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The Littlejohn Gairdner Prize


The Littlejohn Gairdner Prize was instituted by Dorothy Hedderwick to commemorate the centenary of the appointment of her father, Sir Henry Duncan Littlejohn, as Medical Officer for Edinburgh and his friend, Sir William Tennant Gairdner, as Medical Officer of Health for Glasgow.


The Littlejohn Gairdner Prize Fund and/or its proceeds shall be used to offer a cash prize and a medal for annual competition by candidates enrolled with the Faculty of Public Health (FPH) in higher specialist training programmes in Scotland. Administration of the Littlejohn Gairdner Prize Fund shall be the responsibility of the Committee of the Faculty of Public Health in Scotland.


  • Those undertaking general public health training in Scotland (includes Specialist Registrars and Specialist Trainees)
  • Candidate post Part B exam
  • The time period for submission for the award should be during training or within six months after completing training
  • Candidates will be allowed to apply more than once, unless they have won the prize previously


  • Applications should be a written submission, either as a single piece of work or as number of linked pieces together forming a theme
  • The work must have been commenced during training and not during out-of-programme training (eg. for a PhD)
  • Although the work may lead to work completed out of programme, the work must have been largely completed in programme and clearly contribute to portfolio learning outcomes
  • Length in the range of 2,500-5,000 words
  • Could consist of, for example, a Board-level paper, a needs assessment, a published paper or a report on a specific topic
  • The submission requires a high level of personal involvement by the candidate. A signed statement from the candidate's educational supervisor should evidence this
  • The work can be in any of the major disciplines of public health: health protection, health improvement, health and social care services quality and/or health intelligence.

Statement from candidate's trainer [word]

Criteria for award

The work demonstrates a high level of subject knowledge and/or technical expertise in one or more of the above areas of public health, as well as excellent judgement in the application of said knowledge and/or expertise to a public health issue. This includes demonstration of appropriate consultation, sensitivity to local and national policy, good quality presentation and ability to make astute recommendations.

The submission must demonstrate:

  • Leadership
  • Innovation (for example developing a new approach or tackling an issue in a novel manner)
  • Commitment to the dissemination of learning or knowledge gained
  • Reflective practice in the form of an additional paper (maximum length two pages in addition to maximum word count above).

In addition desirable criteria are:

  • Engagement with the wider public and colleagues from other disciplines and backgrounds
  • Demonstration of both theory and practice.

The award may be made jointly if work of similar quality is presented.

An award with distinction may be made for work of sufficient merit.

The award may be carried over to the next year at the discretion of the Adjudication Panel in the absence of applications of sufficient merit.


The prize and medal will be awarded on the recommendation of the Adjudication Panel, subject to confirmation by the Committee of the Faculty of Public Health in Scotland.

The Adjudication Panel will be appointed by the Committee of the Faculty of Public Health in Scotland and will consist of a minimum of three members representing academic, service and non-medical public health.

The Training Programme Director and a member of the Scottish Trainee Committee who is not an applicant should be on the panel.


£100 agreed in 2005

Frequency of award

Annually, funds permitting.

Closing date

The closing date for submissions is 1 August each year.


Awards of the medal and prize money shall be made on the occasion of the Annual Faculty of Public Health Scottish Conference. Awards shall not be made in absentia, save at the discretion of the Committee of the Faculty of Public Health in Scotland.

Recipients shall be required, as a condition of the award, to deliver an address to be known as the Littlejohn Gairdner Memorial Lecture based on an aspect of the prize-winning work to the Annual Faculty of Public Health Scottish Conference.


Submissions marked ‘Littlejohn Gairdner Prize Submission' should be made in electronic format to:

Education & Training Department
Faculty of Public Health
4 St Andrew's Place

Please contact the Education and Training Department on 020 7224 0642 or by email on . with 'Littlejohn Gairdner Award' in the subject line.