UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences


UCL Medical School student wins major prize for public health research

27 October 2022

Final year medical student, Jai Prashar, has won the Faculty of Public Health's Sir John Brotherston Prize for his research essay: 'Long Covid: conceptualising the challenges for public health,' which evaluates the UK and international public health response to long Covid.

UCL Medical Student Jai Prashar receiving the Sir John Brotherston award from a representative the of Faculty of Public Health

The Faculty of Public Health (FPH) is an organisation of nearly 4,000 public health professionals across the UK and around the world. The FPH Sir John Brotherston Prize is annual award for students or graduates who have written an exceptional essay or undertaken research on a public health topic. 

Jai received the prize at the Faculty of Public Health's annual award ceremony in the summer, held at the Royal College of Physicians building in Regents Park. At the ceremony, Jai has the opportunity to discuss his work with public health officials such as Professor Maggie Rae (President of the Faculty of Public Health), Professor Kevin Fenton (regional Public Health Director at NHS London) and Professor Sir Jonathan Van Tam (former Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England. 

Jai has previously worked with the long Covid clinic at UCLH, where he co-led on a data analysis project that resulted in the publication of the first clinical report of community-acquired long Covid in the UK. This work was recently cited in World Health Organisations and helped lay the groundwork for a £7 million NIHR grant.

Jai's research essay covers the implementation of specialist clinics and community interventions, as well as discussing key learning points for long Covid research and evidence generation. Issues on inequality in long Covid care are explored in the text, using NHS data and international examples to discuss how we might build a system of care for long Covid that is equitable, scalable and comprehensive. Jai then conducted a review of the available literature, using this to build a conceptual model which described the challenges and opportunities posed to the public health profession by long Covid, and how they are interrelated.

Speaking of the award, Jai said: "I was delighted to have won the Sir John Brotherston prize this year. Long Covid is a hugely important public health issue which still affects tens of millions of people worldwide - who often do not get the outcomes they deserve due to a lack of evidence or an established model of care."

"It was an honour to have had the chance to discuss my work with public health leaders (including the former Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England) as part of the awards ceremony - which was a unique and insightful experience. My thanks and appreciation go to the Faculty of Public Health for this opportunity."

"I am glad to play a small part in raising awareness of the challenges posed by this debilitating condition. Going forward, I hope to continue to contribute to both clinical and policy research on long Covid."

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