Doctoral Student Research Grants


Paragon Doctoral Student Research Grants provide doctoral students with an opportunity to conduct grant-funded research. Funded research will expand the validity evidence available for Paragon’s tests.

Paragon’s tests include the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) which consists of the CELPIP-General Test and the CELPIP-General LS Test, and the Canadian Academic English Language Computer Edition (CAEL CE). For more information about these tests, please refer to the following websites:


Doctoral students who have completed first-year course work are eligible to apply. Preference will be given to applicants studying at Canadian universities and Canadian citizens or permanent residents studying at universities abroad.

Financial Support

Doctoral Student Research Grants fund research projects up to a maximum of $5,000 CAD. Paragon will not consider projects that involve substantial travel costs or the purchase of expensive equipment.
Projects will be funded for a period of one year and should be completed within that one-year period. The disbursement of Doctoral Student Research Grants will be made in three stages with each disbursement depending on the achievement of the following project benchmarks:

  1. after receipt of the signed project agreement and, if necessary, research ethics clearance;
  2. after receipt and acceptance of the first interim report; and,
  3. after receipt and acceptance of the final report.

Application Requirements

To apply for this grant, the applicants must provide a statement of support from their academic supervisor(s) (or supervising faculty), an official transcript of the courses taken in the PhD program, and a research proposal of no more than 2000 words (excluding tables, figures, and references). Proposals should follow APA style and the applicant’s name should be on the cover page only.

The proposal must include the following:

  1. purpose of the research and its contribution to the validity evidence available for one or more Paragon test;
  2. rationale and significance of the project;
  3. research questions;
  4. methodology;
  5. timeline;
  6. budget; and
  7. contact information of two references (including the applicant’s academic supervisor).

Proposals should be emailed to before the deadline (September 24, 2018). In order to ensure efficient processing, include “Doctoral Student Research Grants 2018-19” in the subject line.


Prior to the commencement of research work, the grant recipient will provide the following:

  1. a contract written by Paragon, signed by the researcher, and witnessed by the researcher’s academic supervisor or, if necessary, the recipient’s institution; and
  2. ethics clearance, if required, from the researcher’s institution.

At each pre-determined date or benchmark of the research project (please refer to the timeline for details), the grant recipient will provide an interim report that describes the current status of research work and provides an account of costs incurred.

Upon completion of the research project, the researchers will provide:

  1. a full project report describing the research purpose, methods, and outcomes;
  2. a list of planned conference presentations and publications based on this project; and
  3. a complete summary of expenses.

The final project report should be about 7,000 to 9,000 words (excluding tables, figures, references, and appendices). The quality of the final report will be evaluated by the research committee at Paragon. Accepted reports will be made available on the Paragon website as working papers.

Access to Paragon Data

Data provision will be determined on a case-by-case basis. In general, researchers can be given access to: (1) anonymized test data with demographic information, and (2) a limited amount of retired materials, and (3) test practice materials.

All researchers will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement as part of the research agreement.

Evaluation Criteria

The research proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. relevance of the proposal to Paragon’s research interests;
  2. clarity of the research proposal’s rationale, purpose, and methodology;
  3. potential for publication;
  4. qualifications and experience of the researchers;
  5. statement of support;
  6. feasibility of the budget; and
  7. likelihood of completion in one year.


Proposal due: September 24 (Monday), 2018
Notification of proposal acceptance: October 29 (Monday), 2018
Research agreement: October – November, 2018
Project start date: November/December 2018
1st Interim report due: March 25 (Monday), 2019
2nd Interim report due: August 5 (Monday), 2019
Final report due: December 16 (Monday), 2019

See Paragon’s Research Grant Recipients for 2017/8.