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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

The Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry Prizes and Bursaries


The Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry Prizes and BursariesCurrent Prizes and Bursaries


The John Hamilton Travelling Fellowship 2020

This travelling fellowship is awarded biennially from funds bequeathed by Dr John Hamilton, past Honorary Secretary of the then Forensic Section, and College Fellow.  It is intended to encourage psychiatrists working in the field of forensic psychiatry to broaden their knowledge and experience through travel to recognised forensic centres.  Proposals to visit developing forensic services in order to support, advise and teach will also be considered.  Visits are expected to last about two to four weeks and would normally be to centre (s) overseas.


Prize:  £2,000


Eligibility:  The fellowship is open to UK higher trainees in Forensic Psychiatry and to consultants in Forensic Psychiatry in the UK in substantive posts.


Where presented:  The award is presented at the Faculty residential meeting, which is usually held in March each year.


Submission instructions


Applicants should submit a detailed proposal in not more than 1500 words describing how the time will be spent.  Though not essential, candidates may wish to pursue a research topic or a comparative study.


The judging panel will rate the proposal according to its originality, its relevance to forensic psychiatry, its potential for enhancing services and its feasibility and will look for:


  • A description of the background to the proposal, its aims and purpose, the methods by which these will be achieved and the likely implications of having completed the visit. Be ambitious, but the assessing panel will also place great weight on focus and feasibility.  This fellowship may, for example, provide an opportunity to initiate an international research collaboration, or pave the way towards it, but completion of worthwhile research in 2-4 weeks is unlikely. Other examples of supportable proposals include (but are not confined to) learning an assessment or management technique which would not otherwise be possible, or providing training in something along these lines for a developing service which would otherwise have a development gap.      
  • Details of the centre(s) to be visited and the reasons for visiting;
  • Intended immediate and short term outcomes and how these will be measured or demonstrated, with a statement of longer term implications where possible;
  • Details of the costs involved in the project, including travel costs;
  • Details of any other sources of funding, where relevant.


The following should also be received by the closing date:


  • A full curriculum vitae;
  • Two professional references, including one from either the Training Programme Director for trainees or Clinical Director or equivalent for Consultants.  References may be checked so referee contact details should be provided;
  • Information about the centre(s) to be visited;
  • A letter/email from the host centre confirming that the visit has been accepted;
  • Confirmation from the employing authority that study leave will be granted if the applicant is successful.




  • Applicants must be either on an approved higher training scheme in forensic psychiatry, or hold a substantive consultant forensic psychiatrist post.  Applicants must work in the UK.
  • The winner will be selected by the Forensic Faculty executive, normally via a nominated panel.
  • The Faculty reserves the right not to award the fellowship if no suitable application is received.
  • The visit should take place within one year of the award being made.
  • The successful candidate will be expected to submit a report to the Faculty Chair on conclusion of the fellowship.
  • The successful candidate will be expected to submit details of how the fellowship fund was used, including copies of receipts.


Closing date:  midnight on 15 October 2019


Submissions and College contact: 

Stella Galea, Committee Manager,

The Medical Student Essay Prize in Forensic Psychiatry - 2019

The Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry is offering a £500 prize for an essay of 5000 words (footnotes and appendix should be included in the word count but the bibliography can be an addition) on any topic related to forensic psychiatry. The essay should be researched from relevant literature and based on theory. Essays which are written around clinical cases are not eligible. The examining committee may decide in certain circumstances that an oral examination is necessary.


Some examples of possible topics:


  1. Does mental illness cause violence?
  2. Are men more violent than women? If so, why?
  3. Is public protection a proper role for a mental health service?
  4. Are sexually abused children more likely than others to develop mental disorder and/or criminality?

Linked with this essay prize, the Forensic Faculty sponsors up to ten medical students to attend the annual residential conference (to be held in February each year). Sponsorship will include registration for the full conference, attendance at the conference dinner and up to £250 to cover travel and subsistence. Students who have submitted the best essays will be offered this sponsorship and the winner will be announced at the conference dinner.


Please submit essays by email attachment with a short curriculum vitae marking the email “Forensic Faculty Medical Student Essay Prize”.


Prize: £500


Frequency:  Annually


Eligible:  Medical Students from UK medical schools who submit the essay before graduation or no longer than 3 months after graduation.


Where presented:  Faculty residential meeting, usually held in February/March each year



I.     The prize will be advertised in the Student BMJ in the spring preceding the year of award.


II.    The Faculty has agreed that each year the winner(s) of the essay prize will be included as guest(s) at the Faculty annual conference. 


