The Jean Piaget Society is pleased to offer three different awards to support student and emerging scholar attendance at our annual meeting:

Announcing the Jean Piaget Society Doctoral Dissertation Prize

Through a very generous donation by a long-time member of the Society, The Jean Piaget Society for the Study of Knowledge and Development is pleased to announce a yearly prize for the best dissertation exemplifying and continuing, in the broadest sense, the spirit of inquiry begun by Jean Piaget and Bärbel Inhelder.

Download the JPS 2020 Dissertation Prize Announcement

According to the deed establishing the prize, its purpose is to "encourage a new generation of scholars to pursue empirical and theoretical studies of children's construction of knowledge by integrating insights from developmental epistemology, biology, psychology, evolutionary theory and education. To that end, this prize will be awarded to a new scholar who will deliver at an annual meeting of the Jean Piaget Society an address based upon her or his dissertation on an historical, epistemological or empirical subject. The prize will be given to the submission that best continues the spirit of Piaget - a study grounded in a firm knowledge of, but not limited to, the work of Piaget and Inhelder."

Any doctoral dissertation originating from any country, from psychology, philosophy, education, history of science, evolutionary biology or related fields that concerns the topic of knowledge and its development will be considered. Empirical work, rigorous demonstrations of educational methods, epistemology, historical analysis of ideas, evolutionary theory or explorations of Piaget and Inhelder's late process theory are some examples of the topics that may be submitted. The quality of the work will be paramount: the work need not have originated from the point of view of Piagetian theory, but knowledge of the theory should be demonstrated in the winning submission, to help explain how the work furthers the ongoing study of the interdependence of knowledge and development.

The mission of the prize is not to look backwards but to promote exciting new discoveries - discoveries that recognize that the study of the development of knowledge begun by Piaget, Inhelder, and their many collaborators is a living, continuing tradition that reverberates in many rich and surprising ways through many disciplines.

The prize consists of $2000 plus reimbursement of reasonable travel costs and meeting registration fees, and will be given to the most outstanding summary submitted to the prize committee of a dissertation completed and approved within the 24 months preceding the deadline for submission to the annual symposium meetings of the Jean Piaget Society.


A candidate must be a student, student member, postdoctoral researcher or new regular member of the Society for the current or upcoming year. Nonmembers may submit for the prize, but they must pay nonmember conference registration fees by the conference date. (A nonmember's conference registration includes a one-year membership.)

Submission Rules

All materials submitted to the prize committee, and the presentation at the conference, must be in English, although the original dissertation may be in any language.

Candidates must follow the regular procedures to submit to the JPS conference a work based upon their dissertations completed and approved in the 24 months preceding the submission deadline. The submission   may be submitted either as a stand-alone paper or as a part of a symposium. In addition, candidates must submit to the prize committee an abstract of the dissertation not to exceed 2000 words. Send submissions to: Judith Smetana, JPS Prize Committee Chair: judith.smetana@rochester.edu

The prize committee will consider only applicants whose papers have been accepted for the conference. The committee will first judge the submissions blind based on the 2000-word abstract. Approximately three submissions will be chosen as finalists. Then, to ensure that the doctoral dissertation is a completed work, and to facilitate judging its importance, finalists will be asked on short notice to submit the following to the prize committee:

  1. A pdf of the completed dissertation
  2. Apdf of a signed signature page for the final approved document;
  3. One letter of recommendation from someone who has read the entire dissertation (preferably a doctoral dissertation advisor or another dissertation committee member) to help the committee judge the significance of the work in the context of its discipline;
  4. A brief curriculum vitae of the candidate, to evaluate the place of the work in the totality of his or her work to date.

Upon receipt of the requested information from the finalists the committee will decide upon the winner of the prize.

The abstract submitted for the prize must be suitable for a 20-minute presentation at the Jean Piaget Society meeting. It may be accompanied by figures, tables, and some references on a maximum of ten PowerPoint slides. Submissions with no references will not be considered. Minor revisions in the winning paper will be permitted before it is presented.

The due date for submissions for the prize will be the same as the due date for submission of abstracts for the Society's annual conference, The winner, finalists and other applicants will be notified of their final statuses around the time of conference acceptance in February.

The winning submission will be noted as such in the conference program next to the slot for its presentation. The program will also mention the winner and the other finalists along with the titles of their dissertations and the names of their doctoral institutions.

Questions/submissions should be directed to Judith Smetana, Prize Committee Chair: judith.smetana@rochester.edu


Emerging Scholar Travel Awards


We are pleased continue to offer two travel awards of $400 each plus free conference registration to two Emerging Scholars, one residing in the U.S.A. and one international award. These awards are made possible by a generous gift of the Pufall Family. More information on applying for these awards is contained in the Call for Papers.

NOTE: To be eligible, the first author (presenting author) must be a graduate student or post-doctoral fellow.


Olga Lucia Gonzales-Beltran, Universidad de los Andes
David Mendez (University of Wisconsin–Madison

Helen Nelson, Curtin University



Katherine Bailey
      Step by step: Perspective taking in the social problem solving process
Naomi Chatley

      Organization is the key to success: The differential effects of executive function on sorting and clustering organizational strategies in preschoolers



Gregory Dam
, Northwestern University
      A movement game for learning about decision theory
Michelle Twali,
University of Utah
      Types of ethnicity-based discrimination and implications on ethnic identity
James W Allen, University of Victoria, Jacobs Foundation Award
      A narrative practice approach to the use of narratives within First Nations communities
Luciana Maria Caetano
, University of São Paulo, Jacobs Foundation Award
      Am I being just? Educative Conceptions of Brazilians Parents

Ayelet Lahat
, University of Toronto
      The neurophysiological correlates of moral development: The distinction between moral and social conventional violations
Yusuke Moriguchi, Joetsu University of Education
      Neural basis of executive function in young children: A NIRS Study

Jeremy Burman, York University
      The results of a Foucauldian archaeology of Piaget’s appeals to Kurt Gödel
Silvia Guerrero-Moreno, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha
      The assessment of racial awareness in preschoolers: Different stimuli, different outcomes?