT2)
- Grace Harris. “Blood, Sweat and Tears” – The psychiatry of PPE. Reflections of an out of programme experience in Sierra Leone (PDF). (CT2)
- Callum McKell. Mental illness in Palestinian refugees living in refugee camps in Jordan: barriers to access and use of mental health care services and recommendations to overcome such barriers (PDF). (Medical Student)
- Helena Wells. MedMinds: A Mental Health Education Programme delivered by voluntary Medical Students from the University of Birmingham to local school students (PDF). (Medical Student)
- Vanessa Hayter. Reflections on the hidden burden of female mental illness in the Solomon Islands (PDF). (FY1)