Nicole McNeil, the ACE Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame, has been awarded the Boyd McCandless Award, an honor given annually by the American Psychological Association to an outstanding early-career scholar in developmental psychology.
McNeil is a Fellow of the Institute for Educational Initiatives and is the incoming director of the Education, Schooling, and Society (ESS) academic minor program for Notre Dame undergraduates.
Her pioneering research probes the development of mathematical thinking in children. She has received a five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Grant for her work on children’s understanding of mathematical equivalence and the importance of grasping this concept for a child’s later success in algebra.
She has also received a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences to support her development of an intervention to help children better understand the concept of mathematical equivalence while strengthening their knowledge of basic arithmetic facts.
The Boyd McCandless Award recognizes an early-career scientist who has made a distinguished theoretical contribution to developmental psychology, has conducted programmatic research of distinction, or has made a distinguished contribution to the dissemination of developmental science.
The award is for continued efforts rather than a single outstanding work. Scientists who are within seven years of completion of their doctoral degree are eligible, according to Division 7 of the American Psychological Association, which presents the annual award. The award winner is traditionally invited to address the following year's national meeting of the APA. Thus, McNeil is the 2013 Boyd McCandless Awardee.