Foundation Awards: More Than an Honor

  • Nov 3, 2021
  • Foundation Staff

They’re more than paperweights or certificates, and their influence extends beyond boosting the confidence of honorees. Mensa Foundation awards have impact. They open new doors for creative innovators, lend credibility to meaningful research, and further the education of promising minds.

Your support is making a real difference. We know you’re making a difference because award winners tell us that the added attention affords them new opportunities and validation to continue their work. Meanwhile, educators assure us the resources we provide allow them to better understand and teach their students.

Unleashing intelligence requires not only removing the barriers to people making the most of their minds but giving them pathways to best share their intellectual gifts to benefit humanity. Your investment in innovation, research, and education matters and is working.

Nominations for Mensa Foundation awards allow us to identify worthy causes, innovators who need a boost, and research that begs to be noticed. Help us find these diamonds in the rough.

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Awards for Excellence in Research celebrate published groundbreaking investigations in the disciplines of intelligence or intellectual giftedness, including research from the fields of education, psychology, sociology, neurology, physiology, biochemistry, or psychometrics.

And for bodies of research work that extend entire careers, the International Lifetime Achievement Award commends research, theory, or other scholarly work by a living person over at least 15 years. Winners may be educators and/or practitioners in the fields of giftedness, brain function, human intelligence, creativity or intelligence testing. A U.S. version of this award is also presented in alternating years.

The Copper Black Award for Creative Achievement is less interested in what somebody has thought up than what they have accomplished. The honor is for a specific human-benefiting achievement — perhaps an invention — that’s been put to use. Find out what makes a good Copper Black honoree and nominate.

The Intellectual Benefits to Society Award credits the application of Mensans’ intellectual abilities that result in tangible benefit to society. The award has an international counterpart for Mensans outside the U.S., the International Intellectual Benefits to Society Award.

The Distinguished Teacher Award relies solely on the nominations of Mensa members because it recognizes a teacher, professor, or instructor at any educational level who has had an especially positive influence on the education or life of a Mensa member. The application consists largely of an essay from the nominator.

Keeping strong the pipeline for future Distinguished Teacher Awards nominations, the Gifted Education Fellowship provides $5,000 (renewable for one year) to help teachers earn a graduate degree in gifted education or a closely related field.

Foundation supporters are helping improve education even further with support for research into intelligence, creativity, and gifted education. The $2,500 Dissertation Mini-Grant aids doctoral students — future leaders and researchers who are early in their careers — in the development of a research agenda focused on intelligence or giftedness.

For post-doctoral researchers, the $2,500 Early Career Researcher Mini-Grant supports those researching human intelligence, creativity, or people who are gifted or twice-exceptional.

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Continue your support for unleashing intelligence by nominating for the Foundation Awards and sharing them with friends, family, and colleagues. March 1 is the deadline for most, but Awards for Excellence in Research nominations are due Dec. 31.