Starting with the Third Biennial SELF Research Conference, the Richard Shavelson Career Achievement award was instituted. It is awarded to a Senior Distinguished Researcher in honour of his/her lifetime contributions to the field of SELF research. In 2004, the Inaugural award was made to Professor Richard Shavelson at the SELF Conference held in Berlin. The award was named in his honour and presented to him for his theoretical, methodological, and empirical contributions to the field – particularly the Shavelson, Hubner and Stanton (1976) review of self-concept theory, measurement, and research that served as a blueprint for the next generation of self-concept research. In 2006, the second Career Achievement Award was presented to Professor Albert Bandura at the SELF Conference held at University of Michigan. Given his contributions to the development of social cognitive theory, self-regulation theory, and the self-efficacy construct, it would be hard to imagine a more suitable recipient. Indeed, there are substantial connections between our first two recipients – not only have both spent much of their academic careers in Stanford, but Professor Bandura’s research and mentoring were pivotal in Professor Shavelson’s early work that set the stage for his contributions to the field.
In 2009 the third Career Achievement Award was presented to Professor Herb Marsh at the SELF conference held in the United Arab Emirates. The award was in recognition of his fundamental research into self-concept theory, measurement, methodology, research and application. Indeed, he is one of the most prolific and highly cited researchers in this field. Professor Marsh’s research is also closely linked to Richard Shavelson’s seminal contributions and led to several key articles co-authored by them. In 2011 Professor Jacquelynne Eccles with the recipient of the Fourth Shavleson Career Award, highlighting her work in Expected-Value Theory, Jacque’s earlier research was fundamentally influenced by Albert Bandura; they were worked on the MacArthur Research Network and were recipients of the Cattell Award for contributions to applied psychology. More recently Jacque’s work has extended some of Herb Marsh's self-concept research in interesting new directions. In 2013 the fifth Shavelson Career Achievement award was presented to Professor Susan Harter. Susan Harter’s work, like that of Eccles has strong developmental and educational psychology themes. Both focus on self-processes and motivation. Similar to some of Herb Marsh's research, Susan’s contributions include the development of widely used psychometric instruments, cross-cultural perspectives of self, and an appreciation of early work on self by William James and the symbolic interactionists. In 2015 the sixth Shavelson Career Award was presented to Professor Richard Ryan for his work on Self Determination Theory. Ryan’s research is closely related to work by each of the previous recipients, with his focus on competency, but also to Jacque’s and Susan’s work on motivation – although with a stronger focus on autonomy as a fundamental need and value. Rich’s work is also strongly associated with the Positive Psychology movement that has been so important in Herb Marsh's work in the last decade and led Rich joining Herb and his colleagues in Australia in the then newly formed Institute of Positive Psychology and Education.
Given this host of talent who has already been awarded the Shavelson Career Achievement Award, it is hard to imagine who the next recipient will be. Be sure to attend the 2017 Global SELF Conference to be held in Melbourne, Australia to see yet another richly deserving leading researcher receive this award in recognition of her/his lifetime achievements and contributions to SELF research.