Frequently asked questions

Khalifa International Award for Early Learning Field for Research and Special Field Initiatives

1. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE KHALIFA INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR EARLY LEARNING FIELD?

Almost every country in the world now realizes the importance of early learning and its vital role in ensuring children’s optimal growth and later schooling and lifelong success. The Khalifa International Award for Early Learning originates from the principled directives of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Khalifa Award for Education. The directives called for establishing an international award for early learning that would enrich the culture of excellence and innovation in education and promote research and development in this field.

The award is intended to discover and recognize research, programs, methodologies, and advanced teaching practices, acknowledge distinguished teachers, and activate the role of educational centers, institutions, and companies specialized in the field of early childhood education. In addition, this new award aims to raise awareness and focus attention on serving young children with disabilities in early childhood education. It will promote the publication of distinguished studies, successful practices, and methodologies to improve early learning policy and practice.

2. WHAT ARE THE CATEGORIES OF THE FIELD?

Currently, applications will be accepted in only two categories. The first category encompasses the best initiatives in early learning care and education and their impact on the children and communities served. The second category is best-specialized research and distinguished studies that support scientific enrichment and development of the education and care of young children. There will be two prizes in each category offered in 2022. For research, one award will be for best research to inform policy and the other for best research to inform practice. In the 2023 cycle, we will expand the categories to include four additional awards.

3. IS THIS FIELD RESTRICTED TO LOCAL INITIATIVES ONLY?

No, these awards are to recognize initiatives and research internationally and domestically.

4. WHAT AGE LEVEL IS CONSIDERED "EARLY LEARNING?"

We adopt the standard definition of early childhood from birth to eight years of age. Programs and research applicable to children anywhere in the age range are eligible to apply.

5. WHAT WILL KHALIFA AWARD WINNERS RECEIVE?

The Khalifa Award offers a cash prize of US$50,000 to each winner. The Award winners also receive a certificate of appreciation and the Award emblem shield.

How can we Help?

6. WHAT IS THE NUMBER OF AWARD WINNERS EACH YEAR?

The Awarding Committee will select two winners for each award. Award winners can be individuals, teams, or organizations. If the winner is a team, the monetary prize will be shared equally among the team members.

7. WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR THE KHALIFA INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR EARLY LEARNING FIELD?

Applicants may be individuals, teams, or organizations from any country. A nominated candidate for the Khalifa International Award for Early Learning shall not apply for a similar Award in or outside the UAE in the same field in the same year. Applicants shall not have received another award in the same field with a similar moral and material value within two (2) years, including the year of nomination.

8. WHO SELECTS THE WINNERS OF THE KHALIFA INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR EARLY LEARNING?

The Awarding Committee is Chaired by Dr. Steven Barnett, founding Co-Director of the National Institute for Early Education and Board of Governors Professor of Education at Rutgers University, who is joined on the Committee by Mrs. Fatma Ahmad Abdulla Al Bastaki, Project Manager – Chinese Expansion Project in UAE, Cluster Manager – Ministry of Education; Dr. Kioymi Akita, Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Professor of Education at the University of Tokyo; Dr. Jana Fleming, Director, Early Childhood Development, Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation; and, Dr. Iram Siraj, OBE, Professor of Child Development and Education, University of Oxford. The list of those chosen for the award is given to the Board of Trustees for approval and endorsement.

9. HOW CAN I APPLY FOR THE KHALIFA INTERNATIONAL EARLY LEARNING FIELD?

All applications must be submitted through the online systems at the website, following the instructions provided there.

10. WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A VALID APPLICATION?

For an application to be valid, it must be submitted through the online application system at https://www.el.khaward.ae before the application deadline. Additionally,

  • Applicants shall comply with the general instructions, provide all documentation required for the electronic applications, and agree to all conditions after reviewing the relevant information on the Award website.
  • The submission shall be in the English language.
  • If the candidate is an institution or team, the team leader must be authorized to receive the award at the official ceremony.
  • In the field of educational research, the research material must not have been prepared as part of acquiring a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Ph.D. degree or equivalent.
11. ARE HARD COPY APPLICATIONS ( NON-ONLINE FORMATS ) PERMITTED?

No, Only applications submitted through the online application system are accepted.

12. WHAT IS THE GOAL, AND WHAT DO I NEED TO INCLUDE IN MY APPLICATION FOR THE BEST PROGRAMS, CURRICULA, TEACHING METHODOLOGIES, AND PRACTICES CATEGORY?

