A cross-disciplinary collaboration focused on the understanding and development of in situ judgments for professionals working in education, medicine, nursing, business, policing, and other fields.


The Judgment Project develops and supports a global community of scholars and practitioners doing research and development in the area of professional in situ judgment across a wide range of fields.

While core professional knowledge and skills are essential, leaders also must be able to draw upon their knowledge and skills in situ to read the context, analyze, act, and learn. Such critical events can shape institutions, careers, and the lives of those served. Yet the use of simulated and assessed experiences—through which nascent professionals can learn to make in-the-moment judgments in contextually complex, emotionally charged, and personally unsettling situations—is highly uneven across professions and tends to produce research in silos. The Judgment Project bridges those professional worlds to enhance the work in each.


Invitational Global Conference

The Judgment Project held its first global conference, supported by the Spencer Foundation, in November 2023. A future gathering is tentatively scheduled for the Sunday and Monday following the AERA 2024 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia (April 14–15). If you are interested in attending or have any questions, please contact thejudgmentproject@gse.upenn.edu.

People gathered for the Judgment Project holding the sign

Judgment Project Initiatives

The Judgment Project's formative work includes:

  • 2021-2022: Project development, research, and conference planning.
  • 2019: Perelman School of Medicine’s Standardized Patient Program was adapted to simulate an urban elementary school principal responding to a racially charged incident.
  • 2018: Penn Graduate School of Education (GSE), Penn Nursing, and Penn Social Policy and Practice brought together their respective students to simulate a high school student scenario involving the school nurse, social worker, and principal.
  • 2010-2020: Developed and used online simulations, both in the U.S. and across Latin America.

Related Projects Around the World

We hope to promote good work being done on this topic around the globe to continue expanding the community of research and practice.

We invite other professional networks and initiatives from across professional fields to join this work. We hope to make this website as comprehensive as possible and serve as a guide to those interested in professional judgment. Please share a brief description of your related project with us by filling out this  form.

Our Team

Michael Johanek
Founding Director

Ángeles Ortega-Luque
Project Coordinator, Penn GSE and Georgetown University

Our Penn Partners

The Spencer Foundation, funder of our inaugural global conference, invests in education research that cultivates learning and transforms everyday lives.

Contact Us

The Judgment Project

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania
Stiteler Hall, Room 223
208 S. 37th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104