Awards for Excellence in Research

Presented annually, the Mensa Foundation’s Awards for Excellence in Research celebrate groundbreaking investigations in the disciplines of intelligence, intellectual giftedness, and related fields.

Papers may cover any aspect of intelligence or intellectual giftedness, including research from the fields of education, psychology, sociology, neurology, physiology, biochemistry, or psychometrics.

Entries are made into one of two categories according to applicant classification. Senior Investigators include researchers who hold a doctoral degree and have received their degrees more than seven years ago (or have more than seven years of experience). Junior Investigators include graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and researchers who have earned their degrees within the past seven years (or those who have previously earned degrees in other fields and entered their present field within the past seven years).

If you have published an appropriate paper in a peer-reviewed journal or presented it at a peer-reviewed conference within the past three years, please consider submitting it for award consideration. As many as 10 awards of $500 are given to the best published papers.

Submit My Application
Applications must be submitted by Dec. 31.

Entry requirements and restrictions

Appropriate submissions include reports of original research findings and theoretical papers proposing new directions in research, including reviews of research that provide direction and focus to the field. Additionally:

  • Authors need not be members of Mensa.
  • Entries must have been first published in or accepted by (not just submitted to) a peer-reviewed journal or presented at a peer-reviewed professional conference within the past three years.
  • Entries are limited to papers of less than 20,000 words (not including abstracts, references, and appendices).
  • If originally published in another language, papers must be submitted in English translation.
  • Previous winning entries may not be resubmitted by a different author.
  • Applicants may submit only one paper each year in which they are the first author and up to three papers on which a researcher appears as second or subsequent author.

When submitting your research for consideration, please keep in mind the following:

  • Award applications must be submitted by Dec. 31. All applications submitted after the deadline will automatically be held over for next year’s competition. If a paper has been accepted by a journal, or is in press, send the manuscript or galley proofs by the deadline, and send the complete reference later.
  • Indicate whether the paper should be entered in the Junior or Senior Investigator category. (In the case of multi-author papers, the category is determined by the status of the first author listed, unless another author is designated at the time of submission as the primary investigator, in which case the latter will also be the award recipient.)
  • Previous winning entries may not be resubmitted by another author.
  • Primary authors who have received the award in the past three years may not enter. Awardees who have received the award within the past three years may enter an article as a secondary author only.

Do not submit

  • Ordinary literature reviews that do not provide new direction and focus to the field
  • Book or textbook chapters
  • Articles written for the lay public but not for the research community

For more information, please email the Awards for Excellence in Research Chair.