TIRF is partnering in a pilot program with the British Council to offer research mentoring awards. The purpose of the TIRF-British Council Research Mentoring Awards (RMA) is to support new researchers and improve the quality of research undertaken by students in doctoral programs within the field of English language education on issues of mutual interest to TIRF and the British Council.
The goal behind the research mentoring award is to positively impact English language education by working with promising doctoral students who have the potential to influence language pedagogy, research, and policy in the future in their home countries. Both the British Council and TIRF will work toward developing fruitful relationships with awardees and their supervisors to achieve this goal.
Via the research mentoring program, individual doctoral students have the opportunity to work on research proposals in collaboration with established researchers who share common areas of professional interest with the students. The mentor-mentee relationship would aim to elevate the research capabilities of the mentees, thereby increasing the mentees’ abilities to improve their skills as researchers and influence the landscape of English language education in their individual contexts. Although it is not a requirement, recipients of the TIRF-British Council RMAs are encouraged to apply for TIRF’s Doctoral Dissertation Grants (DDGs) after participation in the research mentoring program, using the research proposal created as part of the research mentoring award. TIRF and the British Council are particularly interested in research proposals that have clear implications for educational policy makers and others in positions to make decisions about English language education practices.
To be eligible for a TIRF-British Council Research Mentoring Award, applicants must satisfy the following requirements:
- be a doctoral student in good standing in their respective universities;
- be from one of the countries selected from the OECD DAC list—particularly in Africa, East Asia, Southeast Asia, or Latin America—and attending a university in one of these countries; and
- have a supervisor who is willing to sign the required supervisor statement.
The list of countries eligible for the TIRF-British Council RMAs follows here:
- Africa: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, DR Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
- East Asia: Mongolia and North Korea
- Latin America: Bolivia, Chile, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Uruguay
- Southeast Asia: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam
Applicants must download and read the TIRF-British Council Research Mentoring Awards call for proposals, as well as use TIRF’s application and supervisor statement forms when submitting their proposals. Links to each of these documents follow here:
In addition, please note the following:
- Awardees receive US $500 per proposal.
- Allocations of funds are made subject to budgetary availability.
- Awards can be used to cover expenses directly related to developing the research proposal or for conference travel for dissemination of the research. Submitting a budget to TIRF is not necessary.
- Applications should address an area of focus under TIRF’s research topics. The selected topic must be either related directly to English language education or have strong implications for English language education, including the relationship between the spread of English as a majority language and minority language endangerment.
- Applications and all correspondence with TIRF must be in English.
- TIRF also requires a brief final report by August 31, 2025, documenting experiences in the mentoring program and their benefit to the mentee, as well as a copy of the final research proposal. Final reports should be sent to [email protected].
Proposed topics for research for the TIRF-British Council RMAs should closely and explicitly address an area of focus under one of TIRF’s three research topics (1) Language Planning and Policy; (2) Language Assessment; and (3) Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Preparation. A detailed explanation of TIRF’s research topics and the areas of focus can be found by clicking here. The list of topics on TIRF’s website follows here:
- Content-based Instruction
- Digital Technology in Language Education
- English as a Medium of Instruction
- Language Assessment
- Language Policy and Planning
- Language Teacher Education
- Migrants and Refugees: Teaching and Assessing English
- Plurilingualism in Business, Industry, the Professions, and Educational Contexts
- Research on Revitalization of Endangered Indigenous Languages
- Students’ Age and Effective English Language Education
- Teaching English to Young Learners
Possible Constraints on Awards
Please note that the ability for TIRF to make payments for a grant, prize, or other purpose may be restricted. Although TIRF is an independent foundation, it remains subject to the laws governing the United States of America (where TIRF is registered), including governmental sanctions that are in force and may limit doing business with individuals or organizations in/from certain countries.