Medicine, Conflict and Survival

Holdstock-Piachaud Essay Prize

The Holdstock-Piachaud Essay Prize was set up to encourage students to explore the themes covered by the journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival, in memory of Douglas Holdstock and Jack Piachaud who were for many years inspirational editors of the Journal. We are keen to receive essays that explore insights, concerns and original perspectives on issues relevant to the aims of the journal, from students who will be shaping the future. Whichever title you choose to tackle we encourage you to base your argument on relevant literature and to develop it drawing on your own experience and reflections. 

Medicine, Conflict and Survival is an international journal for all those interested in the health aspects of violence and human rights. Founded in 1985 it is a designated journal of IPPNW and its UK affiliate, MEDACT. Published quarterly by Taylor and Francis/Routledge, the Journal plays an important role in debates around health, peace and violence. 

Medicine, Conflict and Survivalcovers: 

  • The causes and consequences of war and group violence. 

  • The health and environmental effects of war and preparations for war, especially from nuclear, radiological, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction. 

  • The influence of war and preparations for war on health and welfare services and the distribution of global resources. 

  • The abuse of human rights, its occurrence, causes and consequences. 

  • The ethical responsibility of health professionals in relation to war, social violence and human rights abuses. 

  • Non-violent methods of conflict resolution. 

  • Medical and humanitarian aid in conflict situations. 

  • Relationships between the environment, development and global security. 

  • The roles and responsibilities of governments and of international governance in reducing the risk of violent conflict. 

The Holdstock-Piachaud Prize is made possible through the generosity of the Lionel Penrose Trust. 

Titles for 2024 Holdstock-Piachaud Student Essay Prize

  1. How can the protection of medical personnel and facilities under international humanitarian law be strengthened?

  2. In what ways might the concept of ‘planetary health’ lead us to think differently about contemporary global challenges? How could the resulting insights promote the changing of current practices?

  3. What are the political and ethical challenges that health professionals face in providing care to undocumented migrants? How should they respond to these challenges?

  4. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has said that “Climate change and nuclear weapons are both man-made threats that put humanity’s very survival at risk”. What responsibilities do health workers have to address these “twin existential threats”?

Competition details

  • Entries close at 17.00 on 28 February 2024.

  • The competition is open to all students, including those completing their studies in 2023.

  • The word limit is 2500 and essays should be submitted in Word.

  • Entrants whose first language is not English may have their entry checked by a fluent English speaker.

  • Entries by more than one author are acceptable, but should have only one corresponding author.

  • Entrants can use AI systems to help frame their entry, but what they submit must be their own original work.

  • The essay should be fully referenced, using the Chicago Author-Date system.

  • Entries must not have been previously published elsewhere.

  • The entries will be judged by members of the MCS editorial board and the Medact board.

  • The winning entries may be selected by the editors for publication in MCS.

  • First prize: £500, three second prizes: £300; winners will also receive a year’s subscription to MCS and, optionally, may serve as a student representative on the MCS editorial board for a year.

  • E-mail your entry with a completed entry form (see below) to: [email protected].

For an APPLICATION FORM and for any queries, please contact: [email protected].

Looking to Publish your Research?

We aim to make publishing with Taylor & Francis a rewarding experience for all our authors. Please visit our Author Services website for more information and guidance, and do contact us if there is anything we can help with!

More about the journal

Medicine, Conflict and Survival is an international journal for all those interested in health aspects of violence and human rights.

It covers:

  • The causes and consequences of war and group violence.
  • The health and environmental effects of war and preparations for war, especially from nuclear, radiological, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.
  • The influence of war and preparations for war on health and welfare services and the distribution of global resources .
  • The abuse of human rights, its occurrence, causes and consequences.
  • The ethical responsibility of health professionals in relation to war, social violence and human rights abuses.
  • Non-violent methods of conflict resolution.
  • Medical and humanitarian aid in conflict situations.
  • Relationships between the environment, development and global security.
  • The roles and responsibilities of governments and of international governance in reducing the risk of violent conflict


All submitted research articles are subject to initial appraisal by the Editors, and, if found suitable for further consideration, to peer review by independent, anonymous expert referees. Commentaries are subject in the first instance to editorial review, but where appropriate the Editors will seek guidance from relevant experts. For further submission guidelines please see ‘Instructions for authors’.

Medicine, Conflict and Survival (originally published under the title of Medicine and War) was founded in 1985 and is published quarterly by Routledge. The journal continues to play an important role in debates around health, peace and violence.

Authors can choose to publish gold open access in this journal.

Read the Instructions for Authors for information on how to submit your article.

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