Call for Applications: A.S. Hornby Dictionary Research Awards


Deadline: 17 April 2020


The A.S. Hornby Educational Trust (ASHET) is pleased to announce a call for research proposals under the A.S. Hornby Dictionary Research Awards initiative (ASHDRA).

Through these annual awards scheme we aim to facilitate innovative research into areas of lexicography which will reflect and extend the pioneering contributions of A.S. Hornby within the field of language education.  Each year ASHDRA will make funding available for original research that aims to produce clear practical benefits for learners of English.   

For the purposes of ASHDRA, we define research as original investigation undertaken in order to gain and extend knowledge and understanding.

Each award will be for a research project lasting not longer than two years. This year the maximum amount for any one award will be £15,000 which will be disbursed over one or two years as relevant. You may apply for the full amount of £15,000 or for a smaller amount depending on the scale of your activity.  (Continued funding for the second year of a two-year project will be subject to submission and acceptance of a Research Progress Report on an agreed date).

Successful applicants must produce a final report on the project in English. This would normally include the rationale, methodology, findings, discussion and implications, and references. (See Guidelines for Authors for more information).  This report will be considered for electronic publication on the ASHET website. 

In addition to this output, researchers are encouraged to disseminate the results of their research through other media (including articles in peer-reviewed journals, conference papers etc.) and, where relevant, to share their insights with teachers and students.  In the event of outcomes from the project being published, authors are expected to acknowledge ASHDRA support.

The research report must be in English (though there may also be a version in another language).   All applications for a research award must be submitted within the ASHDRA application form (located on the ASHET website – see link below).


All applications will be scrutinised by a panel of experts comprising academics from relevant fields of research. We aim to notify applicants of the decision of the ASHDRA Expert Panel by 1 June 2020. 

We expect the first year of project activities to be conducted in the period from 1 June 2020 to 31 May 2021.


1. Who may apply?

Applications will be accepted from any individual or team with an affiliation to an educational institution that has official recognition by appropriate authorities in the state in which it is constituted.

We welcome applications from students.  Student applicants should include a statement from their supervisor in support of the application.

The award agreement will normally be with the institution.

Where more than one researcher is involved, one person should be designated as Principal Applicant and will be responsible for reporting to the ASHDRA Expert Panel on the project.

2. What type of research can be considered?

Proposals for any research activity relating directly to the use of dictionary resources in the learning or teaching of English as a foreign, second, or additional language will be considered.

The A.S. Hornby Educational Trust is particularly interested in research within the following areas:

  • Research into low-cost lexicographic resources to improve the learning and teaching of English in under-resourced classrooms in public education contexts
  • Classroom research into how learners currently use dictionaries (with a view to making recommendations to improve pedagogical practice)
  • Research geared to the development of teacher and / or learner training in the use of dictionaries and other lexicographic resources to enhance language learning
  • Critical evaluation of available lexicographic resources (electronic or paper) with a view to improving their pedagogical effectiveness
  • An investigation of the potential role of dictionaries and/or other lexicographic resources for pupils in schools in English speaking countries for whom English is an additional language
  • Research geared to the development of novel lexically-based resources which go beyond the scope of conventional dictionaries


3. What are the reporting requirements?

On completion of the research each ASHDRA winner will be required to provide the Expert Panel with a final report (see Guidelines for Authors).  

In the case of two-year projects, researchers will be required to produce a Research Progress Report towards the end of the first year (format to be prescribed by the Expert Panel).

4. What type of research activity is outside the scheme?

  • ASHDRA funding cannot be used to pay for research activities that will be funded by existing awards or other sources.
  • Researchers / institutions currently in receipt of ASHDRA funding cannot apply for a new award to run at the same time.

Please note that ASHDRA funding is not intended to cover Full Economic Costing (FEC) for the institution.  

5. How can I apply?

Please download the 2020 application form and Guidelines for Authors from the A.S.Hornby Educational Trust website:

When you have completed the application form, please save it as a Word document (*.doc NOT *.docx) and e-mail it to:

All data will be handled in accordance with our Privacy guidelines which can be found on the Trust’s website: