The Jacobsen Trust funds three initiatives: a postdoctoral fellowship, an essay prize, and a public lecture. 

The Jacobsen trust funds are based at the Institute of Philosophy within the School of Advanced Study.  The funds are overseen by the Jacobsen Committee which is comprised of academics from Philosophy Departments across the University of London Colleges

Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Institute is home to the University of London's Jacobsen research fellows in philosophy, funded by a bequest from Mr Jens Jacobsen. 

The current Jacobsen Fellow is James Nguyen. His philosophical interests include: the philosophy of economics, physics, and science in general; the nature of representation in art, language, and the mind; formal epistemology and decision theory; and philosophical methodology.

Previous Fellows include: Keith Allen, Derek Bolton, Emily Caddik, Alex Douglas, Miranda Fricker, Christoph Hoerl, Hallvard Lillehammer, Matteo Mameli, Samir Okasha, Jonathan Payne, and Ann Whittle. 

Essay Prize

The Jacobsen Essay Prize was established in the 1980s following a donation to the University from Mr J. A. B. Jacobsen. Further details about the 2020/21 Jacobsen Essay Prize will be added when available. 

Previous Essay Prize winners

  • 2023 - Helena Ward (UCL) - Privacy in Public?
  • 2023 - Filippa Ronquist (UCL) - Parental Authority and the Normal Justification Thesis
  • 2023 - Michael Markunas (UCL) - Our Knowledge by Acquaintance with the Natural Numbers
  • 2020 -  Tom Beevers (KCL) -  Vagueness and Conditionals & Jessica Fischer (UCL) - The Individualist Objection
  • 2019 - James Laing (UCL) - When Eyes Touch
  • 2018 - Athamos Stradis (KCL) - The Unbridged Gap between entropy and memory & Jake Wojtowicz, (KCL) - The Narcissism of Agent-Regret
  • 2016 - Jørgen Dyrstad (KCL) - Seeing and Differentiating 

  • 2015 - Samuel Kimpton-Nye (KCL) - Leibniz on Counterpart Theory

  • 2014 – Maarten Steenhagen (UCL)


The 2023 Jacobsen Lecture 'Genealogy and the Ancients' was given by Professor Amia Srinivasan (Oxford) on 11th May 2023.  Next year's lecturer will be announced in the Autumn term.  

Previous Jacobsen Lectures include

  • Amia Srinivasan (Oxford) - Genealogy and the Ancients (2023)
  • Debra Satz  (Stanford) - What’s wrong with treating human labor power as a commodity: the argument from democratic character (2022)
  • Quassim Cassam (Warwick) - Extremism: A Philosophical Analysis (2021) (link to recording)
  • Barbara Herman ( (UCLA) - Challenges of Beneficence: Revising the Terms (2019)
  • Huw Price (Cambridge) - Causation, Chance, and Dummett's Dilemma (2018)
  • Susanne Bobzien (Oxford) – Gestalt Shifts in the Liar (2017)
  • Hannah Ginsgborg (Berkeley) - Going on as one ought: the normativity of meaning revisited (2016) 
  • Kit Fine (NYU) - Truthmaker Semantics (2011)
  • John Broome (Oxford) - Rationality and Instrumental Reasoning (2010)
  • Robert Stalnaker (MIT) - The Essential Contextual (2009)
  • Sarah Broadie (St Andrews) - Practical/Theoretical (2008)
  • Stephen Yablo (MIT) (2007)
  • Dorothy Edgington (Oxford) - Thinking about what would have happened (2006)


Jacobsen committee members : Veronique Munoz-Darde (UCL, Chair), Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij (Birkbeck), Elenor Knox (KCL), Roman Frigg (LSE), Alex Grzankowski (IP)