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IELTS research grants

Educational institutions and suitably qualified individuals from across the globe are invited 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 will in principle be limited to a maximum of AU$70,000/£45,000.

Proposals are welcomed from researchers and institutions with expertise in language learning and assessment research. Areas of interest are listed below.

Deadline for applications

The deadline for application is 30 June each year. All applications received will be treated on a confidential basis. The decision of the review committee will be final.

Click here for application information.

All IELTS research is managed by a Joint Research Committee of the IELTS test partners, 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.

Areas of interest

Test development and validation issues

  • Studies investigating the essential language knowledge, skills and abilities in domains where IELTS is used (e.g. for migration, employment, academic study).
  • Studies investigating the cognitive processes of IELTS test takers.
  • Studies investigating IELTS General Training Reading and Writing tests.
  • Studies investigating the Writing and Speaking features that distinguish IELTS proficiency levels.

Issues relating to contexts of test use

  • Studies on the use of IELTS for purposes of migration, citizenship, professional registration, exit testing and employment.
  • Studies on the use of IELTS and IELTS scores in specific local contexts.
  • Studies to establish appropriate IELTS score levels in specific contexts.

Issues of test impact

Studies investigating the attitudes and perceptions towards IELTS among users of test scores (e.g. test takers, teachers, admissions staff, etc.)

  • Studies investigating the impact of preparing for IELTS among various stakeholders.
  • Studies investigating the role of interactive communication in IELTS Speaking or Writing tests and its impact on candidates’ preparedness for communication in training or study contexts.
  • Studies on English language progression among students, including studies on the relationship between hours of study and typical score gains.

Please note: Consideration will also be given to other issues of current interest in relation to IELTS.

Please email us for further information.

Free access to IELTS research

All articles published in IELTS Research Reports can be accessed in full, free of charge.

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