UCI scholar awarded research prize

Greg Duncan, a scholar in the field of early childhood education at UC Irvine and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, was awarded the Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize for his work on the effects of poverty on child development.

In addition to the award, Duncan was also given 1 million Swiss francs, or $1.09 million, by the Jacobs Foundation, which has been honoring exceptional achievements in the field of child and youth development annually since 2009, according to a news release.

He will accept the award at a ceremony in December in Zurich, Switzerland.

Duncan will use his winnings to work with neuroscientists, developmental psychologists and economists to study how income supplements over a child's first three years of life affect parenting and the child's development. The study will involve 1,000 families around the U.S.

"I am deeply honored and excited that this prize will help launch new research initiatives that I'm planning," Duncan wrote in the release. "Low-income children enter kindergarten far behind high-income children in terms of concrete literacy and math skills, and they have more difficulty paying attention in class. My research seeks a better understanding of why this is the case."

Duncan has conducted extensive research on issues of income distribution, poverty and child development. His studies show that assisting low-income parents to balance the demands of work and family leads to better careers for them and higher achievement for their children.

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