Award for Action Research




Background Prize Criteria Judging
Past winners Eligibility/Conditions Annual timeframe How to enter





English Australia and Cambridge Assessment English recognise the importance of engaging teachers in research and in 2010 initiated a funded program of classroom practitioner research projects across the ELICOS sector in Australia. The program is now in its fifth year of operation and is having a major impact on teaching in ELICOS - and beyond.

Click here for details of this program.

The program culminates with the presentation of the Award for Action Research at the gala awards dinner at the English Australia Conference. 



The winner receives:

  • a certificate;
  • an engraved trophy.


All researchers and their projects will be profiled on the English Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment websites with the winner of the Award receiving a special feature.



The winner of the Award is considered by the program Reference Group to have best met the following criteria:

  • clear focus and rationale for the research, clear research questions that link well to the focus and the rationale, appropriate development of research in response to the teacher’s classroom situation and pedagogical aims;
  • data collection and analysis appropriate to research focus;
  • critical and insightful reflections on the impact of the research on the learners and on their language development, and on the teacher and the development of their research skills and professional growth;
  • critical and insightful reflections on the impact on classroom practice and implications for ELICOS.



The winner is selected by the program Reference Group, comprising Professor Anne Burns and senior representatives of Cambridge English Language Assessment and the Board of English Australia.


Past winners

2017 - Keren Stead Bomfim, Centre for English Teaching, The University of Sydney

2017 Runners up: Melissa Oldroyd & An Sneyers, Monash College

2016 - Sascha Mitchell, QUT College, QLD

2016 Runners up: Vishvani Campbell & Catherine Thorpe, Monash University English Language Centre, VIC

2015 - Sally Crane and Elizabeth Furst, University of Tasmania, TAS

Runners up: James Heath & Biank Malecka, UNSW Institute of Languages, NSW

2014 - Caroline Keogh & John Smith, GELI, QLD

Runners up: Jade Sleeman & Kerry Ryan, La Trobe Melbourne, QLD

2013 - Becky Steven & Jessica Cobley, UWA Centre for English Language Teaching, WA

Runners up: Tim Dodd and Selena Kusaka, La Trobe Melbourne, QLD

2012 - Damien Herlihy & Zeke Pottage, Swinburne College, VIC

2011 - Brendan Brown, Milner International College of English, WA

2010 - Laura McCrossan, Milner International College of English, WA

Click here for details of past winners.



The winner has participated in the English Australia Action Research in ELICOS Program for the year of the Award.

Participants in the project must be employed under contract by an institution registered on CRICOS to deliver ELICOS programs and must be able to carry out research within the stated time frame in classes where students are studying ELICOS.

Participants must have the support and approval of the Director of Studies/Academic Manager or another authorised representative of their institution.


Annual timeframe

Call for expressions of interest in the Action Research in ELICOS Program (November)

Projects are selected (February)

Program is implemented (March - September)

Winner announced and Award presented (English Australia Conference, September)


How to enter

Participants in the 2018 Action Research in ELICOS Program are eligible for entry.

Click here for more information about the Action Research in ELICOS Program.

Questions? Contact 

English Australia thanks Cambridge Assessment English for its ongoing support of the Action Research in ELICOS Program and of the Award.