Conference Awards

Steve Reznick Early Career Award

The Steve Reznick Early Career Award was created to recognize an early career researcher who has a history of scholarly work that has advanced the field.  The award is administered by the CDS Awards Committee.

About Dr. Steven Reznick

Dr. Reznick obtained his B.A. from UNC Chapel Hill in 1973, followed by his M.A. from Wake Forest University in 1975. He then went on to earn his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Colorado Boulder in 1982. He soon became the Research Director of the Harvard Infant Study and served on faculty at Yale University, before returning to UNC as a Professor of Developmental Psychology in 1998. Dr. Reznick was a key contributor to the world of Cognitive Science; besides founding the Cognitive Development Society he also authored several books and helped develop the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory and the First-Year Inventory, both popular scientific assessment tools. He was awarded multiple honors including the C. Know Massey Distinguished Service Award, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, and the Order of the Golden Fleece. It is only fitting that there is now an award in his name to highlight up-and-coming Cognitive Scientists.


Awards Committee

Amy Needham, Vanderbilt University (Chair)
Deb Kelemen, Boston University (Co- Chair)
Karl Rosengren, University of Rochester
Su-hua Wang, University of California, Santa Cruz


Eligibility and Submission Guidelines

This award was established by the Cognitive Development Society to recognize a young scholar who has made outstanding research contributions to the study of cognitive development, and who shows continued promise to be a leader in the field. The award recognizes excellence in the study of cognitive development, broadly defined.

Nominees must be within 10 years of their PhD, although we will allow an extension of the 10-year limit of up to two years for applicants who have been granted an institutionally approved childbearing, parental, or medical leave. In these circumstances, documentation from the appropriate department head or institutional official will be required with the application in order for eligibility to be determined.

Nominators and nominees must be active members of CDS. Preference will be given to nominees who have provided service to the CDS.

Nominations must include the following:

  1. Nominee’s CV
  2. Three letters of support in addition to the letter of nomination
  3. Copies of 2 representative publications.
  4. A 3-5 page letter of nomination addressing the following main criteria for the award:

(i) Eligibility: Statement indicating how the nominee meets the eligibility criteria and whether the nominator has been involved in the work of the CDS.

(ii) Novelty of Research: Is the research novel and creative?

(iii) Transformative Potential: Does the research have the potential to change how we think about cognitive developmental science?

(iv) Methodological Innovation and Rigor: Is the research characterized by rigorous and innovative scientific methods?

(v) Scholarship: Does the research build upon existing cognitive development science in scholarly ways?

(vi) Breadth of Influence: Is the research influencing multiple fields of psychological / developmental science?

Key Dates

Nominations open: October 4, 2021
Nominations close: December 3, 2021

The award recipient will be announced at the meetings of the Cognitive Development Society in April, 2022.


How to apply

Applicants must submit the required materials directly to the CDS Secretariat via email with the subject line: Steve Reznick Early Career Award.

Applications will be accepted until November 30 at 11:59pm Central Daylight Time.

Past Recipients

For past Cognitive Development Society award recipients, please visit our Awards page.