CIES AWARDS 2024–2025


The Honorary Fellows Award was established by CIES in 1982 to honor senior members of the society who, through a period of life-long service and contribution to the field of comparative and international education as evidenced by scholarship, teaching, research and technical service, have advanced the field qualitatively and significantly. The award was established to recognize those scholars who have made the most marked contributions to growth in the field.

The criteria for selection of CIES Honorary Fellows are as follows:

  • An outstanding record in two of the following areas in comparative and international education, and an adequate involvement in the third area:
    • Scholarly research and publication
    • Teaching and mentoring
    • Policy, planning, evaluation, technical assistance and administrative activities
  • A significant contribution to the development and quality of the CIES
  • A long and distinguished career spanning more than 30 years; normally the candidate will be 60 years or older
  • Long and active membership in CIES, including the years immediately prior to nomination

The CIES Awards Committee invites nominations for the Honorary Fellows Award to be considered in the current year, confirmed by the Board of Directors in the following year, and awarded at the Annual Meeting of CIES in the year after confirmation. Nomination of candidates must be supported by the following items:

  • A letter of nomination by the chief nominator outlining the case for the nomination, with input if desired by the other nominators, and signed by the chief nominator.
  • A minimum of five supporting letters from five current members of the CIES outlining the candidate’s strengths in each of the relevant areas.
  • Additional letters from non-CIES members may be added at the discretion of the nominator.
  • A copy of the candidate’s full academic curriculum vitae for their entire career.



In 1980, the first CIES Award Committee was formed to review articles published in the Comparative Education Review . The mandate was to review all the articles published the preceding year for their importance in shaping the field, analytic merit, policy implications, concern for theoretical constructs and implications for future research. In 1989 this award was formally renamed the George Bereday Annual Best CER Article Award.

The process for the George Bereday Award is as follows: The subcommittee members review all CER articles published during the preceding year. Only full-length articles may be considered for the award. Materials such as editorials, addresses, book reviews, and country and bibliographical reports are not eligible for the award. In extraordinary cases, essay reviews of exceptional merit may be considered. After reading all articles, each subcommittee member submits to the Bereday Award Chair a rank order of three possible nominees for best article. The Bereday Chair reviews all possible nominations, along with their rankings, and creates a final list of three to five nominated articles. The subcommittee takes the final list and reviews justification and votes.

Articles are evaluated on the basis of:

  • Strength of the theoretical framework.
  • Sophistication and/or innovativeness of the methodology used.
  • Soundness of the data collection procedures and analysis.
  • Social utility and implications for public policy.
  • Extent to which the article makes a unique contribution to the development of the field.

To distinguish among strong contenders, several additional criteria may be useful:

  • Effective integration of attention to what-happens-within education and attention to education-in-societal-context,
  • Effective use of relevant literature (as contrasted with voluminous references that ultimately contribute little to analysis or presentation)
  • Evidence of a critical, and especially self-critical, approach to both theory and method
  • Likelihood that the article will advance an important debate within comparative education through theoretical departures, new/revised/rejected findings, trenchant critique, or in some other way.

The award recipient will be honored at the upcoming Annual Meeting of CIES.


Each year, CIES recognizes an outstanding doctoral dissertation with the Gail P. Kelly Award. Created to honor the distinguished comparative educator Gail P. Kelly, and her many contributions to CIES, the Gail P. Kelly Award honors a doctoral dissertation that addresses social justice and equity issues in an international context.

The Gail P. Kelly Award is conferred on an outstanding Ph.D. or Ed.D. dissertation that manifests academic excellence; originality; methodological, theoretical, and empirical rigor; and that deals with issues of social justice and equity in international settings. These issues may include (but are not limited to) gender, race, class, ethnicity, and nationality.

The dissertation should reflect the scholarly purpose of the Society: comparative, cross-cultural, interdisciplinary and international studies contributing to the interpretation of developments in education in their broad and interrelated political, economic, and social contexts. Any Ph.D. or Ed.D. dissertation written in English and completed at an accredited institution of higher education is eligible for consideration—as long as its final submission to the department, graduate school, or other university body responsible for receiving the final, committee-approved copy of the dissertation occurred between July of last year through August of this year.

