English Language Teaching Research Awards (ELTRAs) 2023–24

Call for proposals now closed

Through this successful and popular scheme, we aim to facilitate the production of original research to contribute to the body of knowledge related to English language teaching and learning by co-funding a number of partnership awards.

Resulting papers will be published as part of the British Council ELTRA series.

Please read the ELTRA Call for proposals carefully as some details of the ELTRA scheme have changed since the last call.

What is the purpose of the ELTRA scheme?

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

Who may apply?

Any person with a formal affiliation to a UK higher educational institution may submit a proposal. The award agreement will be with the institution and not with the individual. Applications must include a letter from the institution confirming they are prepared to accept and manage the award.

The scheme aims to encourage effective research partnerships between academics and institutions in the UK and those in ODA-eligible countries (see https://www.oecd.org/dac/financing-sustainable-development/development-finance-standards/DAC-List-of-ODA-Recipients-for-reporting-2022-23-flows.pdf for the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of ODA-eligible countries).

The person submitting the application (the co-Principal Investigator) must be formally attached to a UK university. However, applications will only be considered if they include an additional co-Principal Investigator who is a national of and is based in a recognised institution in an ODA-eligible country which is included as a research location in the proposed study. The research should, in whole or in part, take place outside the UK, with additional co-researchers and research participants based predominantly in ODA-eligible countries. Priority will be given to proposals that also include an early-career researcher.  

What type of activity can be considered?

For this year’s awards, the British Council wishes to fund research focussing on teacher development within the following four areas:

  • English language teaching in education 

Focuses on the teaching and learning of English in formal education systems where the home language is the language of teaching and learning and English is taught as a mandatory or elective subject.

  • English in a multilingual world  

Focuses on bilingual or multilingual formal education systems where English is the language of teaching and learning for all or part of the education system.

  • English for girls’ education 

Focuses on girls who are out of school and/or living in socio-economically disadvantaged or isolated communities, where language is often a barrier to girls’ education. Projects in this area are designed to empower girls, provide agency and voice, and enable them to make more informed life choices in the future. This is done through the provision of English and other core skills such as digital literacy, and providing opportunities to discuss social issues that affect their lives.

  • Language for resilience 

Focuses on the role of English and other languages in building resilience, usually outside of the formal education system. This can be in the form of giving a voice to young people and adults affected by conflict or distrust, building social cohesion in communities or providing individuals with the skills they need to access education, career opportunities, services and information.

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.



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