The Kieran Sweeney Prize 2021: A national UK prize for medical writing by GPs

The Prize is awarded each year by The Tamar Faculty of the Royal College of General Practitioners.


“What does the future hold for the relationship between a patient and their GP in the UK?”

The Prize

Professor Kieran Sweeney was a GP in Exeter who died in 2009 of mesothelioma, at the age of 58. He applied ideas from philosophy, the arts, mathematics, business and social sciences to the care of his patients and the process of healthcare. He was an accomplished medical writer. The Tamar Faculty of the RCGP wish to honour his memory again with a national prize of £1,000 for the best original article submitted by a practising GP in answer to the question above. The winning entry will be considered for publication in the British Journal of General Practice.

The Article

The article must be previously unpublished and have been written solely by the entrant. Ideas from disciplines outside medicine such as the arts, business, philosophy, literature, or political and social science will be especially welcome. The piece should be written in prose at a level that an interested member of the public will understand, under the title “What does the future hold for the relationship between a patient and their GP in the UK?”

Judging Criteria

    • Command and good use of the literature relevant to the topic.
    • Fresh insight into a new or familiar topic; cogent challenge to received wisdom.
    • Writing that is clear, direct and concise.
    • Writing that is elegant, compelling and uses language in original ways.
    • Writing that avoids jargon or cliché.
    • Correct grammar, syntax, spelling and punctuation.

The Judges

Roger Jones, former Editor of the British Journal of General Practice.

Trevor Thompson, winner of the Kieran Sweeney Prize 2016.

Billy Kenber, investigative journalist at The Times newspaper.

Nick Bradley, past provost RCGP Tamar Faculty.

The Rules

The competition is open to licensed general medical practitioners appearing on the General Medical Council GP register. To avoid conflicts of interest, entry is closed to officers and members of the Board of the Tamar Faculty RCGP; to the judges of the prize and to their immediate families; and to members of Kieran Sweeney’s immediate family.

Joint entrants or joint authors may not enter. The article must not have been entered for a national RCGP or RCGP Faculty award or prize in the three years up to 1 November 2021. If in the judges’ opinion none of the entries merits being awarded the prize, no prize will be awarded.

The maximum length of an article entered for the prize is 2,500 words, excluding the title, frontispiece, references and acknowledgements. The word count must be stated. The article must be text only, with no diagrams, tables, figures or photographs.

The article must be presented in Word (UK English) using Tahoma font size 11, and 1.5 line spacing, with references in Vancouver style.

The competition opens on Monday 1 November 2021. The deadline for entries is 09.00 on Monday 13 December 2021.

The judges’ decision will be final. Entrants will be notified of the result, after which no further correspondence will be conducted relating to the judging process.

How to enter

Articles must be submitted by email, along with a completed entry form which is available at the link below or from Alice Sefton, Tamar Faculty Administrator

Link: Kieran Sweeney prize 2021 Entry Form final version

Link: Kieran Sweeney prize 2021 Rules and entry criteria final 4.8.21


Featured image by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash 



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