About the Prize
The Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize awards outstanding scientific contributions of individuals from all scholarly disciplines aiming at improving learning, development, and living conditions of children and youth. This includes, but is not limited to, educational sciences, psychology, economics, sociology, family studies, media studies, political sciences, linguistics, neurosciences, computer sciences, and medical sciences.
The prize is endowed with 1 Mio. Swiss Francs, of which 900’000 Swiss Francs are for use in a research project and 100’000 Swiss Francs are for related costs, such as travel, networking, and dissemination. The Jacobs Foundation invites experts in research on learning, children, and youth worldwide to nominate candidates. The prize will be awarded to a well-respected, outstanding researcher conducting groundbreaking research on learning and development of children and youth. It addresses scholars from all countries who have achieved major breakthroughs in understanding, learning, learning variability, and/or child and youth development, and at the same time have the potential to advance the field by actively conducting research. Self-nominations cannot be accepted.
A Prize Jury, consisting of internationally renowned scientists, will choose the laureate from the pool of nominated candidates. The Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize is awarded every other year in odd years. In even years, the Jacobs Foundation bestows a Best Practice Prize rewarding exceptional commitment of institutions or individuals who put into practice innovative solutions in the fields of learning and child and youth development.
Laureates to date:
2009: Laurence Steinberg (Temple University) for his research on the psychopathology, risk-taking and decision-making behavior of young people
2010: Terrie Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi (Duke University and King’s College London) for their research into the interplay between genetic disposition and environmental influences in the development of children and youth
2011: Michael Tomasello (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology) for his research on the identification of uniquely human forms of collaboration, communication and cultural learning
2012: Dante Cicchetti (University of Minnesota) for his research on the developmental consequences of child maltreatment and on resilience as a dynamic developmental process
2013: Greg Duncan (University of California, Irvine) for his interdisciplinary research on the long-term consequences of childhood poverty for life chances in adulthood
2014: Michael Meaney (McGill University, Montreal) for his research on the mechanisms for how parental care becomes embedded in children’s biology
2015: Sarah-Jayne Blakemore (University College London) for her research on understanding emotional and social brain development during adolescence
2016: Orazio Attanasio (University College London) for his use of economic models and field experiments to assess and shape early child development programs and policies in low income countries
2017: Paul Bloom (Yale University) for his research into the origins, nature, and development of children’s moral thought and behavior
2019: Daphne Bavelier (Geneva University) for her research on promoting brain plasticity and learning by leveraging action video games.