USEMS/FSEM 2022 Essay Competition



Please write your essay in the form of a journal editorial on the following topic:

Physical activity: “prescription-only medicine”, or available “over-the-counter”?



Eligible applicants: 

  • Undergraduates (medical, physiotherapy, allied healthcare professionals) enrolled on a healthcare course at university in either England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, or the Republic of Ireland on the closing date
  • Recently graduated (within 2 years e.g. foundations doctors/equivalence) 



The successful applicant will benefit from the following: 

  • £100 prize money
  • A free one-day conference ticket (specifics to be clarified after awarded) 
  • Mentorship from an FSEM recommended individual in good academic standing to support the winner with the aim of publishing this piece of work in a SEM journal as an editorial/opinion piece.   



Please email your submission to by 31st January 2023


Submission Email 

In the body of the email please state the following: 

  • Full Name
  • University
  • University course and year of study/date of graduation
  • Undergraduate or recent graduate status
  • Employer (if graduated)
  • Contact details (email and mobile)

Please attach your essay in a word document or PDF format.

Please label your essay with the topic title but you must ensure that your essay and filename do not contain your name, or any other identifiable information. The essay administration team will rename the files so that marking will be anonymous. 

Guidelines and Requirements: 

  • Formatting should be Times New Roman, font size 12, max word count 800 words (excluding title and references)
  • The essay should be in the style of a journal editorial (see
  • Pictures and imagery should be submitted within the document and additionally as a separate file ideally in JPG. Please ensure that permission for use has been granted for any figures, tables or images that will be accompanying the article. Tables and pictures should be given separately but quoted in the article with reference as Table 1 or Image 3 etc. Total maximum of 3. Using figures, tables, images is not essential.
  • Quotes should be identified within “ “, please put them in italics.
  • No more than 8 references
  • Reference format is Vancouver (number superscript)
  • Keep the title short and succinct to attract the readers (max two lines Size 12 font).
  • Sub-headings are recommended.
  • File: Word document or PDF, DO NOT INCLUDE ANY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION within the submission document, include total word count at the end to ensure they can be marked anonymously
  • All submissions will be marked by at least two markers.
  • For specific marking criteria see the mark scheme below.
  • We will aim to release the results as soon as possible