UVA Honors Daphna Bassok Among Leading Researchers

By Meredith Cole

The inaugural Research Achievement Awards featured University leaders handing out 13 honors to UVA’s most outstanding researchers working on projects ranging from education policy to precision medicine to police-community relations.

The winners of UVA’s inaugural Research Achievement Awards pose with President Jim Ryan, Provost Liz Magill and Vice President for Research Melur Ramasubramanian. (Photo by Amanda Maglione)


The University of Virginia’s top leaders gathered Wednesday evening at the Boar’s Head Resort to honor faculty members from across Grounds for their outstanding contributions to their fields of study and societal impact through their research and scholarly activities.

University of Virginia President Jim Ryan presented the 2019 Research Achievement Awards to 13 UVA faculty members at the dinner event. Daphna Bassok, an associate professor at the Curry School of Education and Human Development and Associate Director of EdPolicyWorks research center, received a Research Excellence Award.

“This is the first year of the Research Achievement Awards,” Vice President for Research Melur “Ram” Ramasubramanian said. “We believe that as a university, we are what we celebrate. We want to acknowledge the talented UVA faculty who are leaders in their fields and are impacting the world in positive ways.”

Provost Elizabeth “Liz” Magill said, “We’re delighted to have a chance to celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of our faculty. From education policy to precision medicine to police-community relations, there are many different fields and individuals being honored by these awards.”

“I’m awed and immensely grateful for the contributions the award winners have made to their respective fields and to the University of Virginia,” Ryan said. “Our strategic plan focuses a good deal of attention on supporting research. ... Our ultimate goal is to make it possible for researchers at UVA to do their very best work.”

The awards covered excellence in research, collaboration, mentorship, public impact and innovation.

(Photo by Dan Addison, University Communications)

Bassok’s work is in early childhood education, and her focus has been to find a way for it to both meet high standards and make a difference in the lives of young children. To do this, she has partnered with policymakers and school districts in Virginia and Louisiana to study how early childhood education opportunities can happen at scale.

In the past four years, her work has accelerated. She has published 16 articles and received more than $6 million in grant funding. In 2017, Bassok was honored with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

“Daphna Bassok has raised the bar for the field and will motivate other scholars to do more insightful and rigorous work,” said Katherine Magnuson, director of the University of Wisconsin’s Institute for Research on Poverty.

Excerpted from UVA Today. Read the full story here.