Any CIES member in good standing, including its author, may nominate a dissertation. Nominations should include a summary of 20-25 double-spaced pages describing the dissertation project and findings, verification of the date the final dissertation was submitted to the university/graduate school/department, and a cover letter requesting that the dissertation be considered (including a supporting statement on the merits or unique qualities of the dissertation) for the Gail P. Kelly Award. The finalists will be asked to submit full dissertations.

The recipient of the Gail P. Kelly Award will be honored at the upcoming Annual Meeting of CIES and will receive a $1000 USD monetary award. The award recipient will make a brief presentation on the outstanding dissertation.

The deadline for nominations has passed. Nominations, applications, and queries should be sent via e-mail to the Office of the Executive Director at Please note that self-nominations are welcome.


Each year, CIES recognizes an outstanding scholarly article that explores themes related to people of African descent, with its Joyce Cain Award . Proposed by the Under-represented Racial, Ethnic and Ability Groups Committee and approved by CIES’ Board of Directors in 2000 the Joyce Cain Award for Distinguished Research on African Descendants is awarded by the Comparative and International Education Society to honor the memory of Joyce Lynn Cain, a colleague whose scholarship on African descendants reflected her dedication to introducing individuals across ethnic boundaries to African culture.

Dr. Joyce Lynn Cain, teacher, researcher, practitioner, and international scholar, was one of the early researchers who combined her extraordinary skill as a public school teacher with research focused on the preparation of teachers to teach minority children in school settings. She was a forerunner in conducting comparative research on minority students in the USA and Africa. It was her love of the African cultures and heritage that led her to be an advocate and an advisor to African countries, particularly Zimbabwe. She was inspired to plan study trips to Africa for others in the USA and was called on as a consultant for international agencies, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development.

She was a loyal member of the faculty of Michigan State University, where she served as an Associate Professor of Teacher Education until her passing in 1996. Her focus on, and attention to, the importance of Africa has inspired many researchers and practitioners.

The Award is conferred on an outstanding scholarly article that:

  • explores themes related to people of African descent; the article may report research concerning Africans in any part of Africa, or in the Diaspora (African descendants in the Americas, Europe, and other venues), in contemporary or historical contexts;
  • fulfills the requirements of academic excellence, namely originality and methodological, theoretical, and empirical rigor;
  • and, reflects the scholarly purpose of the Society—comparative, cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and international/global studies contributing to the interpretation of developments in education in broad and interrelated economic, political, and social contexts.

To be eligible for the Award, articles must be written by a member of CIES. Articles must be published in a refereed journal during the two-calendar year period between January of the preceding year and December of the current year. Articles slated for publication in the final months of the current year may be submitted in manuscript form with a letter from the journal editor stating the intended publication schedule.

The recipient of the Joyce Cain Award will be honored at the upcoming Annual Meeting of CIES and will receive a $1000 USD monetary award.

Nominations, applications, and queries should be sent via e-mail to the Office of the Executive Director at Please note that self-nominations are welcome.


CIES recognizes an outstanding book annually with the Jackie Kirk Award to honor the professional life and deep dedication of Jackie Kirk to our field and to CIES. The award is supported by the Jackie Kirk Memorial Fund, established in 2010 under the presidency of Gita Steiner-Khamsi—through a generous donation by Andrew Kirk, the husband of Jackie Kirk, and by the International Rescue Committee—and consolidated in 2012 under the presidency of Ratna Ghosh.

The Jackie Kirk Award annually honors a published book that reflects one or some of the varied areas of expertise represented in Jackie Kirk’s areas of commitment, primarily gender and education and/or education in conflict (fragile states, post-conflict, peace education). Jackie Kirk was also committed to work on identity (particularly of girls and teachers), globalization as a context for local practice, and visual participatory research methodologies. Furthermore, Jackie Kirk was professionally committed to encouraging dynamic and equitable collaboration between academics and practitioners, the global South and the global North, and comparative/ international educators and teachers on the ground. While the award will be granted primarily on the basis of the two main areas of commitment (gender and/or conflict), these additional areas of commitment will be used as a secondary set of criteria so that the award reflects the spirit of Jackie Kirk’s legacy.

