A collaboration between British Council and Metametrics

MetaMetrics and the British Council Assessment Research Group invite applications for research which will contribute to our understanding of the construct of EFL reading comprehension and reading comprehension assessment. 

The aim of the grants is to build insights into the interaction between features of text and reading tasks that impact comprehension and can inform teaching, learning and assessment and evaluation.  In addition, the grants are intended to provide a body of validity evidence which can contribute to the validation of The Lexile Framework for Reading and EFL reading assessment instruments, such as the Aptis test system developed by the British Council. The projects sponsored by the grants will contribute to improving the application, use and interpretation of these instruments in learning, teaching and evaluation. 

Projects will be for a period of one year.


Educational institutions and suitably qualified individuals are invited to apply for funding to undertake applied research projects of relevance to the areas of interest outlined below.


The financial support for individual projects will, in principle, be limited to a maximum of £15,000, although it is expected that projects requesting financial support in the region of £10,000 to £15,000 will be most positively considered.


The research grants support researchers around the world in conducting and disseminating the highest quality research. The areas of particular interest to MetaMetrics and the British Council in 2018 include:


  • Studies on the English language progression among persons, including studies on the relationship between age, instruction (e.g., hours of study, method) and typical gains in Lexile measures and Aptis reading scores.
  • Studies investigating the relationship between the use of feedback derived (i.e. Lexile measures) from Aptis and the impact on teaching and learning.
  • Studies investigating the impact of controlled vocabulary on reading comprehension level.


  • Studies investigating the relationship between reading comprehension level (i.e. interaction between person and text) and growth in reading and the impact on the comprehension level needed for optimal growth.
  • Studies investigating the level of comprehension of reading materials needed to be successful in the global community and in careers.
  • Studies investigating the similarities and differences between EFL reading contexts and English medium instruction contexts in terms of reading demands, the cognitive processes elicited as a part of typical reading tasks, and interpretation of Lexile measures and EFL reading test scores. 


Aptis scores and Lexile person measures for research purposes are available by working with the British Council to administer Aptis.  Lexile text measures for research purposes are available by working with MetaMetrics to measure the complexity of the text.  For more information on Lexile person or text measures, visit www.Lexile.com.

Grant recipients 2018

Aylin Ünaldi, Bekir Ateş, Cyril Weir (Bogazici University, Bebek-Istanbul, Turkey) for their study: : Experts’ judgment of text difficulty and suitability for EAP assessment and its congruence with automatic text analysis indices: a validation study across contexts.

Grant recipients 2017

Benjamin Kremmel, Carol Spöttl, Franz Holzknecht & Matthias Zehentner (Language Testing Research Group, University of Innsbruck, Austria) for their project which explored text and task features of university reading materials in relation to Aptis and Lexile scores.

Ian Tuersley & Saeede Haghi (The University of Warwick) for their study which looked at the impact of academic texts readability on students’ comprehension of and engagement with these resources.


 KEY DATES FOR 2018/ 2019

December 2018 Call for Proposals
February 28th 2019 Applications close
March 2019 Evaluation and Selection
April 2019 Notification of decisions to applicants

If additional information about the assessment research grants is required, contact the British Council prior to application at mina.patel@britishcouncil.org.my