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The 2010 Sheikh Nahayan Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships

The International Research Foundation for English Language Education (TIRF) invited applications for the Sheikh Nahayan Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships to support doctoral dissertation research in the field of applied linguistics/English language education in the Arab world. The 2010 competition is now closed.

Sheikh Nahayan Bin Mubarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the United Arab Emirates, has made a generous contribution to TIRF to stimulate language education research on issues of specific relevance and importance to educators in the Arab world. This research addresses topics of concern and provides input for policy makers. The fund was designed to support three doctoral dissertation grants per year for each of three years for a total of nine Sheikh Nahayan Fellowships. This is the third year of the fellowship competition.

The Sheikh Nahayan Fellowships provide financial support for graduate students enrolled in language education doctoral programs throughout the world who focus their own dissertations on topics that would inform education policy makers in the Arab world. Each fellowship is in the amount of US $ 25,000. The International Research Foundation has been particularly interested in receiving proposals related to the following topics:

Teachers’ English Proficiency and Effective English Language Education

Students’ Age and Effective English Language Education in Schools

Optimal Uses of Technology in the Delivery of English Language Instruction

Cultural Content of Instructional Materials

Language Assessment

Bilingualism/Plurilingualism in Business, Industry, and the Professions

Doctoral candidates also submitted research proposals on other topics of direct relevance to the teaching and learning of English in the Arab world.

Studies involving multiple research methods (e.g., qualitative and quantitative approaches) are encouraged. Research that involves the synthesis of existing data sets and research findings will also be considered.

Application Procedures

All applications must be submitted electronically by email using a single Word attachment that includes all parts of the completed application. Please send completed applications to the Sheikh Nahayan Fellowship Committee at

Please indicate “Fellowship Application” in the Subject heading. This format will permit us to review applications in a timely way. Faxed or mailed applications will not be accepted. Applications will be acknowledged upon receipt to the email address from which the application was sent.

Applications may not be submitted more than once. If more than one application is submitted by the same person, only the first application will be read.

Applications must comply with the appended proposal format. Applications that do not follow these specifications or are incomplete will be automatically rejected.

Questions about the 2010 application procedures only may be addressed to Dr. Kathi Bailey at with “Sheikh Nahayan Application” in the subject line.

Grant Adjudication

Research proposals are adjudicated by a committee comprised of at least two currently elected TIRF Board members and other internationally recognized researchers. This committee retains final authority over all decisions. We regret that we are unable to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants about the reasons for which they were not funded. Unfortunately, because of the limited funds available, not all applications worthy of funding will be approved for funding. In the 2010 competition, up to three Sheikh Nahayan Fellowships will be awarded.

Notification of Results

Notification of results will be made after November 1, 2010.

By March 1, 2011 and again by Sept. 1, 2011, recipients of the 2010 awards will submit one- to two-page written progress reports.

Fellowship recipients will acknowledge TIRF’s support and the Sheikh Nahayan Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in the dissertation. In addition, all conference presentations and publications based on the doctoral research must acknowledge the Sheikh Nahayan Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship and the support of TIRF.

At project completion, researchers must also electronically submit a report (3-5 pages) summarizing their findings. The Foundation reserves the right to use information from project proposal summaries and final reports for dissemination on its website.

Sheikh Nahayan Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Application Format

1 Cover page.

Title of project

Full name and affiliation of applicant

Email, phone, fax, and mailing address for applicant. It is crucial that the email address for the applicant is correct; be sure to indicate the email address to which the results of the competition should be sent.

Full name, title, and email address of the research supervisor or advisor.

2. Project summary (200-250 words):

The summaries of successful proposals will be made public on TIRF’s website as well as through other media. Summaries may be edited by TIRF’s representative prior to posting.

3. Detailed proposal (6 pages maximum, single-spaced, 12-pt font), using the following section headings:

Statement of research issue or problem phrased as clear research questions.

Relationship to the research priorities of the Sheikh Nahayan Fellowship topics.

Theoretical background, integrating the research literature underpinning the study. (This section should convince the committee that the candidate is familiar with current, relevant research.)

Research methodology (a clear description of data collection and data analysis procedures to be used).

Statement of implications of research for theory, policy, and/or practice.

A clear timetable of plans for conducting the study.

Plans for dissemination (i.e., identify the scholarly conferences at which the results are likely to be presented and the specific journals or other forms of publication to which the research findings would be submitted).

Brief explanation of how principles of research ethics will be upheld. Candidates who are not familiar with guidelines for ethical research should consult the Informed Consent Guidelines published at the back of each issue of the TESOL Quarterly.

Selected bibliography using the referencing format of the American Psychological Association (APA) (2 pages maximum, not included in the 6-page limit)

4. Detailed budget and brief rationale for all budget items (2 pages maximum)

Itemized expenses (e.g., personnel, transportation, communication, supplies and other expenses, dissemination, costs of hiring a replacement teacher to release the candidate for research purposes, etc.) and a rationale for budget items. The budget should be as specific as possible and indicate all costs in US Dollars.

No grant funds can be used to cover indirect costs or university overhead.

Statement about other research funding applied for or received for the same project or for a larger/related study, and how the Sheikh Nahayan Fellowship will make a unique contribution to the successful completion of the project. (Note: applicants are permitted to seek or obtain additional funds to complete the research project, but should explain the nature and function of the funding from the different sources.)

5. A short, current resume of the doctoral candidate

Two (2) pages maximum;

Must be contained within the master document

Please note: Each application must consist of one Word document. Do not send separate attachment files for the various sections of the proposal. Do not send more than one version of the proposal. The first version of the proposal received by TIRF is the application which will be reviewed by the committee.

In addition, a separate letter of verification must be emailed by the candidate’s doctoral supervisor. The letter should be written on the university’s official letterhead.

The candidate’s research supervisor must email a letter directly to TIRF at The subject heading of the email should say “Supervisor’s Letter for [the candidate’s full name]” by the application deadline to verify the applicant’s status in the doctoral program.

To be eligible, applicants must have completed all doctoral program requirements apart from the dissertation and must have had a research proposal or topic already approved by a supervisory committee or appropriate Faculty Board. The letter from the research supervisor should comment on the candidate’s readiness and ability to undertake and complete the proposed project with support of a Sheikh Nahayan Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship. Candidates may not submit letters from more than one supervisor.

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