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WPA Travel Award Winners Announced for WCP23

Updated: Sep 26, 2023


WPA EC and Council Members

In February 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 23rd WPA World Congress of Psychiatry (WCP23) in Vienna, Austria later this year (28th September - 1st October).


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 “Essay on: Climate Change, Urbanization, Air Pollution, Natural Disasters: Global challenges for mental health, resilience, and recovery”; with lucky winner being awarded a travel grant to help them attend the WCP23.


While the WPA Working Group (WG) on Medical Students invited all medical students to submit an essay of up to 750 words (including references) on the topic of “The Interface of Physical and Mental Health”; with the successful winner also being awarded a travel grant to attend the WCP23.


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 22 submissions were received from 13 countries and the quality of entries were outstanding. The judging panel, consisting of Professors Andrea Fiorillo, Linda Lam, and Kamaldeep Bhui along with winners from last year who now joined the judging panel, Drs Scarlett Manchado, Sibel Elmas, Anita Chattopadhyay. We judged on the basis of originality, clarity/accessibility, synthesis of complex information, good academic practice (referencing), clear conclusions based on evidence and good research integrity. The standard was very high and the essays were of excellent quality. As such, the judges decided to award two first prize winners, with the travel grant of USD $2,000 being split equally between the winners. The two successful candidates are:


Dr Lauren Chiu (Australia), and






Dr Nadia Adchara (Thailand)





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


640 entries were submitted from 41 different countries, 234 medical schools and 6 continents in response to the invitation to submit an essay on the topic of “The Interface of Physical and Mental Health”.


Again, the quality of essays was outstanding and the judging panel had a difficult job deciding between the various entries. The two-stage review process was vigorous with 23 judges participating in the first phase and 5 judges assessing the 10 finalist in the final stage. Judges were blinded from the details of the participants in this stage.


After a close competition, the winner of this travel fellowship was awarded to:



Jessica Batra (New Delhi, India)







Salma Absosabie (Germany) (winner of German-speaking essay)






Commenting on this travel award, Prof. Muhammad Waqar Azeem said “The judging panel was extremely impressed by the high quality of submissions. The essay competition this year generated huge interest globally among medical students, which was great to witness".


Prof. Afzal Javed, President WPA, Prof. Kam Bhui and Prof. Muhammad Waqar Azeem would like to congratulate the deserving winners of both awards and look forward to welcoming them in Vienna.


Author: Prof. Afzal Javed, Prof. Kam Bhui and Prof. Muhammad Waqar Azeem

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