Doctoral Dissertation Grants

Background of Doctoral Dissertation Grants

Since 2002, TIRF has supported students completing their doctoral research on topics related to the foundation’s priorities. Each year, applicants who have been advanced to candidacy in legitimate PhD or EdD programs are invited to submit proposals for Doctoral Dissertation Grants (DDGs). (By “advanced to candidacy” we mean [a] having completed all required course work, if any, and [b] having had a research plan approved by the candidate’s university committee.) Proposals are reviewed by a TIRF committee of established international researchers. DDGs are provided in the amount of up to US $5,000 per awardee.

To learn more about the findings of previously funded studies, please click here.

2018 DDG Competition Now Open

The 2018 Doctoral Dissertation Grants competition is now open. The application deadline is Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 11:59pm Pacific Time (United States & Canada). Award decisions will be made in late August 2018 and announced on our website and via our newsletter.

  • Download the 2018 DDG call for proposals
  • Download the 2018 DDG application form (best viewed via Firefox)
  • View the resource videos to help complete the application form
  • Visit our DDG frequently-asked-questions page
  • Submit your proposal/letter of support via our Application Submission Area

We would like to recognize the wonderful support of Cambridge Assessment English and the British Council. The efforts of these two organizations help to make possible this year’s DDG competition.

Russell N. Campbell Award

Each year the highest rated Doctoral Dissertation Grant proposal is awarded in the name of the late Russell N. Campbell. Dr. Campbell, a Past President of TESOL, was one of the founding fathers of the Foundation.

Overview of Eligibility

The following points are only an overview of eligibility to apply for a DDG. Successful applicants will read the call for proposals and carefully follow the instructions.

Applicants must

  • be enrolled in a legitimate doctoral program;
  • be advanced to candidacy and have had a research plan approved by a faculty committee at their university;
  • write a proposal which is clearly related to TIRF’s research priorities;
  • follow specific instructions located in the call for proposals; and
  • have their research supervisor submit an official letter of support attesting to the applicant’s readiness to complete the doctoral dissertation.

Please note that DDG applicants do not need to be US citizens.

Research Priorities

TIRF’s current research priorities are listed below. Please click on a topic to read more about it. TIRF reserves the right to change its priority topics at any time.

Content-based Instruction

Digital Technology in Language Education

English as a Medium of Instruction

Language Assessment

Language Planning and Policy

Language Teacher Education

Plurilingualism in Business, Industry, the Professions, and Educational Contexts

Students’ Age and Effective English Language Education in Schools

Teaching English to Young Learners

[16] comments

On Sep 29, 2016: TIRF Board of Trustees Convenes for its Fall Meeting | The International Research Foundation for English Language Education said:
[…] were numerous topics covered during TIRF’s Board meeting. For example, the future of TIRF’s Doctoral Dissertation Grants program was discussed, with a focus on maintaining our relationships with our partners. Another […]
On Apr 18, 2016: Upcoming TESOL Grant Opportunities | Textesoliv said:
[…] There are two types of grants offered through TIRF’s DDG program. Information about the two types of grants, as well as eligibility concerns, resource videos, answers to frequently asked questions, and much more can be found at: […]
On Jan 23, 2015: TIRF’s Doctoral-level Funding Opportunities | fiplv said:
[…] The application deadline is April 22, 2015. For further information, please visit […]
On Apr 23, 2014: TIRF said:
@Norah - The number of DDGs that we award each year depends on funding available and the number of applications we receive, as well as the quality of those applications. You can see by looking at the DDG Grants & Recipients page that in some years we've awarded only one DDG, but that in more recent years, at least five DDGs were awarded each year. For 2014, we expect to continue this trend that we've seen in most recent years. So to answer your question directly, TIRF DDGs are almost always awarded to more than one applicant each year. ~ Ryan Damerow, Executive Assistant, TIRF
On Apr 21, 2014: Norah said:
Thank you for offering this excellent opportunity and for working towards the advancement of TESOL and teacher education. I was hoping I could find out how many grants will be offered this time around, or is it just offered to one student? Thanks.
On Mar 27, 2014: McIlwraith Education » British Council Support for TIRF Doctoral Grants said:
[…] TIRF Research Grants […]
On Feb 28, 2014: TIRF said:
@Joyce - Thank you for your email. The timeline for the DDG application process, adjudication, and notification of results typically follows a timeline similar to the following: DDG Deadline - Mid May Adjudication - Mid May to Late August Notification of Award - Late August/Early September First Installment Payment - Mid to Late September Please understand that the funding we award is not paid at one time. Payments are made in three installments: (1) 40% payment made in September; (2) 40% payment in March of the following year after an update is provided; and (3) 20% payment upon completion of PhD and successful report submission to TIRF. We reserve the right to change this payment schedule at any time, as well. I hope this information is helpful. We look forward to receiving your application! ~ Ryan Damerow
On Feb 27, 2014: Joyce said:
May I know when will the award/result be made? I would like to apply to this in order to fund my expenses to a conference in August 2014. If my application is successful, will I be able to receive the award prior to August? Thanks in advance for your reply.
On Oct 17, 2012: MIIS Alumna Awarded Doctoral Dissertation Grant from TIRF | GSTILE said:
[...] alumna, Joyce Kling (MATESOL '88), was awarded one of eight doctoral dissertation grants awarded annually by The International Research Foundation for English Language Education [...]
On Mar 04, 2012: Hom Raj Khadka said:
It is great chance and opportunity to the professional person.It also motivate the researcher to do genuine work in the field of ELT.
On Feb 29, 2012: TIRF said:
@Debbie - Great question. If a person finishes their doctoral program in May 2012, for example, he or she would no longer be a doctoral student when the award recommendation is made in July 2012. Consequently, that person would not qualify for a DDG. TIRF's DDG program is only open to doctoral students who have moved to candidacy (as defined by the degree granting institution) and have not yet finished their doctorate. There are also other eligibility requirements potential applicants must meet, which can be found above.
On Feb 28, 2012: Debbie said:
I am considering applying for this grant, but I will graduate in May (hopefully) with my doctorate in education. If awarded, can the grant money be used to further the dissertation study? Thank you!
On Feb 17, 2012: TIRF said:
@Bien - Great question! DDG applicants do not need to be US citizens to apply for the grant. We welcome applications from any person who meets the eligibility requirements outlined above, regardless of where they reside. Thanks, Ryan
On Feb 11, 2012: Bien said:
Hi if the candidate is from a country outside the US, can they still apply for the grant? Thank you very much!
On Feb 06, 2012: Oraib Faoury said:
im thankful for such a brilliant offer ... I hope i will be one of them.. Wish success for you all
On Dec 30, 2011: Saeed Ahmad said:
I whole heartedly congratulate all the concerned on successful completion of previous projects. And, thank you very much for such a brilliant offer for the year 2012. It will definitely go a long way in making TESOL/ESL a brilliant success in the days to come.

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