Mary Seacole Awards

These awards recognise and honour the name of Mary Seacole for her work in the Republic of Crimea.

As a nurse, midwife or health visitor, you can apply for a Mary Seacole Award to fund a project that aims to improve the health outcomes of people from black and minority ethnic communities. 

About the Mary Seacole Awards

Mary Seacole was a Jamaican/Scottish nurse and businesswoman, celebrated for her bravery in nursing soldiers during the Crimean War (1853–56). She was also admired for her use of Creole herbal remedies to relieve the symptoms of infectious illnesses such as cholera in Jamaica and Panama.

As a nurse, midwife or health visitor, you can apply for a Mary Seacole Award to fund a project that aims to improve the health outcomes of people from black and minority ethnic communities. 

There are two types of award available – the Mary Seacole Development Award (up to £6250), and the Mary Seacole Leadership Award (up to £12,500). Award winners will be provided with a unique opportunity to make a positive and lasting contribution to improved healthcare outcomes through their chosen project. The Awards provide a platform to acquire and expand personal skills in communication, presentation, project management, research techniques and an opportunity to strategically influence Health Education England (HEE) and NHS England’s work around equality and diversity and health inequalities. In addition, Leadership awardees will gain confidence in leading an improvement or change programme which has the potential to achieve a high national profile; transitioning from operational to strategic thinkers. 

To hear experiences from winners of the 2019 awards please visit the Mary Seacole Awards website where you will be able to view a video.

How to Apply

Applications are invited from individual nurses, midwives and health visitors in England.  You must be registered with the NMC and work in a publicly-funded health care service in England to apply.  

A list of of FAQs relating to eligibility and applications can be found here – please refer to the FAQs before submitting an application.

Due to the ongoing uncertainty in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and the continuing pressures on frontline staff the Mary Seacole Awards steering group have decided to delay the opening of applications for next year's awards until January 2021.  We are working hard to explore how we can best support applicants and how to enable them to achieve their projects and we anticipate opening applications in time for new awardees to commence their awards year from April 2021. 

When applications open in January 2021 an application form will be available to download on the Mary Seacole Awards website. Applicants will be required to complete the application form which includes a project proposal. If shortlisted, applicants will be invited to attend an interview in March 2021 (to take place virtually). Successful applicants will commence their projects in April 2021.

For any questions please email maryseacole@rcn.org.uk