Small Grants for Doctoral Research in Second or Foreign Language Assessment


To make available small cash awards to promising doctoral students working in the area of foreign or second language assessment that will help them finish their dissertations in a timely manner.

Award Value

  • Up to $2,000 (payable in U.S. dollars only)
  • Up to ten awards each year — one award per student


To be eligible you must be a graduate/postgraduate student who:

  • is registered in a doctoral program, leading to a degree with a specialization in second or foreign language assessment
  • has completed all course and examination requirements for the degree
  • has a dissertation proposal that has been approved by an appropriate committee at the candidate's university

Note: Due to United States and European Union governmental sanctions, ETS may not be able to make payments to individuals or organizations in certain countries. The specific countries are determined by the U.S. and European Union governmental agencies and are subject to change. If your application is from one of these countries, you may be notified that your application cannot be considered for a TOEFL Grant or Award at this time.

Important Dates

  • October 15 or February 15 — Deadlines for applications
  • December 15 or April 30 — Award recipients are notified

Application Process

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. A letter explaining the relevance of the dissertation to foreign or second language assessment and describing the specific purpose(s) for which grant funds will be used.
  2. A 250–500 word abstract of the proposal.
  3. A copy of the approved dissertation proposal.
  4. A letter of recommendation, written on letterhead, sent via email to from the chair of the dissertation committee. The letter should include confirmation that the student has completed all course and examination requirements and is a student in good standing. The name of the applicant should be in the subject line of the email.
  5. A letter, written on letterhead, send via email to from the executive officer of the department that certifies the student's eligibility for this award. This letter must clearly state that the proposal has been approved and that the applicant is ready to begin research.
  6. A budget in detailed, line-item format indicating specifically how the requested funds will be used.
  7. A completed application form. The application form should be printed and filled out, then scanned and submitted electronically to

Evaluation Criteria

Criteria for selection are:

  • Relevance of the dissertation to foreign or second language assessment.
  • Specific purpose for which financial assistance from this program will assist in the timely completion of the dissertation (e.g., reimbursement of raters, software purchase, etc.).

Note: Tuition or other academic fees are not funded.

Where to Send Your Application or Request Further Information

TOEFL Grants and Awards Program
Attn: Terry Axe, MS 50-L
Princeton, NJ 08541 U.S.A.

Electronic applications are encouraged.

See also: