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Faculty Research Grant


Application Deadline: April 22, 2024
The Institute of World Languages invites proposals for the IWL Faculty Research Grant.

Purpose of Faculty Research Grant:

These grants will support faculty research on second language instruction or second language acquisition in any language. Any type of research that will add to knowledge about foreign or second language instruction or second language acquisition may be proposed, including projects that are based on either empirical or action research.  

Action Research is any systematic inquiry conducted by teachers in their own classroom environment to gather information about how they teach and how well their students learn. This information is gathered with the goals of gaining insights, developing reflective practice, effecting positive changes in the class environment, and improving student outcomes (Mills, 2003). For more information on action research best models, see:

Traditional empirical research proposals may be quantitative or qualitative, focusing on foreign language instruction and language development in a broader sense, beyond one’s own classroom environment.

Eligibility: All full-time faculty with a continuing contract of any rank, including general faculty, who are engaged in the teaching of any world language at UVA, are welcome to apply for the Faculty Research Grant. Part-time faculty members are not eligible to apply. 

Application Deadline:  The deadline to apply for Faculty Research Grants is April 22, 2024.   

Awards:  Funding may be requested for up to $3,000 for activities or expenses associated with the research project. 

Fund restrictions:

  • The award period is for one academic year only (July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025) and money must be spent by June 15, 2025.  Expenses incurred after this date will not be eligible for funding.  
  • A faculty member may receive only one award per academic year.
  • Grant funds may be used to cover:

       1) purchase of equipment, books, materials, etc. 

       2) wages for research assistants

       3) travel expenses for data collection and/or travel to conference to present research

Dissemination: A presentation at an IWL roundtable or poster session is required of all grant recipients.

Proposal Guidelines

Submission: Submit proposals via e-mail to both Professor Paula Sprague (link sends e-mail)( sends e-mail))and Professor Cecile Rey (link sends e-mail)( sends e-mail)) with “IWL Faculty Research Grant” in the subject line. 

Proposal Format: Include the following headings and sections in your proposal, which should be single-spaced and in 12-point Times New Roman font. The proposal document should be a single PDF (please do not submit as separate PDFs) and should be labeled with the applicant’s last name, first name, department, and kind of grant sought (i.e., “Smith_Jane_Department_Faculty Research”). Please note that if you do not follow format and length guidelines, or submit more than one document, the proposal will not be considered for funding.  

Proposal Length: maximum eight pages, excluding cover page, budget, CV and letter of support (optional).

1. Cover Page: The first page of the proposal should have the following information:

  • Title of Proposal/Research Project
  • Dates of Proposed work
  • Applicant’s Name 
  • Email & phone 
  • U.Va. Department
  • U.Va. status (job title)
  • Length of faculty appointment – start to end
  • Other Participants, if applicable (give name, title, and affiliation for each) 

2. Abstract: maximum 250 words. 

3. Goals: Present the basic research questions guiding the project. 

4. Summary of Background / Literature Review: Explain the background to the proposal, including any previous relevant work that has been done and/or its relevance to a larger field of activity. 

5.  Methodology: Provide the detailed plan, including clearly defined outcomes for action and/or empirical projects (measurable if relevant) and a timeline for the project work. 

6. Justification: Describe the significance of the study, the relevance of the proposed project to the overall mission of IWL, how it will benefit UVA, and why the IWL should fund it. 

7. Dissemination plans:  Presentation at an IWL Roundtable or poster session is required of all grant recipients. Please describe any other plans for dissemination such as presentations or publication (in the appropriate journal, online on Teacher Talk, etc.), as relevant.

8. Budget: In addition to the tabular budget, please include a narrative justification. 

Please be aware that any award amount given and used for research assistant wages should include the Fringe Benefit portion of any employee and student wage (i.e., 0.06% of the wages). For example, if your proposed budget for such wages is $998.58, it will be $943.00 in wages and $56.58 in Fringe Benefit.  Remember that any equipment purchased with the grant is the property of the University of Virginia.

9. CV: Provide a 2-page CV for each applicant on the project (longer CVs will not be accepted). 

10. Letter of Support (optional) 

Please directly send the letter of support to the committee chair. 

Proposal Checklist: 

_____ 1. Cover Page 

_____ 2. Abstract 

_____ 3. Goals

_____ 4. Background and Literature Review

_____ 5. Methodology 

_____ 6. Justification 

_____ 7. Dissemination 

_____ 8. Budget (tabular and narrative)

_____ 9. CV 

_____ 10. Letter of support (optional; directly sent to the committee chair)

Notification: Applications will be notified of award decisions by May 10, 2024.  

Criteria for evaluation:  

Proposals will be considered based on:

1. clarity of research question(s) or hypothesis to be tested,

2. strength of the project design,

3. feasibility of the action/empirical research project and potential benefit to the IWL community and the field at large

4. presentation and professionalism (proposal is sent as a single PDF, all required elements are included, writing is clear, concise, and highly readable.)


Any questions about eligibility or suitability of proposals may be directed to the IWL Faculty Grants Committee Chair, Paula Sprague (link sends e-mail)( sends e-mail)), Faculty Grants Committee Member, and Professor Cecile Rey(link sends e-mail) ( sends e-mail)), and the Director of the Institute of World Languages, Professor Miao-fen Tseng(link sends e-mail) ( sends e-mail)).