Closing date: midnight on 30 September 2018


Submissions and College contact:

Stella Galea, Committee Manager        


2018 winner- Jinal Patel, read Jinal's essay

2018 second place winner - Sophia Harrop, read Sophia's essay

2018 third place winner - Marissa Lewis, read Marissa's essay


2017 winner - Emma Ross, read Emma's essay

2016 joint winners - Marissa Lewis and Gunjan Sharma                               




The Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry Research Prize


The Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry Research Prize aims to encourage research in the field, provide a platform for high quality research and to bring the results of research to the attention of Faculty members.


The prize is open to researchers in the field of Forensic psychiatry from all professions, including trainees and senior staff.


The prize will be awarded to the best oral presentation at the original research session held at the Forensic Faculty Annual Residential Meeting.   


Prize: The winner is awarded £500 and a certificate.


Frequency: The prize is awarded annually at the Faculty annual conference.



Any researcher of any grade who has submitted an oral presentation for the Faculty annual residential meeting will be eligible for entry to the prize and will be automatically submitted, providing the entry meets all submission criteria.


Where presented:

The prize winner will be announced at the Faculty Annual conference.



All eligible applications to present at the annual residential meeting will automatically enter the prize.  Short listing occurs prior to the meeting by a panel nominated by the Faculty Executive.   Short listing is based on review of the submission abstract, taking into account originality, methodology, and research findings.   Shortlisted candidates will be invited to give an oral presentation of their work.  Approximately six presentations will be shortlisted for oral presentation. The prize will be awarded by a panel of three judges who are nominated by the Faculty Academic Secretary. The judges’ decision will take into account the academic quality of the project, the quality of the oral presentation and how the presenter deals with questions from the audience and judges. The prize will be announced at the closing session of the annual residential meeting.  The judges’ decision will be final and no prize will be awarded if a sufficient standard is not reached.


Closing date:

The closing date will be the same as the date for submission of annual residential meeting poster and presentation entries, usually in October each year.



Refer to conference information for closing date and submission advice.




2018 winner - Mr Jack Tomlin

2017 winner - Dr Conor O'Neill

2016 winner - Dr Kapil Sharma





Bursary to attend National Forensic Psychiatry Trainee Conference

The Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry offers bursaries for up to ten UK medical students to attend the National Forensic Psychiatry Trainee Conference usually held in October each year


Bursaries include registration fee, conference dinner and up to £250 to cover standard class travel and subsistence. 


Applications: Applications should be sent by email and should include a brief statement of why you would like to attend the meeting, together with a current concise curriculum vitae sent as email attachment. 


Eligible: Medical students from the UK or recent graduates


Information about the 2018 conference


Closing date:  Midnight on 22 July 2018


Submissions and College contact:

Stella Galea,  Committee Manager




Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Forensic Psychiatry Faculty Bursary for a residential seminar in European Forensic Psychiatry

The Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry offers one bursary of £1000 annually to UK Specialty Trainees or UK Consultants in Forensic Psychiatry to assist them in attending the ‘Bildungswerk Irsee Seminar in Europe for consultants and experienced trainees’ run by the Ghent Group.



Laws and justice systems are country specific, while attitudes to mental disorder and its definitions may also differ between nations. Nevertheless, we seek and find common ground on mental disorder and ways in which it may lead to harm to others and/or offending.


The Ghent Group is an informal group of European forensic psychiatrists interested and experienced in training in the field. It is named after their first meeting in Ghent, Belgium, in 2004 and focuses on the commonalities and differences in training in different European countries.


A residential seminar has been developed, initially by academic forensic psychiatrists from the universities of Munich, Cardiff and forensic mental health services in Denmark in conjunction with Bildungswerk Irsee. Over five days, participants study and reflect with an expert in international law from the Max Plank Institute and senior forensic psychiatrists on the theory and practice of service delivery to the courts and to patients through didactic sessions, academic debate and case discussions.



The bursary

The bursary is to support attendance at the Irsee Residential Seminar held in August or September each year.  The bursary will be paid on submission of confirmation that a place had been booked.



The bursary will be £1000.



The award will be open to UK specialty registrars in Forensic Psychiatry and UK consultants in Forensic Psychiatry who are members of the RCPsych Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry



Prospective candidates should provide an up-to-date CV and a brief statement (up to 500 words) on their reasons for wanting to attend, the ways in which attendance would specifically benefit their training, development or practice and how they might disseminate the learning experience to others within or outside the College.


Entries will be evaluated by a panel nominated by the Faculty Executive.


Deadline:  Midnight on 10 May 2018


Submissions and College contact:

Stella Galea, Committee Manager



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