The call for proposals for Round 12 of the Funded Research Programme is now open. With Cambridge University Press and Cambridge Assessment coming together on August 16th, 2021, as the Cambridge University Press and Assessment, the call for proposals this year includes learning resources in addition to assessment qualifications. We look forward to receiving your proposals for research projects relating to Cambridge English examinations, teaching qualifications, and/or learning materials.
Priority research topics for Round 12 are listed below; however, topics in other areas will also be considered. Please see also the FAQs, the Schedule, Important notes for applicants and the Application form.
Successful proposals will receive funding of up to GBP 15,000, including institutional overheads. Projects will follow the schedule and the duration of each project will be approximately twelve months.
The deadline is 15 October 2021.
1. For Schools Exams and Preparation Materials
Proposals relating to the A2 Key for Schools, B1 Preliminary for Schools, and B2 First for Schools and their corresponding preparation materials, offered by Cambridge University Press, namely Complete (Key, Preliminary or First for Schools); Compact (Key, Preliminary or First for Schools). Possible topics in this category include:
- appropriacy and relevance of For Schools exams, and/or Cambridge University Press preparation materials for target candidates;
- learner engagement with different course components;
- the impact of using exam-specific preparation materials on learners’ performance in the exam;
- learner progress and achievement of learning objectives.
2. Criterion-related validity of Linguaskill (General or Business)
Research relating to this topic should focus on the relationships of Linguaskill test scores with external criteria. Possible topics include:
- The relationship of the test scores to academic performance.
- The relationship of the test scores to work performance.
- The relationship of the test scores to other measures of the same construct(s).
- The relationship between membership of different groups (e.g. students in pre-sessional courses, undergraduate students, postgraduate students) and levels of proficiency according to the test.
- Convergent and discriminant validation using the multitrait-multimethod (MTMM) matrix.
- Generalisability of the relationship between test scores and external criteria across countries and regions.
- Target language use (TLU) domain analysis and construct representation of Linguaskill tasks in these domains.
Note: Please read the Linguaskill webpages thoroughly and make sure you understand how the test works—for example, whether a component is adaptive or not, whether it is marked by an automarker or a human examiner, and how and where the test can be taken.
3. Impact of A2 Key, B1 Preliminary, B2 First, or C1 Advanced
Possible topics in this category include:
- impact on students’ learning, e.g. motivation and engagement, language proficiency and real life communication, self-regulated learning (ability to self-assess, lifelong learning);
- impact on teaching, e.g. ability to motivate and engage students, teacher confidence, teaching practice, assessment literacy;
- impact beyond the classroom, e.g. access to further education/training, perceived value of tests and recognition among education institutes and employers (for C1 Advanced).
4. Learning Oriented Assessment
Research in this category should focus on how Cambridge English tests or other Cambridge English products and services can be used to provide feedback and recommendations for learning.
5. Online testing, remote testing, and at-home testing
Possible topics in this category include:
- Studies comparing standard and online/remote delivery of Cambridge English exams.
- Studies investigating the use and implications of remote proctoring in Cambridge English exams.
- Investigations of test users’ attitudes towards online, remote, or at-home testing.
6. “English plus”
Proposals in this category could look at how preparing for Cambridge English tests and/or using course materials from Cambridge University Press has an impact that goes beyond the learning of English as a language. This could include:
- the impact of using either Cambridge Primary Path, Own It!, or Empower on the development of life competencies, such as those described in the Cambridge Life Competencies Framework (www.cambridge.org/clcf );
- the impact of preparing for Cambridge English language tests on developing life competencies, sometimes known as 21st century skills;
- the impact of preparing for Cambridge English language tests on learning in CLIL contexts (Content and Language Integrated Learning);
- the impact of preparing for Cambridge English language tests on learning other languages or developing plurilingual competence.
7. Equality, Diversity, Inclusion
Proposals related to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in our tests and learning materials (including course books from Cambridge University Press). Topics in this category may include:
- validity and reliability of special-requirements versions of Cambridge English tests;
- context validity of Cambridge English products in light of the diversity of our global users;
- EDI representation within our learning materials