Prizes and bursaries


This travelling fellowship is awarded from funds bequeathed by Margaret Mary Slack. This travelling fellowship is intended to encourage senior psychiatric trainees to broaden their academic knowledge and experience in a centre of excellence either in the UK or abroad.

Though not essential, candidates may wish to pursue a research study. Visits are expected to be no longer than two to four weeks.





Who can enter

Applicants must hold the MRCPsych and be on an approved higher training scheme 

Where presented

The successful applicant is expected to present the outcome of the award at the International Congress by submitting an abstract or symposium proposal.


Applicants must work in the UK.

Applicants should submit an application letter addressed to the faculty Chair including the following to

  • The names of two referees
  • A brief CV including research experience, publications/presentations, career aims.
  • A detailed proposal (no word limit, but as a guide we suggest 2 pages), which should include the following: 
    • Clear academic aims and objectives and how they will be met if you are awarded this fellowship
    • Any potential pitfalls and contingency plans
    • How the proposed study / experience was developed 
    • Proposed outputs or dissemination from this experience
  • Information about the host centre, with confirmation that the proposal is acceptable to them
  • An identified supervisor at the host centre
  • Confirmation from the employing authority that study leave will be granted if the applicant is successful.

A panel of psychiatry assessors nominated by the Chair will award the fellowship.

It is not possible to provide detailed feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

The successful candidate will be expected to submit a report to the Chair.

Closing date

31 December.


This prize is named after psychiatrist Duncan Macmillan who helped pioneer a community-centred approach to mental health. The competition is held in partnership with the Institute of Mental Health in Nottingham.

The purpose of the prize is to celebrate and promote the work of psychiatry trainees nationwide. More details here.


A £500 first-place prize and £250 runner-up prize are both available to be claimed as research-related expenses.

How often

Every year

Who can enter

Competition entry criteria is limited to registered trainee doctors in psychiatry in the UK.


  • 2023 essay topic: TBC
  • Each essay must be no longer than 1,000 words and should be emailed to
  • Essay materials published elsewhere will not be eligible.
  • The winner and runner up will be determined by a panel chaired by the Institute’s Director, Professor Martin Orrell and other senior members of the Institute, along with representatives nominated by RCPsych. Decisions made by the panel will be final.
  • Both prizes are available to be claimed as research-related expenses only, by March 2024.

Closing date

Deadline: TBC (usually November or December)


The faculty will award prizes at the Academic Trainee Conference or the Academic Faculty Conference for the best poster (£100) and 2 runners-up (£50 each).



Who can enter

Any student or trainee with an interest in academic psychiatry, including medical students, FY doctors and psychiatry trainees CT1-3 and ST4-6.


  1. All applicants must be working in the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland.
  2. Applicants should be of medical student, foundation years, CT1-3 or ST4-6 status.
  3. Three assessors nominated by the Faculty Chair will judge the poster and presentation at the meeting.
  4. All presentations will be judged on clarity of presentation, originality of content, relevance to meeting, methodology and clarity of ideas.
  5. In the event that none of the applications is considered to be of a satisfactory standard, no award will be made.

Closing date

Posters should be submitted to CALC and all eligible submissions will be considered for the prize automatically. Poster submission details will be published on the conference page.

The next conference will take place on 5 March 2024 and the deadline for poster submissions is 31 January 2024 at 9am. Further details here.


These grants for junior academics in psychiatry are aimed at trainees in psychiatry early in their research careers. They are intended to provide financial assistance for trainees to undertake a high-quality research project, the funding for which is not available from other sources. The title of the grant if awarded is RCPsych Academic Trainee Small Grant.

These grants are intended to support a complete research project, or where appropriate, to support a pilot project to enable a later application for substantive funding. The timescale and rationale for such an application should be stated in the application.

We welcome diverse types of research including direct patient research, laboratory-based work, but also rigorous analysis of existing datasets to inform new research hypotheses, as well as other methodologies such as meta-analysis and systematic reviews.

Funding can support:

  • direct research costs (e.g. participant payments, materials)
  • formal visit(s) to other research groups, and/or attendance to present findings at conferences (e.g. poster printing, conference registration fees, economy travel costs).

Salary costs cannot be included. The application must include conducting a project and presenting it (in poster form, or orally) at at least one conference (either virtually or in-person). Academic trainees wishing to visit other research groups should apply to this scheme instead of the Margaret Slack Travelling Fellowship.

The grant, if successful, will be funded up-front. However, participants must submit an end-of-grant report with proof of all expenditure made under the grant.

Applications will be judged against the following criteria:

  • The academic interests and potential shown by the candidate to date, based upon their CV and references. It is recognised that this grant is designed to encourage people to pursue research interests and that extensive academic experience may not yet have been obtained.
  • The academic value of the intended research project, including any planned conference attendance(s), and (where relevant) visits to other research units.
  • The future academic plans, and academic potential, of the candidate.

Successful applicants will be required to submit an annual report to the Academic Faculty for research projects, or a report at the end of the conference/visit to another group for travel awards.


Up to £5,000 per application.

Deadlines and frequency

Twice per year with application deadlines of 1 February and 1 August each year.

For the 1 February and 1 August 2024 deadlines, grant expenditure must be completed by the end of 2025.

Successful applicants may only receive one grant in their career from this source.

Who can apply

Applicants must be:

  • medically qualified and working in the UK
  • on an approved training scheme
  • a member of the RCPsych / pre-membership psychiatric trainee or a foundation doctor associate
  • committed to a career in psychiatry that includes academic interests.

Grant application procedures

Applicants should submit an application as one document in PDF format – by email to that includes the following:

  1. The names of two referees who have agreed to be contacted by the College.
  2. A brief CV (maximum two sides of A4, Arial font size 11) including clinical and research experience, publications/presentations, career aims.
  3. A research project proposal (maximum two sides of A4, Arial font size 11) which should include the following:
    1. background
    2. hypothesis
    3. methods
    4. power calculation (where relevant)
    5. confirmation of ethical approval for the proposed study, or explanation of why this is not needed (e.g. for meta-analysis of publically available data)
    6. timeframe
    7. any potential pitfalls and contingency plans
    8. brief details of the supervisory team, including any planned visits to other research units to be supported by the grant
    9. proposed outputs & dissemination plan, including brief details of named conference(s) you would disseminate results at. This must include at least one RCPsych conference as a poster or oral presentation.
    10. literature references.
  4. A confirmation letter from your supervisor(s) and (where relevant) from your intended host at other research units, saying they support your research and have infrastructure to allow it.
  5. Detailed cost breakdown. This should list your itemised costs and include quotes where appropriate (for example, quotes for estimated cost of economy rail tickets; economy hotel; trainee conference registration fees). It is recognised that for some costs (e.g. participant payments as part of a research project), quotes are not possible; however, costs must be reasonable.

A panel of psychiatry assessors nominated by the Academic Faculty Chair will award the grant. It is not possible to provide detailed feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

End-of-grant report

Further Requirement: An end-of-grant report must be submitted by the end of the following year (31 December 2025 for 1 August 2024 deadline applications), including proof of expenditure made under the grant such as copies of receipts.

If it is felt that expenditure was not supported by receipts, and/or was not reasonable, you must agree to return grant funds to the College at the College’s request. All grant funds must be returned, at the request of the College, if an end-of-grant report is not submitted by the deadline.

Presenting the research

The successful applicant is expected to present the outcome of any research funded by this award at the International Congress by submitting a symposium proposal or presenting their work in poster form at the Congress. 

The successful candidate will be expected to submit a report to the Academic Faculty Chair and include details of the presentation.

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry