ELT research awards

Through this scheme we aim to facilitate the production of innovative research to benefit the learning and teaching of English throughout the world by co-funding a number of partnership awards. 

ELTRA 2020

The call for submitting ELTRA proposals for this year will be opening soon.

This longstanding scheme successfully facilitates innovative research in the learning and teaching of English by co-funding a number of partnership awards of up to £20,000. The resulting articles are published online in the British Council Research Papers series.

See the winners from previous years.

What is the purpose of the ELTRA Scheme?

  • To facilitate the production of high quality research from the UK relevant to ELT practitioners.
  • To improve access of ELT policy makers and professionals worldwide to high quality and relevant research from the UK.
  • To facilitate and encourage the establishment and maintenance of active research links between ELT professionals and policy makers in the UK and overseas.

Who may apply?

Any person resident in the UK with an affiliation to a UK educational institution. The award agreement will normally be with the institution.

Note: Although the applicant must be resident in the UK, the research may, in whole or in part, take place outside the UK or by persons not resident in the UK.  

What type of activity can be considered?

In past years the British Council has been particularly interested in research within the following areas:

  • Learning & teaching of English at younger ages
  • ICT and new technologies in ELT
  • Teacher education and training
  • English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI)
  • English language testing and assessment and applications of the CEFR
  • English language programme evaluation
  • English for development: Social, economic, political aspects of English, education, and language teaching
  • Role of English language in promoting peace, security and resilience

However, proposals for any research activity relating directly to the learning, teaching, or assessment of English as a foreign, second, or additional language may be considered.

There must be a clear research output which the British Council will disseminate and which must be in a format that can be shared publicly and without cost throughout the world.

Successful applicants must produce a final article on the project, and in the case of longer projects, an interim report. This would normally include the rationale, methodology, findings, discussion and implications, and references. See the Guidelines for authors for more information. In addition to this output, researchers are encouraged to publish further outputs elsewhere, for example in peer-reviewed journals and at conferences.

What type of activity is outside the scheme?

  • The research must not have already taken place or be underway.
  • The research output / final article must be in English (though there may also be a version in another language).
  • Funding will only be agreed for a maximum initial period of one year.
  • This scheme is not intended to fund the field work of Ph.D. candidates or similar.
  • We define research as original investigation undertaken in order to gain knowledge and understanding.
  • Researchers / institutions currently in receipt of a research award cannot apply for a new one. Recipients of awards will become eligible to submit research proposals when the research report has been accepted for publication by the British Council.

Current ELT Research projects:

  • University of Central Lancashire, Dr Nicola Halenko - How to survive the first year: Delivering online support to bridge the gap between pre-service training and in-service reality for novice English language teachers.
  • Stirling University, Professor Fiona Copland - Investigating global practices in teaching English to young learners: ten years on
  • University of Central Lancashire, Professor Michael Thomas - Minimum academic standards and the English language curriculum in Nigerian universities: Benchmarking, implementation and evaluation
  • University of Warwick, Dr Anna Maria Pinter - Language learning ‘in the wild’: Implications of children’s playing of online games in English for their language learning
  • University College London (UCL), Dr Eleonore Hargreaves - Why won't they speak English? An investigation into how young learners in middle-income-country schools learn spoken English
  • University of Leicester, Dr Pamela Rogerson-Revell - Resilience and beyond:facilitating learning and well-being in the refugee language classroom - an inquiry-based study of ELT provision for refugees in a UK University of Sanctuary
  • Manchester Metropolitan University, Dr Phung Dao - Oral peer feedback in classroom second language task-based interaction
  • Northumbria University, Professor Graham Hall - English language teachers’ engagement with published research: perceptions, priorities and pedagogy

How can I apply?

The details and deadline for submitting ELTRA proposals will be announced soon.

Read the FAQs for the ELTRA scheme