Jeff Thompson Research Award

The Jeff Thompson Research Award seeks to honour Professor Thompson's efforts to establish the research profile of the International Baccalaureate (IB) by providing IB practitioners, graduate students and early-career university professionals with awards to conduct research related to IB programmes.

We'd like to congratulate our latest winners, listed below. 

Michelle Cafini—University of Melbourne, Australia

Service as action: School practices for developing and embedding meaningful service-learning opportunities for MYP students.

Naaz Kirmani—University of Bath, UK

The changing face of teaching and learning: An empirical study to explore the impact of Artificial Intelligence on formative assessment and learning experiences of IB Diploma Programme students.

All current and completed studies can be found on our winners’ studies page.

Applying for the award

Below, you will find the information you need to apply for the Jeff Thompson Research Award. Please read the policies and procedures [284 KB]  document carefully before applying for the award. Applications that do not meet the eligibility requirements will not be considered.

Application deadline

The deadline for applications is 31 January 2021. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, however, starting 1 November 2020.

Only applications in English can be accepted. All applicants must use the appropriate application form (IB World School practitioner or Early-career university professional). Please submit your application by email to

Application form and policies

The relevant documents are below.

Questions about the application process can be directed to


Individual awards will be granted up to USD $20,000 each. Up to three grants will be awarded each year.

Award funds may only be used by the researcher for expenses directly related to conducting the study, as outlined in the proposal. Examples of acceptable budget items include:

  • data collection
  • fees for analytical or survey software (if the applicant does not have access through a university subscription)
  • printing fees
  • limited travel expenses required to conduct the field work (if applicable)
  • Fees for translation or transcription services, or other minor specialized support services
  • materials and supplies
  • stipends (allowable on rare occasions for IB practitioners with appropriate justification; not to exceed $5,000)
  • equipment required to conduct the research (up to $500, excluding hardware such as laptops, cameras, video equipment, etc.).

Award funds cannot be used for university tuition. Additionally, awards may not fund indirect costs (such as university overhead).

Eligible applicants

IB practitioners (administrators, coordinators, teachers and heads of school employed at an IB World School), graduate students and early-career university professionals are eligible to apply for the award. Only applications from individuals will be accepted (not applications from corporations or institutions).

  • We define ‘early-career professionals’ as individuals who have completed their doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis within the past five years and are currently employed at a university.
  • Applicants should note that proposed studies must be in the ideation and/or planning stage, prior to beginning fieldwork, in order to be considered for funding.  

While preference will be given to practitioner research, we will consider each project based on the merits of the proposal, value to the IB community, soundness of the research methods and capacity of the applicant(s) to carry out the research effectively. Research studies should be directly related to IB programmes, students, teachers and/or IB World Schools.

Mentoring (IB World School practitioners)

Applicants from IB World Schools who are not graduate students are strongly encouraged to identify a mentor prior to submitting an application. Ideally this mentor will be a university faculty member from a relevant field and will have experience with conducting research. 

The mentor is expected to: provide guidance and advice on the proposal and research methods and instruments, review draft reports, and ensure that the research meets quality standards.

Preference will be given to applications with mentoring agreements in place at the time of application. The mentor agreement is part of the application form. 

Submission guidelines for final products

Please submit the following documents to complete the award:

  1. A project implementation plan should be submitted within six months of the start of the award.
  2. An abstract of no more than 150-200 words, submitted as a Word document.
  3. A report of 20-25 pages, submitted as a Word document. All reports must be edited and copy-edited before submission.
  4. A detailed record of how the funds were spent. Grant winners must notify the IB if (on a study’s completion) expenses are lower than the awarded amount. 

Applicants should submit the above documents electronically to The project will be considered finalized after the Jeff Thompson Award Committee has reviewed, provided feedback on and approved all final products. Final abstracts and reports will be published on the IB public website.