Jeanne S. Chall Research Fellowship

The International Literacy Association (ILA) Jeanne S. Chall Research Fellowship is a US$5,000 grant that was established to encourage and support promising scholars whose dissertation research addresses reading. The special emphasis of the fellowship is to support research efforts in the following areas: beginning reading (theory, research, and practice that improves the effectiveness of learning to read); readability (methods of predicting the difficulty of texts); reading difficulty (diagnosis, treatment, and prevention); stages of reading development; the relation of vocabulary to reading; and diagnosing and teaching adults with limited reading ability. Because this grant program has been established to honor and carry on the work to which Dr. Jeanne S. Chall dedicated her academic life, proposal excellence will be a primary consideration in the selection process.


  • Opens week of November 15, 2020
  • Closes March 15, 2021
  • Applicants are notified of the results via email by the end of June 2021


Applicants must have current ILA membership.

To become an ILA member or renew your membership, please contact Customer Service at 800.336.7323 or 302.731.1600 or visit

This grant is open to doctoral students who are planning or beginning their dissertations and to university-based graduate students who are embarking on their independent research studies on the topics noted above. Applicants may apply for more than one ILA research grant but may only accept one research award per year.

PROFILE: In preparing your submission, adhere explicitly to the following guidelines. Do not include your name other than in the following section. Incomplete proposals not in compliance with the guidelines will be unsubmitted from review.

* Required Information


Note: Coapplicants will also need to meet the ILA membership criteria.


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UPLOAD: The following materials should be uploaded as one document. Do not include your name, institutional affiliation, or any other personal information that will identify you (or any coapplicant) on any part of the proposal (other than the Profile section). The review process is conducted as a blind review. Failure to upload all items will result in your application being unsubmitted.

1. Research Description

The description of the proposed research should be as specific as possible (up to 15 pages, not including references, typed in double-spaced, 12-point font) or higher, and include (in this order) the following items:

  • Research Question: Identify the research question, problem, or hypothesis being studied.
  • Rationale for the Research: Provide a detailed rationale for the study. Relate the proposed research question to relevant, supporting research literature and data and indicate how previous research and theoretical frameworks inform and justify the proposed research. The rationale should address the potential significance of the research on reading research and practice.
  • Literature Review: What do you already know about the question from any professional literature and from your own experiences that will help you with the project? (Please include citations.)
  • Methodology: Describe the method to be applied and include a description of subjects, materials, and procedures where appropriate (10,000 characters maximum). Consider the following kinds of information:
    1. Population or data resource
    2. Sample methods (procedures and description as appropriate)
    3. Data collection or observation procedures including instruments
    4. Procedures (materials, detailed timeline, and work plan)
    5. Data analysis (framework and method)
  • Research Significance: Discuss the potential impact of your work on research and practice in literacy, addressing what populations will benefit and in what ways.

2. Curriculum Vitae

Describe your professional experience, education, and publications to date or in preparation. Substitute the submitter’s name with the word Author. (Do not include any identifying information). Also, if coapplicants are included in the application, the primary applicant will need to upload the coapplicant’s curriculum vitae.

3. References

Please provide complete bibliographic information for all sources cited in the proposal. References should be formatted using American Psychological Association (APA) 7th edition style. To accommodate the blind review process, if the submitter’s own publications are cited, the submitter should substitute the word Author in the citations (e.g., Author, 2019) and substitute all coauthor names with Coauthor (e.g., Author, Coauthor, 2019).

4. Budget Information

The following guidelines should be considered when describing and explaining the rationale for each line item in your project budget. Please note that institutional overhead or indirect costs are not covered under this grant.




Review your submission carefully before you submit. You will not be able to update or edit your submission after you submit it. You will be informed if your application encountered any errors. After you submit, you will receive an email confirmation of your submission for this award.

Projects must be completed within two years of the award date. However, a one-year extension may be considered but must be requested via email to

The grant recipient is expected to file an interim report providing an update on research at the midpoint of the study and a final report at the completion of the study.

Please direct any questions about your proposal or this grant to

Note. ILA reserves the right to refrain from awarding a grant if the expectation of high quality and criteria are not met.