Call for Nominations 2019 – Research Prize

About the Prize 

The Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize awards outstanding scientific contributions of individuals from all scholarly disciplines aiming at improving the 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 children and youth worldwide to nominate candidates. The prize will be awarded to a well-respected, outstanding researcher conducting groundbreaking research on children and youth. It addresses scholars from all countries who have achieved major breakthroughs in understanding 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. From 2019 onwards, the Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize will be awarded every other year in odd years. In even years, the Jacobs Foundation will bestow a Best Practice Prize rewarding exceptional commitment of institutions or individuals who put into practice innovative solutions in the field of 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

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



All documents pertaining to the nomination should be submitted online by 1 March 2019. Incomplete nominations or documents received after this date cannot be considered. A complete nomination is composed of:

  • completed nomination form
  • 2 page nomination letter including an appraisal of the academic accomplishments of the nominee, making clear what the nominee’s scientific breakthroughs have been and how the nominee would bring distinction to the Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize
  • nominee’s CV including the full list of publications as well as evidence of his or her scientific
    leadership information regarding possible future academic plans, fields of interest, and aspirations of the nominee

A bibliometric analysis of the research performance will be an integral part of the assessment process,
thus the provision of a full list of publications is crucial for a nomination to be considered.


Call for Nominations 2019

Please submit your nomination using the Nomination Form. PLEASE NOTE: Unfortunately, the nomination deadline has now expired. 

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact the responsible program manager
Gelgia Fetz (

The Jacobs Foundation is one of the world’s leading charitable foundations dedicated to improving the living conditions of children and youth. The Foundation was established in 1989 by Klaus J. Jacobs and his family in an effort to benefit future generations by providing young people with better opportunities for development, so that they can become productive and socially responsible members of society.
As a research informed organization, we base funding decisions on solid evidence and enable systemic change through comprehensive approaches.

In the years 2016–2020 the Jacobs Foundation focuses on three thematic priorities:

Within our thematic priority Science of Learning we explore the frontiers of individual differences in
learning and development. We do this by generating research insights and innovation related to the
individual prerequisites and antecedents of learning and development of children and youth, the interactions
between learning contexts and the individual, and the consequences for learning environments
and institutions.

Within our thematic priority Early Education we help to formulate comprehensive early education
policies in Switzerland and other European countries. We do this by developing systematic programs
designed to promote equal opportunity at the school-entry level and emphasizing the societal returns
of education.

Within our thematic priority Rural Livelihoods we work to improve the lives of the rural population of
Côte D’Ivoire, both today and in the future. We do this by nurturing an ecosystem of private and public
stakeholders dedicated to the common goal of enhancing educational quality.

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