201​7 TESOL Research Mini-​Grant Call for Proposals

The TESOL International Association Research Agenda seeks to promote spirited inquiry and systematic investigation that will contribute to the knowledge base of the TESOL field. As described in the agenda, TESOL research may focus on individual, community, or societal issues and should be responsive to current theoretical perspectives and ecological conditions driving change in language learning and teaching. TESOL research should be governed by ethical consideration for research participants and society as a whole and seek to inform and improve both policy and practice.

The TESOL Research Agenda was developed to delineate TESOL’s research direction and bring together researchers and practitioners with the aim of improving English language teaching and learning. In support of this work, the Research Professional Council (RPC) has been charged with soliciting research proposals that encourage practitioner–researcher collaboration.

The Award

Each award provides up to US$2500 for applicants who are currently working on or would like to start research projects that are aligned with the TESOL Research Agenda.  Preference will be given to collaborative research that involves any combination of classroom practitioner, administrator, and/or an outside researcher. Award recipients ​are expected to present their preliminary findings either at the TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo in Chicago, Illinois, USA, ​27-30 March 2018 or at another ELT face-to-face professional meeting.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria (100 points total):

  • 20 points: Strength of the research-practitioner collaboration through design, implementation, and interpretation. [I.e., collaboration can include combinations of classroom practitioner, administrators, other education professionals (e.g., guidance counselors, librarians, etc) and outside researchers]
  • 20 points: Feasibility of the project (in terms of scope, time, budget, qualifications of the applicant)
  • 20 points: Relevance to topics/themes in the TESOL Research Agenda, as well as ​being a contributing piece to the knowledge base
  • 20 points: Quality of the written proposal, i.e., clarity, organization, and design (method, data, analysis)
  • 10 points: Evidence of familiarity with current scholarship supporting the inquiry
  • ​5 points: Impact on applicant’s practice and/or scholarship 
  • 5 points: Strength of dissemination plan​

Application Process

Eligible applicants: The lead applicant must be a current member of TESOL. Members of the R​PC are not eligible to apply. Adjudication Process: Proposals will be reviewed by the TESOL R​PC and qualified external reviewers. Award recipients will be notified by 30 September 2017. Stipulations: Award recipients agree to
  • sign a memorandum of understanding with TESOL regarding the scope of work to be undertaken.
  • submit a detailed dissemination plan, including your face-to-face event, to the RPC by 1 December 2017.
  • share their preliminary analysis, if able, at the 201​​8 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Award recipients will receive a complimentary registration for this event. 
  • submit a progress report to the R​PC and a manuscript to a peer-reviewed outlet of the recipient's choice by 1 September 201​8.

Proposal Deadline: Tuesday, 4 July 2017, 11:59 pm U.S. eastern time. Find the deadline in your time zone. If you have any questions, please contact TESOL Research.

How to Prepare Your Application

Before you begin: You are strongly encouraged to write out the answers to the following questions. That way, you can simply cut and paste the information into the application. 
  • Name of Primary Researcher 
  • Level of Research Experience (choose one):
    • Novice Researcher: I have conducted fewer than 3 formal empirical research projects and shared the results in a public forum (publication, conference).
    • Experienced Researcher: I have conducted 3 or more formal empirical research projects and have published the results in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Title of Project 
  • School/Institution 
  • Occupation Title  
  • Work Address 
  • Work Phone 
  • Work E-mail  
  • Voluntary Indication of Ethnicity 
  • Other Members of Your Research Team: Name(s) and Institution(s)
  • Population Served in Research Project 
  • Amount Requested (not to exceed US$2500) 
  • Time Needed to Complete (in months)
  • Other Sources of Funding for This Project (list institution and amount)
Writing your grant proposal: Your grant proposal will be between 1,000 and 1,500 words. It should address the following questions:
  • Issue/need: What situation, issue, or concerns in your context warrant inquiry?
  • Research Questions: What questions are you asking and investigating? 
  • Connection to the Field: What debates, experiences, concepts, readings, etc., influenced or motivated this inquiry? How are these questions informed by the TESOL Research Agenda? 
  • Research Design/Description of the Study: How will you conduct the study?  In this section include the conceptual/theoretical framework, method, data collection, and analysis procedures.
  • Timeline: What will happen during this study and when? When does the study begin and end?
  • Statement of Significance: How does this project contribute to the larger knowledge base?  How will it influence your practice/scholarship? How does it benefit learners and other key stakeholders?
  • Consent: What kinds of consent (e.g., verbal, written) will you require? How will you obtain consent from participants?
  • Statement of Ethics: How you will account for the ethical demands that may arise during the inquiry process, including issues of consent, confidentiality, privacy, and reciprocity for participants (i.e., what’s in it for them)?
  • Dissemination Plan: In addition to listing which professional ​face-to-face event you plan to share your inquiry (TESOL or other) and why that particular event, how will you disseminate your findings? What other ideas do you have for presenting and/or sharing your research?
Additional questions: The following questions are in addition to the grant proposal. Your answers should be clear and and succinct. 
  • Selected References: An extensive reference list is not required; please provide enough to demonstrate appropriate background knowledge for conceptual/theoretical framework and design, but no more than seven sources.
  • Budget: Applicants are required to include a budget outlining each item and a rationale for each expenditure. Funds cannot be used for travel or indirect costs.
SUBMIT YOUR 2017 TESOL RESEARCH MINI-GRANT PROPOSAL