WPA Travel Award Winners Announced


WPA EC and Council Members

In May this year, two of the World Psychiatric Association’s (WPA) Components offered Medical Students and Psychiatric Trainees the opportunity to win a fellowship (Travel Award) to attend the 22nd WPA World Congress of Psychiatry (WCP22) in Bangkok, Thailand next month (3rd-6th August).


The WPA Collaborating Centre Group offered the fellowship to all psychiatric trainees who were invited to submit an essay of between 3000-5000 words (including references) on the topic of “Forced displacement and mental health: challenges and resilience”; with one lucky winner being awarded USD $2000, to cover the registration, travel and accommodation costs to attend the WCP22.


While the WPA Working Group (WG) on Medical Students invited all medical students to submit an essay of up to 1500 words (including references) on the topic of “Breaking the Silence: How is STIGMA a barrier to mental health?”; with two successful winners being awarded USD $1000, to cover the registration, travel and accommodation costs to attend the WCP22.


After receiving hundreds of applications, we are happy to share details of the judging and selection process as well as announce the winners of both awards.


The WPA Collaborating Centre Group Award for Psychiatric Trainees


Over 40 submissions were received from 15 countries and the quality of entries were outstanding. The judging panel, consisting of Professors Pratima Murthy, Linda Lam, Afzal Javed and Kam Bhui had the difficult task of selecting who was to be the winner. Judging was based on originality, clarity/accessibility, synthesis of complex information, good academic practice (referencing), clear conclusions based on evidence and good research integrity.


After much discussion, the single first prize was awarded to Scarlett Machado, Psychiatry Resident, Mental Health Institute of Jalisco, Zapopan, Mexico.



In addition to the fellowship winner, Certificates of Merit were also provided to three runners up:

Dr Wang, McMaster, Hamilton, Canada.

Dr Chattopadhyay. New Delhi, India.

Dr Elmas, Istanbul, Turkey.


Prof. Kam Bhui commented: “It was a great pleasure to review and assess so many good entries from around the world. The judging panel were impressed with the standards and qualify of the submission, which is encouraging reflection of the talent amongst future psychiatrists.”


WPA Working Group on Medical Students Award for Medical Students


Over 150 entries were submitted from 39 different countries responding to the invitation to submit an essay on the topic of “Breaking the silence: How is STIGMA a barrier to mental health?”


Again, the quality of entrees was impressive and the judging panel assessed the essays on the basis of originality, clarity of argument, academic rigour (quality of referencing), abiding to the rules (word limit, references style, numbers) and quality of writing (grammar, spellings, punctuations etc.)


The panel, consisting of several WPA members including Professor Howard Liu, Professor Nazish Imran, Dr. Bernardo Ng, Dr Sadiq Naveed, Dr Deepika Shaligram, Dr Irum Aamer, Dr Saeed Ahmed and Professor Muhammad Waqar Azeem, had a tough job narrowing the submissions down to the two winners. The $1000 fellowships were awarded to:

  • Daniyaal Taheri (Seth GS Medical College and King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India).

  • Jolly Thomas (University of Ibadan College of Medicine, Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria).


In addition to the two winners, 14 top participants were given Commendation letters on behalf of WPA. These were:

  1. Ewurabena Fynn (University of Ghana, Ghana)

  2. Katherine Freeman (Warwick Medical School, UK)

  3. Sabeela Safdar (Rawalpindi Medical University, Pakistan)

  4. Himanshi Khanchandani(SVIMS, India)

  5. Silvi Angelia May Purba (Riau University, Indonesia)

  6. Percy Nyanteh(Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology School of Medicine, Ghana)

  7. Zeynep Kamak Surmen (KTU, Turkey)

  8. Rameen Amir(Fatima Memorial Hospital, College of Medicine and Dentistry, Pakistan)

  9. Aysha Noor (SHIFA College of Medicine , Pakistan)

  10. Jyotsna J (Chengalpattu Medical College, India)

  11. Ivana Masinde (University of Cape Town, South Africa)

  12. Gideon Agunwa Ekulide (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria )

  13. Austin Lam(University of Toronto, Canada)

  14. Laura Mcduff (University of Norte Dame Fremantle, Australia)

Commenting on the fellowship, Prof. Muhammad Waqar Azeem said “The judging panel was extremely impressed by the high quality of submissions. This essay competition generated interest globally among medical students which was very encouraging. This is the first time WPA has conducted this kind of essay competition among medical students. We are thankful to Dr. Afzal Javed for his unwavering support which made this competition possible.”


Please join us in congratulating the deserving winners of both awards and we look forward to welcoming them in Bangkok.


Author: Prof. Kam Bhui and Prof. Muhammad Waqar Azeem

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