Phil Strong Memorial Prize

The prize was established in memory of Phil Strong (1945-1995) one of the post-war generation of sociologists who influenced the development of medical sociology in the UK, and it is anticipated that there will be one prize to the value of £1200 awarded this year.  The purpose of the prize is to contribute to the advancement of medical sociology by supporting postgraduate research in medical sociology.

Phil’s work combined rigorous empirical analysis with sociological imagination. He was one of the foremost exponents of Goffman’s ideas, but he did not confine himself to interactionism, or indeed to sociology, in his reading or thinking which drew on philosophy, political science and literature. His empirical research included important studies of the clinical encounter, NHS reforms, and the social history of AIDS.  In memory of his contribution as an essayist, researcher and teacher this prize has been established to support postgraduate research in medical sociology.


Applicants must meet the criteria below, be working in the field of Medical Sociology and be registered for a higher degree at a British University or other recognised British research institution.  The announcement of the winner for this year's prize will be made later this year. 

How to Enter

To enter, complete the Application Form and return as an email attachment to the BSA Office. Alternatively, you can post your application to the address on the Application Form.

Applications must be submitted to arrive no later than 5pm on Friday, 9 August 2024. Incomplete applications and applications received after this date will not be considered. Applicants must be BSA Members.

Selection criteria for the Phil Strong Prize

Eligible applicants will be selected at random by the early-careers representatives of the Medical Sociology committee. They will decide on the winner using the following criteria:

  1. Clarity: Is there a clear description of how the prize will be used?
  2. Relevance to Medical Sociology: How closely does the research align with the core concerns and themes of medical sociology as a field of study?
  3. Impact: is the impact of the research outlined? This could relate to impact on the applicant, on their study, on the field of study, on key communities etc.

Conditions of the award of the Phil Strong Prize

The money will be paid by BACS transfer to the sponsoring institution.  The sponsoring institution is responsible for administering and accounting for the money and making such information available to the Committee on request.

Departments that do not comply with the conditions listed above will not be allowed to enter students for the prize in the following five years.

Students receiving the Phil Strong prize must produce a short report (approximately 1000 words) on how the money has been used. This should include (1) a brief overview of their doctoral research including the background, aims and objectives, methods and progress to date including a summary of any analysis or conclusions (2) an account of the activities supported by the Phil Strong Memorial Prize, including any reflections on how this enhanced the study or the recipients' sociological development.  This should be submitted to the convenors of the BSA Medical Sociology Study Group within three months of the completion date specified in the student's application. 

The recipient should keep the convenors of the Medical Sociology Committee informed should there be any problems associated with the use of the money.

The prize money may not be used for any purpose other than that for which it is granted. Should the money not be used within one year of the time from which was awarded, it shall be returned to the Medical Sociology Group.

These conditions may be varied by the Medical Sociology Committee, subject to the approval of the AGM, to optimise the outcome of the Phil Strong Memorial Prizes and enhance the good name of Medical Sociology.


The Phil Strong Prize Money may not be used for:

  • The material production of a thesis (e.g. photocopying and binding).  The BSA has a support fund to which students can apply for this;
  • Courses which should be offered by the Department/Unit as part of normal provision for postgraduate or undergraduate students (e.g. standard courses in research methods);
  • Return fares for an international student, registered in Britain, to return home. Exceptions may be made if there is strong evidence of how this would advance the study;
  • Materials and equipment such as books, computers (including access to the internet) and recording equipment which should properly be supplied by the sponsoring institution; and
  • Any purpose which is unlawful.

Previous Winners of the Phil Strong Memorial Prize