Angela Duckworth Receives Prestigious "Genius Grant"

October 6, 2013

Angela Duckworth, Associate Professor of Psychology, is one of 24 people named to the 2013 class of MacArthur Fellows. These prestigious “genius grants” are awarded to individuals who show “exceptional creativity in their work and the prospect for still more in the future.”

A research psychologist, Duckworth was selected by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for “transforming our understanding of the roles that grit and self-control play in educational achievement.” Her research explores how these qualities—even more than intelligence, quality of instruction, family life, or income—determine a child’s educational achievement.

“It's thrilling for us to see an individual as deserving as Angela receive this kind of recognition,” Steven Fluharty, Dean and Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Professor of Psychology, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience, says, “And an honor that we can count her as our own. From the time she came to Penn as a doctoral student she has been a valued colleague whose research, engagement, and teaching have been an inspiration to students and fellow faculty alike.”

Duckworth is currently researching ways to cultivate grit and self-control in children and in the education system. Through the MacArthur Fellowship she will receive a no-strings-attached stipend of $625,000 over five years. 

Angela Duckworth earned her doctorate in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006, and has been teaching at Penn since 2007.

See Angela Duckworth’s 60-Second Lecture: “Why Achievement Isn’t ‘Normal’”  

Read more about Angela Duckworth’s work:

Penn Arts & Sciences Frontiers: “The Learning Puzzle” 
Penn Gazette:  “Character’s Content
Penn Current: “Self-Discipline Pays Big Dividends in the Classroom

Take the grit test.