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.  

Darlene Fisher, University of Bath, United Kingdom

An analysis of the impact of IB leadership training on two cohorts of aspiring IB school leaders 

Sarah Lillo, University of Southern California, United States

International-mindedness and text choices in Diploma Programe (DP) English courses in the United States

Shona McIntosh, University of Bath, United Kingdom

The enduring benefits of Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS): an evaluation of the transformative potential of the CAS programme experienced by International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme alumni

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

Applying for the award

Below, you'll find the information you need to make an application for the Jeff Thompson Research Award.

Application deadline

The deadline for applications is 31 May 2018. Please note, the application deadline has been extended from January to May for 2018.

Applications will be accepted in English only. All applicants must use the provided application form to submit applications, by email, to

Application form and policy

The relevant documents are below.

Questions about the application process can be directed to


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

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

  • data collection
  • fees for analytical or survey software
  • printing fees
  • translation or transcription services
  • stipends
  • materials and supplies
  • equipment required to conduct the research.

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

Eligible applicants

IB practitioners (administrators, 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.

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.

Selection and award process

The Jeff Thompson Research Award is a competitive grant. Only up to three applications per year will be selected for partial or maximum funding. 

Preference will be given to research which is relevant and important to the IB, such as  but not limited to  the following areas:

  1. Improvement of IB programmes.
  2. Impact of programme implementation on school improvement, including professional development for delivery of IB programmes.
  3. Impact of IB programme study on academic success.
  4. Impact of IB programme study on acquisition of international-mindedness and attributes of the learner profile.

The rating criteria for the application itself will include, but are not limited to, the following.

  1. Feasibility of the research.
  2. Clear and realistic specification of outcomes and deliverables.
  3. Use of appropriate research methods.
  4. Access to and capacity to process data and analyze results.
  5. Ability to disseminate findings to a variety of audiences.
  6. Ethical considerations.
  7. Clear support from the head(s) of school (when applicable).


Applicants 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 on 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 their application. The mentor agreement is part of the application form. 

Communication and reporting expectations

An implementation plan, including draft instruments that will be used in the research, should be submitted within six months of the start of the award.

Brief periodic progress reports should also be provided to the IB by email during the course of the project. Please email

Lastly, all recipients are expected to provide a detailed report of the results of their research at the end of the project. 

The award will be considered completed when all application documents have been approved by the Jeff Thompson Award Committee. This may require revisions for quality assurance purposes.

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 150-200 words, submitted as a Word document.
  3. A summary of the study of 20-35 pages, submitted as a Word document. All summaries must be edited and copy-edited before submission.
  4. A full study report, such as a dissertation or master's thesis, if applicable
  5. A record of how the funds were spent

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 summaries will be published on the IB public website.