Research Grants Application Form

To be completed by all applicants. Please read the criteria notes before completing this form and ensure you pay attention to:

  • the relevance of the proposal to the aims and interests of UKLA
  • the clarity of the aims of the proposal
  • the suitability of the suggested methodology and the timescales
  • the appropriateness of the budget

UKLA Research Committee (RC) considers applications for funding from UKLA members twice a year. Grants of up to £3000 can be awarded. Applicants need to complete the proposal form (on this site) by 1st March or 1st November each year. The committee will let applicants know the result of their applications by 10th April (following March deadline) and 10th December (following November deadline). Possible outcomes include: a recommendation for funding, a re-submission following specific amendments, or a rejection.

Who may apply for a grant?

All applicants must be members of UKLA and all members of UKLA, including international members, are eligible to apply. Applications are particularly welcomed from teachers and other practitioners and from teacher/practitioner/academic partnerships.

What will UKLA fund?

RC welcomes applications for original research that is focused on literacy, and which helps fulfil the aims of UKLA.

Literacy should be a central focus. RC is comfortable with a broad conceptualisation of literacy, but the conceptualisation needs to be articulated in the proposal if not immediately apparent. For example in looking at digital game play, what aspects of that play are relevant to literacy, and how?

We are interested in work that focuses on literacy and literacy practices across the full life span, in a wide range of settings, and involving a range of community groups. For example contexts may involve homes, early years settings, primary and secondary schools, libraries, book groups or residential homes, and can be in the UK or beyond. We are happy to consider proposals that incorporate a range of methodologies.

RC particularly values research that allows participants agency – encouraging their voices in the findings, methods, or outcomes. We see best practice as research which is underpinned by ethical approaches at every stage, which values all those involved, and which does not denigrate, pathologise or place participants in a deficit position. This includes an awareness of language used in the proposal, not referring to participants (or others) in deficit terms, such as ‘illiterate’ or ‘low ability’ etc. We have found that research which places participants at its heart and welcomes their input, allows rich and illuminating data to emerge, contributing to new ways of understanding the field.

In deciding which proposals to fund, we will pay particular attention to:

  • the relevance of the proposal to the aims and interests of UKLA;
  • the clarity of the aims of the proposal;
  • the suitability of the suggested methodology and the timescales;
  • the appropriateness of the budget

What will UKLA research grants pay for?

Items that have been funded through previous grants have included:

  • materials and equipment,
  • travel,
  • transcription,
  • attendance at UKLA conference (including travel within the UK),
  • supply cover to enable teachers' involvement, and other non-pay costs associated with the research.

What won't UKLA research grants pay for?

The grant will not pay costs for:

  • research assistants or to release academics from teaching.
  • course fees, or other costs associated with doctoral or other studies.
  • compensation for loss of earnings due to involvement in research.

Please also note:

  • We do not fund projects that are designed to evaluate programmes that will be promoted for commercial gain.
  • We do not pay international travel.
  • If any equipment is to be purchased using project funds, UKLA will require the grant-holder to state how the equipment will be used on the completion of the project, and to provide a brief rationale for this.

Typical reasons given for rejections of funding include the following:

  • Aims are not clearly associated with literacy
  • The rationale for the project is unclear
  • The project would not advance understandings in the field
  • Funds requested for items that are not within the scope of UKLA research grants
  • The proposal uses language that objectifies participants in a negative way
  • The methods do not match the research aims
  • The costs are not eligible

What will UKLA expect from you?

  • All projects must be completed by the date originally stated on the project proposal, unless the grant-holder has previously requested, justified and been granted an extension by Research Committee.
  • Whilst you will be free to publish the results of the project without getting the permission of UKLA, you will acknowledge UKLA’s support in all publications and you will send the UKLA Office a copy of all published outcomes.
  • On acceptance you will supply UKLA with a short summary of the project for the association’s web-pages.
  • During the project, or after its completion, you will submit an article for consideration by at least one of UKLA’s publications: Literacy, Journal of Research in Reading, English 4-11 (acceptance articles will be subject to the publications’ usual peer review processes), and/or a UKLA minibook. If your work is accepted for publication through one or more of these routes, you will also submit a short piece (c. 200 words) for the association’s web pages, which may also appear in the UKLA newsletter. If your work is not accepted for publication by a UKLA through one of these routes, then you will liaise with the current research co-ordinator (s) about how the outcomes of the project will be communicated via the website.
  • On completion of the project, a brief financial statement, detailing how the money has been spent and signed by the grant holder/s, should be sent to the UKLA office at [email protected] . Any unspent monies should be returned to UKLA.
  • If any equipment is to purchased using project funds, on completion of the project the grant-holder will adhere to previously agreed plans for post-project use.
  • Until submission of the final report, the research coordinator may contact you prior to Research Committee meetings for a brief update to be included in the research report to the meeting (details of which will also be shared with UKLA Executive and National Committees). These updates will be requested in October and February after commencement of the project.
  • You will, at all times, conduct your research in an ethical and professional manner following the BERA research guidelines (available at

Further information

For further information, please contact Clare Dowdall [email protected] or Candice Satchwell [email protected]. The conveners of RC are happy to respond to enquiries and offer guidance but cannot review an application in draft or prior to a committee meeting.

Guidance on writing a proposal.

Grant holders details: This part of the application is quite straight forward and simply provides the association with contact details. Please include details of co- researchers when possible (sometimes this may be subject to confirmation if a number of partners have been identified). If you are working as part of a teacher research group, please indicate if and how you have involved your Regional Representative.

Include a rationale for the study (max 400 words): This will summarise what you plan to do, and explain what the study will contribute to the field and why it is important (referring to existing literature). This does not have to be overly ambitious. You could, for example, explore a theory or use of a particular approach in a new setting.

State aims clearly: Try to keep these to three or four bullet points. These will be points that seem to you to capture the main purposes of your work. For example a recent, successful project began with the following aims:

  • How do children use the affordances of digital media in peer to peer communication?
  • What are children’s perceptions of their digital writing?

Describe and justify chosen methods (Max 400 words): Ensure these are clearly aligned to the project aims. You may, for instance wish to build up an archive of pupils’ texts, audio-tape pupil-teacher interactions, video classroom activities or interview adult learners.

List proposed outcomes of the project (e.g. written reports/articles, conference presentations/ workshops): Please note that successful applicants will be required to write a brief summative report for the UKLA website, and submit at least one article to a UKLA publication, i.e. Literacy, English 4-11, Journal of Research in Reading, a UKLA mini-book.

Timeframe: Break down the research project into a simple timeline which details when key activities will be completed. Grants normally cover a one year cycle so it will be sufficient to put the month in which each separate activity will be completed. You will probably want to include dissemination at the UKLA international conference (in July). Ensure that you provide a start-date and end-date for your project. Include outcomes listed above.

Costings: Provide detailed costings. Grants are not normally any larger than £3,000.If applicants are applying for supplementary or matched funding from another organisation, this should be clearly indicated here.

References: Include full references for all sources used in the application. Do not include references that you have not cited.