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.

Award winners

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

Project name

Leila Holmyard

How do IB World Schools reach and maintain child safeguarding standards?

University of Bath, UK / Frankfurt International School, Germany

Emma Mitchell

Post-16 curriculum choice: processes, values and tensions at a dual-curriculum UK independent school

University College London, UK / Whitgift School, UK

Elisabeth Neiada

Parental Engagement in IB schools: A Relationship Explained within a Cultural Context.

University of Bath, UK


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.

Additional guidance related to COVID-19

Please include in your application how data collection will be conducted in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. You may include an ideal scenario as well as a contingency plan, if appropriate. Given that this is a difficult time for many schools around the world, please be mindful to keep school burden to a minimum. Participation in any Jeff Thompson Award study should be entirely voluntary.


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.