As part of their on-going commitment to IELTS-related validation and research, the British Council and IDP: IELTS Australia are once again making available funding for research projects commencing in 2022. Research proposals should reflect current concerns and issues relating to the IELTS test in the international context.
A list of research studies which have received grant funding since 1995 is available in the Research Reports section. This research makes an important contribution to the monitoring and test development process for IELTS; it also helps IELTS stakeholders (e.g. English language professionals and teachers) to develop a greater understanding of the test.
All IELTS research is managed by a Joint Research Committee, which agrees research priorities and oversees the tendering process. In determining the quality of the proposals and the research carried out, the Committee may call on a panel of external reviewers. The Committee also oversees the publication and/or presentation of research findings.
Access to IELTS test materials or score data is often not possible for a variety of reasons, e.g. test security, data confidentiality. However, researchers may have access to a range of other materials and data:
These are available for use by researchers following consultation with Cambridge Assessment English (and subject to an appropriate research agreement).
Proposals are invited from researchers and institutions with demonstrated experience and expertise in language learning and assessment research and suitably qualified researchers and organisations with a direct and ongoing connection with IELTS, e.g. consultants, examiners and IELTS Administration Centres.
Both individuals and teams are invited to apply. Inexperienced applicants are encouraged to join a team led by an appropriately qualified researcher.
Funding for PhD research projects is discouraged.
All applications should follow the necessary ethical clearance and confidentiality codes as required by your university, organisation and/or region and include the ethics approval process to be followed.
The maximum amount of funding available for any one proposal is £45,000/AUD$80,000, including institutional overheads/taxes (limit of 15% overheads recommended.) The proposal should make it evident why the requested term of research and amount of funding are justified/appropriate (e.g. there is a longitudinal dimension to the study); otherwise, the chances of a successful application may be affected.
Please note that requests for extensive travel, large items of equipment and conference attendance is not encouraged. After completion of the project, conference attendance may be supported where a presentation based on a successfully completed/published report has been accepted.
Researchers funded under this round will commence research in January 2022, and the research study will need to be completed and a full report submitted by the end of December 2022 (one-year programmes) or December 2023 (two year programmes).
Applicants should submit application forms and project proposals electronically to either the British Council or IDP: IELTS Australia who are equal funding bodies for the IELTS Research Programme.
IDP: IELTS Australia
Stephanie BethencourtStakeholder Engagement Officer
Mina PatelResearch Administrator
All research proposals will be evaluated by the IELTS Joint Research Committee. This comprises representatives of the three IELTS partners, as well as other academic research experts in the field of applied linguistics and language testing.
The following factors will be taken into consideration when evaluating proposals:
The following timescale will apply:
|30 June||Deadline for submission of proposals|
|July/August||Preliminary review of proposals by IELTS partners|
|October||Meeting of Joint Research Committee to evaluate and select successful proposals|
|November||Applicants notified of the Committee's decision|