The Jackie Kirk Outstanding Book Award will be awarded annually, as follows:

  • The book can relate to one (or more) of the following topical areas:
    • Gender and Education. Books in this area would deepen the field’s understanding of gender dynamics or relations in education in ways that challenge education to understand gender in a more nuanced way, one that can help educators to acknowledge the full humanity of all students and teachers, and to work toward social justice in education.
    • Education in Conflict, Post-Conflict, Fragile States, and/or Peace Education. Work in this area would reveal the realities of the challenges of education in demanding contexts, and/or the work that people are doing despite the challenges.
  • The book must be published within the past two calendar years, as noted by the copyright date. (For example, a book selected for recognition at the upcoming Annual Meeting of CIES would have been published in the current year or the year prior.) Books can be authored or edited (individually or collaboratively), and can be research-based, conceptual or theoretical in nature, or policy oriented.
  • Books are to be nominated by CIES members, but can be written/edited by non-CIES members. Nominations should include how the book relates to the areas outlined above, and what makes the book worthy of a designation of “outstanding.”
  • The book author(s) or editor(s) should provide an executive summary of the book along with the contact information of the editor at the publication press (all information kindly submitted in one document). After the Kirk Award Sub-committee determines a shortlist, books from the authors/editors will be requested for full review. Books must be provided to the committee by the second week of December in the nomination year.

The recipient of the Jackie Kirk Award will be honored at the upcoming Annual Meeting of CIES and will receive a $1000 USD monetary award.

Please note that self-nominations are welcome.


The Elizabeth Sherman Swing Award was established in 2020 to recognize an emerging scholar who is conducting research on the policies or practices of multiculturalism and/or multilingualism in Europe and is planning to present this research at the annual CIES conference. The award was created to honor the distinguished contributions of Elizabeth Sherman Swing who served as the first CIES historian and dedicated her academic and professional career to research on the issues of multiculturalism and multilingualism, broadly defined. This award is funded from a bequest from Elizabeth Sherman Swing.

The award is conferred on an outstanding emerging scholar for a paper that has been accepted for presentation at the upcoming CIES conference, either virtually or in-person, and demonstrates research excellence, including (a) significance of the article’s theoretical and/or conceptual framework; (b) degree of sophistication or innovation of methodology used; (c) soundness of data collection and analysis; (d) social utility and its implication for policy; and (e) degree to which the article addresses problems of multiculturalism/multilingualism in Europe from an international, intercultural, or comparative perspective.

The award shall be given to an emerging scholar, defined as someone either in the final year of Ph.D./Ed.D. studies or early career post-Ph.D./Ed.D. for up to five years. The award is given for an unpublished paper based on an abstract submitted and approved for the next conference plus the required 2000-word summary. The winner will be presented with the award in person at that conference or virtually if necessary.

Eligible candidates must submit their applications to the Office of Executive Director.

Applications must include a) a 2000-word summary of the paper, (b) the CIES letter of acceptance of the conference proposal, (c) proof of their Ph.D. status, and (d) a copy of their resume.

The award shall be in the form of an honorarium of $1000 USD.


The CIES International Travel Award (ITA) for Distinguished Service in Educational Reform was established in 2009 under the presidency of Gita Steiner-Khamsi—through an endowment from George Soros and the Open Society Institute (OSI)—and consolidated in 2012 under the presidency of Ratna Ghosh to encourage distinguished researchers and practitioners from the Global South to participate in CIES conferences. Launched at the 2009 annual conference, the endowment attempts to facilitate the participation of international education experts who serve in countries where international projects are implemented.

Conference participants with distinguished service to the field, and in particular educational reforms are invited to apply. The award is available for anyone residing outside U.S., and preference is given to those from or working in low and middle-income countries and the purpose is to support travel costs. Candidates who have received the award in the past are not eligible. Although applicants may also wish to apply for the needs-based (hardship) forms of conference support, those selected will be limited to either the International Travel Award or the needs-based assistance.

Applicants must have submitted a paper presentation abstract through the conference proposal submission system and receive acceptance for inclusion in the upcoming conference program. Although applicants may also wish to apply for the needs-based (hardship) forms of conference support, those selected will be limited to either the International Travel Award or the needs-based assistance.

The deadline for applications has passed. We are no longer accepting applications for CIES 2024. Applications for CIES 2025 will be announced in Fall 2024.

A complete application includes:

  • The application form
  • A 500-word personal statement
  • A copy of your conference proposal abstract
  • Your resume or CV

Please send all components of your completed application in one email to