Presidents' Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychological Knowledge

Applications will open on 22 January 2024 and close on 28 April 2024.

Each year the Presidents’ Award honours a psychologist in mid to late career (10-25 years post PhD), currently engaged in research of outstanding quality that has made exceptional contributions to psychological knowledge.  

The Award includes Lifetime Membership of the BPS and a commemorative certificate.

Nomination criteria

  • Nominators must be full members of the BPS
  • Nominees do not have to be members of the BPS
  • Nominees do not have to be UK residents

Please note: we are unable to accept self-nominations for this award.  

Assessment criteria

Nominees will have: 
  • Advanced understanding demonstrated by making a major outstanding contribution in particular sub-field(s) of psychology (rather than a culmination of a career in psychology).
  • Engaged in research of outstanding quality as evidenced through significant books, journal articles and other specific key contributions or developments 


The Award sub-committee, made up of Research Board members, considers all nominations received.

They use the factors shown in the scoring matrix below to help with their decision.

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Criteria Examples
Demonstrating advancing understanding
  • Improved psychological understanding/knowledge in a particular sub-field (s)
  • Demonstrated a sustained contribution to (a) particular sub-field(s)
  • A pioneer/ showed innovation  
  • Supported colleagues and trainees in developing their own research careers 
  • Leadership 
Research of outstanding quality
  • Demonstrated best practice including methodological rigour/ ethics 
  • Publication record 
  • National and international conference presentations
  • National and international esteem/recognition
  • Grant income
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Each member of the Award sub-committee completes the matrix by scoring each criterion between 1 and 7 (Where 1 = weak, 4/5 = good and 7 = exceptional).

We then add up each nominee’s scores and calculate the average. The average scores assist with the decision-making process, along with the wider picture of the nomination. 

Please note: the sub-committee may decide not to make an award in any given year, or in exceptional circumstances, they may make more than one award. 


We ask nominators to:

  • Complete the nomination form to show how the candidate meets the criteria. Please do this before 11.30pm on Sunday 28 April 2024
  • Include a copy of the candidate’s full CV
  • Include the names and email addresses of three potential referees
  • Assume that the judges have no prior knowledge of the person and provide clear information and evidence of how they meet the criteria
  • Use active language and, where the nominee has worked as part of a team, make it clear what the individual contributed and how this differed from others

Conflicts of Interest

Nominators must declare all personal and professional conflicts of interest – e.g. if nominating a spouse/partner or other relation.  

Please note: a conflict of interest will not prevent acceptance of the nomination but will be borne in mind by the awarding panel when considering the award.

If we become aware of an undeclared conflict of interest, we regret that we will have to discount it. 

Nomination Form

Nominations must be completed and submitted online.

Submit a nomination here

The deadline for nominations is 28 April 2024.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

Previous recipients

  • 2023: Essi Viding
  • 2022: Professor Victoria Clarke
  • 2021: Dr Lucia Valmaggia
  • 2020: Professor Daniel Freeman
  • 2019: Francesca Happé
  • 2018: Sarah-Jayne Blakemore
  • 2017: Marcus Munafò
  • 2016: Alex Haslam
  • 2015: Matthew Lambon Ralph
  • 2014: Richard Crisp
  • 2013: Tim Dalgleish
  • 2012: Constantine Sedikides
  • 2011: Usha Goswami
  • 2010: Paul Burgess
  • 2009: Dominic Abrams and Jon Driver
  • 2008: Mark Johnson
  • 2007: Susan Gathercole
  • 2006: Simon Baron-Cohen
  • 2005: Peter Halligan
  • 2004: Tony Manstead / Steven Tipper
  • 2003: Margaret J. Snowling
  • 2002: Graham Hitch
  • 2001: Miles Hewstone
  • 2000: David Perrett
  • 1999: Glyn Humphreys
  • 1998: John Sloboda
  • 1997: Vicki Bruce
  • 1996: Frank Fincham
  • 1995: Andrew Young
  • 1994: Marie Johnson
  • 1993: Michael Morgan
  • 1992: Andrew Mathews
  • 1991: Tim Shallice
  • 1990: Uta Frith
  • 1989: Howard Giles
  • 1988: John Morton
  • 1987: Max Coltheart
  • 1986: N. J. Mackintosh
  • 1985: Philip Johnson-Laird
  • 1984: Peter Bryant
  • 1983: Jeffrey A. Gray
  • 1982: Peter Warr
  • 1981: Alan D. Baddeley