Cambridge Michigan Language Assessments

Shaping English Language Assessments
with Research + Experience

Spaan Grants

Spaan Research Grant Program

The Spaan Research Grant Program was established to recognize Mary Spaan’s contributions to the field of language assessment through her more than three decades of work at the University of Michigan. Grants cover the cost of data collection and analyses for those wishing to carry out research projects related to second or foreign language assessment and evaluation. Project reports are published in the CaMLA Working Papers.

2018 Spaan Grants

CaMLA is offering research funding for up to three projects in 2018. Proposals related to one or more CaMLA tests are invited from graduate students, faculty, and other language assessment professionals.

Topics of particular interest include:

  • Use of tests in different contexts
  • Stakeholder perceptions of CaMLA tests
  • The link between CaMLA tests and established language proficiency frameworks
  • Validation of constructed response tests (e.g., language elicited by different constructed response tasks)
  • Test-taking processes

Duration and Funding

  • CaMLA will provide funding of approximately $3,000 per project
  • Funding is for 12 months. Projects will commence on January 5, 2018, and reports are due on December 17, 2018

Important Dates

Thursday, September 28, 2017 Call for proposals
Monday, November 20, 2017 Deadline for applications
Friday, December 15, 2017 Notification of results
Friday, January 5, 2018 Project start date
Monday, December 17, 2018 Deadline for project report


Applications are welcome from anyone with a research and development background related to second or foreign language assessment and evaluation. Spaan grant recipients are likely to be international second or foreign language assessment specialists or teachers who carry out test development or prepare testing-related research articles and dissertations; and doctoral or masters graduate students who are studying linguistics, foreign language assessment, education, psychology, psychometrics, or related fields.

Application Process

Applications must be received by Monday, November 20, 2017. Applications should be completed using the online application form and must include:

  • Applicant(s) name(s) and contact information
  • Research project details
  • Curriculum vitae for each researcher named on the application form
  • Student applications must include contact information for two academic references

Submit enquiries to

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be judged according to quality and clarity of abstract, relationship and significance of project within current scholarship in the field, concentration on second or foreign language assessment, likelihood that project will be completed in one year, likelihood that project will result in a publishable paper, and evidence of ability to work independently.

Funding Conditions

Successful applicants must sign a research agreement before funding commences. The research agreement confirms the funding arrangements, the security of data and materials, and the terms and conditions governing the publication of the results of the research. Grant recipients will be asked for two status updates in May and September. They must also prepare a final report of their project by the stipulated deadline for inclusion in the CaMLA Working Papers.