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Grants and Awards

TESOL Award for Excellence in Research


To recognize excellence in research on language teaching and learning. The award will be given for empirical research that advances English language teaching policies, programs, or practices, or generates new knowledge about additional language acquisition. It is sponsored by Dr. Deborah Short, TESOL President, 2020-21. 

Application Deadline

Applications are due 15 September 2023.

How To Apply

TESOL members in good standing who published a research article in a peer-reviewed journal.

  • Peer-reviewed journals may include TESOL publications and those of TESOL affiliates, as well as non-TESOL peer-reviewed journals.
  • Articles with multiple authors are eligible to receive the award and authors will decide how to distribute the award package.
  • Work published in print or online during the calendar year preceding the award year and final page proofs of papers scheduled to be published are acceptable. 

IMPORTANT: On the basis of the best information currently available to the United States Department of the Treasury, the following countries require or may require participation in, or cooperation with, an international boycott (within the meaning of section 999(b)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986). The countries are Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen. As a result, TESOL International Association is unfortunately unable to send funds or issue awards to residents of these countries. Award applications received from residents of these countries are not eligible for consideration. We apologize to those individuals affected by this unfortunate situation. 

  • U.S.$1,500 award.
  • Additional U.S.$1,500 to be used for registration and travel expenses related to the in-person TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo.
  • One featured session at the TESOL convention.
  • Be the featured keynote speaker at the Graduate Student Forum at the in-person TESOL convention.
  • 1-year subscription to TESOL Quarterly.
  • One featured article in TESOL Connections.

The following criteria will guide evaluation:   

  • Significance of the issue to the field of language learning and teaching in TESOL.
  • Awareness of relevant scholarship related to the issue or problem.
  • Clarity with which any theoretical considerations, research questions, or models related to the issue or problem are presented.
  • Evidence of appropriate research methods and analysis, regardless of methodological paradigm.
  • Clarity of the writing.

For more details, please see the Evaluation Rubric.

Papers may be nominated or self-nominated. To complete the online submission process, you will need the following information. You are strongly encouraged to gather this information before you begin the application. That way, you can fill out the application completely, and you will not have to go back and fill in items later.

  • Biographical statement for author(s) of paper (50 words).
  • Author's full name and email address (primary author if more than one author).
  • PDF of empirical research study.
  • If the paper is “in press” or accepted, and is scheduled to be published later in the year, a letter of acceptance from the journal.
  • Statement of nomination (500 words max). The statement should:
    • Describe the main areas of strengths of the research as they relate to the evaluation criteria.
    • Explain the significance of the research and any theoretical, methodological, and/or pedagogical contributions it makes to the field of language learning and teaching in TESOL.

2024 Recipients

Vahid Bahrami is a Ph.D. candidate in education at UNSW, Sydney. His main areas of research interest include language teacher psychology.

Mehrdad Hosseini holds a master’s in TESOL and works as an EFL lecturer at the University of Zanjan. His research explores the interaction between research and practice in L2 education. 

Past Award Recipients

View a list of past recipients.


Please contact TESOL Awards.

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