What type of activity is outside the scheme?

  • We define research as original investigation undertaken in order to gain knowledge and understanding.
  • The research must not have already taken place or be underway.
  • The research outputs, including the final paper, must be in English (though there may also be a version of all or part of the output(s) in another language or languages).
  • Funding will usually only be agreed for a period of one year. If your project will require more than one year, you will need to give a clear justification for this on the application form.
  • This scheme is not intended to fund the field work of Ph.D. candidates or similar.
  • Researchers/institutions who have yet to complete an existing ELTRA-funded project are not eligible to apply for another ELTRA. Recipients of awards will become eligible to submit research proposals when the research paper from a previous ELTRA award has been accepted for publication by the British Council.

Examples of ELT Research Awards projects can be found on the ELTRA winners pages.

What criteria will the British Council apply in judging whether to make an award?

  • The relevance of the project and research output to ELT professionals.
  • The originality of the contribution to its field within ELT.
  • The quality of the research design and the qualifications and experience of the researchers.
  • The consideration of gender and EDI in the research. All proposals must be a minimum of gender sensitive and we will distinguish between projects which clearly show an awareness of EDI (e.g. by having a diverse research team in terms of gender-balance or from different ethnic backgrounds or disability), study EDI (i.e. where some aspect of EDI is the topic being researched) and/or embed changes in EDI (e.g. may involve some kind of intervention). See the British Council Equality Policy for more details.
  • The potential impact of the research on ELT practice.
  • The amount of funding requested and proportion of funding from other sources. We expect to favour proposals which demonstrate funding from other sources, including, but not restricted to, the applicant’s own institution.
  • The proposal’s contribution to the aims of the scheme, with particular reference to international research collaboration.

What amount of award will be made?

Awards may be made for amounts up to a maximum of £30,000 (GBP). 

We will consider proposals in three tranches:  

Tranche 1: under £10,000 
Tranche 2: £10,000 – £19,999 
Tranche 3: £20,000 – £30,000  

We do not expect the ELT Research Awards to cover the full costs of the research, but rather to fund essential elements of the research without which the research would not take place. Proposals should make clear how the other costs of the research will be funded. Proposers of jointly funded research must agree to the full conditions of the award (see below).   

The proposal must make clear what expenditure items the award will fund. The scheme will not fund items of equipment which institutions would normally be expected to possess (for example computing equipment including laptops). Nor will it fund conference or seminar attendance to disseminate findings unless specifically invited to do so by the British Council (see ‘dissemination’ below). The grant cannot cover indirect, overhead or estate costs for the institutions involved. 

Awards are generally paid in two tranches, with 80 per cent of the value paid upon the receipt of the fully signed contract and the remaining 20 per cent or revised balance (whichever is less) on receipt of the final paper (and any other agreed outputs) approved by the British Council for publication.  

Payments will be made to the UK university to which one of the co-PIs is formally attached. The application must include a letter from the university agreeing to accept and manage the award.

What are the conditions of the award?

The successful proposers will own the intellectual property rights of the research data and outputs, including the final paper, and will licence these rights to the British Council to use and disseminate the final research paper and any additional outputs at its own discretion with no limitation on time or territory. This will be specified in the individual agreement. 

The proposer, institutions and researchers must explicitly acknowledge the support of the British Council through an ELT Research Award in any written or spoken dissemination of the research process and all outputs arising from it, including using the British Council logo where appropriate (e.g. on presentation slides). 

The British Council reserves the right to make freely and publicly available relevant nonpersonal information from the application form of successful proposals, as well as any reports and additional research outputs. 

The British Council will inform applicants as to whether the proposal is successful or not. The British Council is not obliged to enter into further discussions or offer advice on proposals. The decision of the British Council regarding ELT Research Awards is final.  

Successful proposers must satisfy the British Council that the expenditure has been incurred in accordance with the original proposal by submitting a detailed financial report at the end of the project. 

Proposers must agree to the terms and conditions of the scheme, which will be outlined in detail in a grant letter to successful applicants.

Download the complete list of ELTRA Q&As received.

What are the benefits of the award to the successful proposer?

  • Financial support which enables the research to take place. 
  • Dissemination of the research by the British Council as an example of quality research from researchers in both the UK and ODA-recipient countries, with full acknowledgement of all researchers and their affiliated institutions. 
  • The right to refer to the research as funded by the British Council ELT Research Awards scheme. 
  • Support with access to appropriate partners, teachers and learners overseas as agreed on a case-by-case basis. 

How will the research be disseminated by the British Council?

  • Publication as part of the British Council Research Papers series online.
  • Opportunity to present a webinar through our website or online communities.
  • Promotion of the report through British Council internal and external networks.

What is the time frame for the ELTRA scheme?

  • The 2023 award scheme is now closed.   

Research and insight

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