We seek to identify initiatives that aim to improve early learning in homes, informal care, or proper care and education with demonstrated improvements in quality and/or the learning and development of the young children served. Applicants must provide a complete description of the initiative in PDF format, and it should include information on the inputs, their cost, outputs and where it has been applied, and the results to date. The information provided should be sufficiently detailed and complete to inform others who wish to learn from and replicate the initiative. The research study must be original.

13. WHAT IS THE GOAL? WHAT DO I NEED TO INCLUDE IN MY APPLICATION? FOR THE BEST RESEARCH AND STUDIES CATEGORY?

We seek to identify research on early childhood education and care that supports improvements in practice. Research must include studies that provide innovative solutions to problems, new insights into learning and teaching, and enrich the evidence base for policy and practice in ways that can lead to meaningful improvements in early learning. To apply, you must submit a report on your research of 30-50 A4 pages (including research supplements), following the APA style guide. The research must be original, not adapted from a thesis paper or dissertation, and not already awarded by any institution or used as a research paper for an academic degree.

14. IS THERE AN AGE LIMIT FOR THE AWARD?

There is no age limit for applicants. Research and programs must focus on children whose ages fall into early childhood, defined as birth through age eight.

15. IS THERE A LIMIT ON THE NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS THAT EACH PERSON OR ORGANIZATION CAN SUBMIT?

Yes, Each person or organization can submit only one application for an award in a given year.

16. WHEN IS THE APPLICATION DEADLINE?

The application period begins in January and extends until March. Only completed applications will be accepted if submitted through the online application systems. The deadline for all applications is on April 18th, 2022. Afterward, the applications will be processed to undergo the selection and evaluation process.

17. WHAT ARE THE JUDGING CRITERIA?

The Khalifa International Award for Early Learning recognizes excellence in research to innovate methodology in programs and practices. Each application will be reviewed according to a set of rigorous criteria to identify the best in the world exemplars to inform public and private investments in early learning. These criteria include innovativeness, originality, and practical contributions to improving early learning, emphasizing implications for change that are scalable, sustainable, and transformational.

For the Best Programs, Curricula, Teaching Methodologies, and Practices category, the criteria for the award include:

  1. Conceptual clarity of the initiative, its objectives, methodology, and planning.
  2. The extent of the need for the project and its potential for widespread use.
  3. Impacts of the initiative on children and families.
  4. Creativity and innovation of the design, along with sustainability for the future.
  5. Quality of evaluation documenting successful implementation and outcomes.

For the Best Research and Studies category, the criteria for the award include:

  1. Conceptual clarity of the research’s objectives, with a clear and logical exposition of the study from the rationale to methods and conclusions.
  2. The rigor of the scientific methodology, with methods appropriate to the questions. Robust and well-documented implementation of the approach to data collection and analysis. Relevant links between findings and implications and recommendations.
  3. Potential impact and benefit of the study concerning lessons for application to improving early learning and development.
18. CAN I RE-SUBMIT AN UNSUCCESSFUL APPLICATION IN A SUBSEQUENT YEAR?

Yes, Applicants are welcome to submit again in the following years.

19. WILL YOU PUBLISH ANY INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS WHO ARE NOT SELECTED FOR AN AWARD?

No, applicants’ information is kept strictly confidential. The Khalifa Foundation, including staff members, the Board of Trustees, and the Awarding Committee, will not disclose such information.

20. WHEN WILL THE AWARD WINNERS BE ANNOUNCED?

The General Secretariat will notify winners of the award. The Khalifa International Award For Early Learning winners will be formally announced in July 2022. The Awards Presentation Ceremony will be held in Abu Dhabi in 2023.

21. ARE THERE ANY OTHER EVENTS OR ACTIVITIES APART FROM THE AWARDS PRESENTATION CEREMONY?

Following the award presentation ceremony, Khalifa Award for Education will host a global forum inviting experts and professionals to share their most relevant research and practices for early childhood education.

22. HOW WILL THE AWARD BE DISTRIBUTED AMONG INSTITUTION(S) AND GROUPS?

If the application was submitted by an Institution or a group of researchers, an elected institute representative or a group leader must apply on behalf of the group. The application sites allow for a listing of the members’ names participating in the submitted work. If the group wins the award, the monetary prize will be handed to the group leader i that it will be on the condition of distributing its value equally to all group members.

23. IF I HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS REGARDING THE AWARD, TO WHOM SHOULD THEY BE ADDRESSED?

Any questions regarding the award, including the categories, conditions, and application instructions, should be directed to el.info@khaward.ae  For technical inquiries or issues regarding the online application system, please contact el.support@khaward.ae