The Rebecca L. Sandak Young Investigator Award was established in 2008 to honour the memory of Rebecca Sandak, who died before her research goals and ideas could be fully realised. The award is intended to recognize a gifted young researcher who shows outstanding promise and dedication to the field.

The award covers registration fees and entry to the conference social event at either the 2024 or 2025 conference. Award winners will also receive one year’s SSSR membership.


Applicants must be doctoral students, postdocs, faculty, lecturers, or research scientists who have received their PhD within the last five years, i.e., the applicant’s PhD must have been awarded no earlier than July of the fifth calendar year prior to the current year. Consideration will be given for parental or medical leave, if requested.

Applicants must have an any type of paper accepted for the 2024 conference.

Applicants must attend the conference and present their spoken or interactive paper.

Application Materials and Procedure

Applicants or individuals nominating on an applicant’s behalf should submit the following materials to Jennifer Hughes-Hardie (scientificstudy.reading@gmail.com) by March 15th 2024:

  • A nomination letter that summarizes the applicant’s research and makes the case for the nominee’s promise and dedication to the field of reading research.
  • The nominee’s CV

The winner will be announced at the annual meeting.

Past Award Winners

2023 award winner: Signy Wegener
2022 award winner: Alida Hudson 
2021 award winners: Mercedes Spencer and Annie Yixun Li
2020 award winners: Marc Goodrich and Elizabeth Stevens
2019 award winner: Florina Erbeli
2018 award winner: Jamie Quinn
2017 award winner: Laura Steacy
2016 award winner: Maaike Vandermosten
2015 award winners: Elsje van Bergen and Elizabeth Tighe
2014 award winners: Suzanne Adlof and Sara Hart
2013 award winner: Fabienne Chetail
2012 award winner: Elizabeth Norton
2011 award winners: Yaacov Petscher and Jennifer Gilbert
2010 award winner: Eva Marinus
2009 award winner: Rebecca Betjemann
2008 award winner: Shelley Xiuli Tong