As part of the tenth anniversary of IELTS in 1999, the IELTS partners – British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English – established an annual award of £1,000 for the Masters level dissertation or thesis in English which makes the most significant contribution to the field of language testing. In 2010, the award was renamed the Caroline Clapham IELTS Masters Award in recognition of her contribution to IELTS in particular and language testing in general.
Each year, the IELTS Research Committee reviews submissions for the award and shortlists potential winners. Submissions must be for a dissertation/thesis written in partial or total fulfilment of the requirements for a Master's degree or its equivalent, and must be supported by a letter from the applicant's academic supervisor. The work should be language testing focused but need not be IELTS-related.
Submissions are reviewed and evaluated according to a set timetable and established criteria. The Committee reserves the right not to make an award at its sole discretion, and its decision is final.
The award is normally presented at a major language testing event during the following year, e.g. at the annual Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC), and the IELTS partners sponsor the award winner's attendance at this event for this purpose.
|2017||Martin Stark – 'Exploring the relationship between automated analyses of linguistic features and human ratings of test-taker performances on an ESL writing task'||Lancaster University, UK|
|2016||David Wei Dai – ‘The effect of including non-native accents in English listening tests for young learners: psychometric and learner perspectives’||University of Melbourne, Australia|
||Hyunjin Kim – ‘Teachers’ voices in the decision to discontinue a public examination reform’
||University of Bristol, UK
|2015 (Highly commended)||Saeede Haghi – ‘The role of visuals in listening tests for academic purposes'
||University of Warwick, UK
|2014||Lorraine Briegel-Jones – 'An investigation into nonverbal behaviour in the oral proficiency interview’
||Newcastle University, UK
|2013||Benjamin Kremmel – 'Explaining Variance in Reading Test Performance through Linguistic Knowledge'||Lancaster University, UK|
|2012||Veronika Timpe – 'Strategic decoding of sociopragmatic utterances: A think-aloud validation study'||Lancaster University, UK|
|2012 (Highly commended)||Anne-France Pinget – 'Native speakers' perceptions of fluency and accent in L2 speech'||Utrecht University, Netherlands|
|2011||Kellie Frost – 'Investigating the validity of an integrated listening-speaking task: A discourse-based analysis of test takers’ oral performances'||The University of Melbourne, Australia|
|2010||Thom Kiddle – 'The effect of mode of response on a semi-direct test of oral proficiency'||Lancaster University, UK|
|2010 (Highly commended)||Gerard Seinhorst – 'Are three options better than four? Investigating the effections of reducing the number of options per item on the quality of a multiple-choice reading test'||Lancaster University, UK|
|2009||Ruslan Suvorov – 'Context visuals in L2 listening tests: the effectiveness of photographs and video vs. audio only format'||Iowa State University of Science and Technology, USA|
|2008||Susan Clarke – 'Investigating interlocutor input and candidate response on the IELTS speaking test: A systematic Functional Linguistics Approach'||Macquarie University, Australia|
|2008 (Highly commended)||Kerry Ryan – 'Assessing the OET: The nurse’s perspective'||University of Melbourne, Australia|
|2007||Talia Isaacs – 'Towards defining a valid assessment criterion of pronunciation proficiency in non-native English speaking graduate students'||McGill University, Canada|
|2006||Youn-Hee Kim – 'An investigation into variability of tasks and teacher-judges in second language oral performance assessment' (L2 oral performance)||McGill University, Canada|
|2005||Fumiyo Nakatsuhara – 'An investigation into Conversational styles in paired speaking tests' (CAE)||University of Essex, UK|
|2004||No award made|
|2003||Eunice Eunhee Jang – 'In search of folk fairness in language testing' (TOEFL)||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA|
|2002||No award made|
|2001||Sang-Keun Shin – 'An exploratory study of the construct validity of timed essay tests' (L2 learners)||University of California at Los Angeles, USA|
|2000||Sally O’Hagan – 'Assessment of student essays: Methods of marking work written by students from non-English speaking backgrounds' (ESL)||University of Melbourne, Australia|
|2000||Lindsay Brooks – 'Adult ESL attitudes towards performance-based assessment' (ESL)||OISE/University of Toronto, Canada|
Dissertations will only be considered eligible if they were submitted and approved by your university in 2017. Dissertations completed in 2018 may be submitted the following year.
Submissions should be for dissertations written in partial or total fulfilment of the requirements for a Master's degree or its equivalent. The dissertation should be language testing focused but need not be IELTS-related.
To apply, the following should be sent to the address below:
Research and Thought Leadership
Cambridge Assessment English
1 Hills Road
Cambridge CB1 2EU
The IELTS Research Committee will review the submissions and shortlist potential award winners. Those shortlisted must provide a full copy of their dissertation, and a further reference may be sought.
Shortlisted dissertations will be reviewed and evaluated according to the following criteria:
The Committee's decision is final.
The following timetable will apply:
|30 June||Deadline for submission of dissertation extracts and supervisor's reference to Cambridge Assessment English|
|31 August||Deadline for submission of full copies of shortlisted dissertations (and further references if required)|
|October/November||Meeting of IELTS Research Committee|
|November/December||Announcement of award winner|