Call for research proposals

The IELTS Partners invite educational institutions and suitably qualified individuals to apply for funding to undertake applied research projects in relation to the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Financial support for individual projects selected is limited to a maximum of £45,000/AU$80,000.  

IELTS joint-funded research programme 2023

Date Action
30 June 2023 Deadline for applications
July/August 2023 Preliminary review of applications
October 2023 Evaluation and selection of successful applicants
November 2023 Applicants are notified of the Research Committee's decision 
January 2024 Research commences. Programmes can be one or two years in length
December 2024/25 Final reports due 

All applications received will be treated on a confidential basis. The decision of the review committee is final.

Proposals are welcomed from researchers and institutions with expertise in language learning and assessment research. Institutions/individuals are invited to submit a written application (maximum of 10 pages, unbound) in accordance with the format and content requirements, see guidelines for applying.

IELTS Research Areas of interest 2023

We recognise that there may be other important areas of research to investigate that are not included in the below. Researchers are welcome to email us with their ideas for studies. 

Contexts of test use

  • The use of IELTS for purposes of admissions / entrance testing, citizenship, professional registration, exit testing and employment
  • Language skills students require in a chosen contemporary academic domain
  • Language skills migrant workers require in a chosen contemporary employment domain
  • Establishing appropriate IELTS score levels in specific contexts.

Test impact

  • Attitudes and perceptions towards IELTS among users of test scores (e.g. test-takers, teachers, admissions staff, etc.)
  • Stakeholder perceptions of repeat test-taking
  • Tracking migrant workers or students in their first semester of study or work to monitor their progress after taking IELTS
  • Language assessment literacy of test score users and / or the effectiveness of approaches aiming to develop this
  • The role of interactive communication in IELTS Speaking or Writing tests and its impact on test-takers’ preparedness for communication in training or study contexts
  • The relevance of human interlocutors in contemporary language assessment
  • Stakeholder perceptions of all aspects of remote proctoring and / or test security.
Application forms