Research

VATE offers an annual grant for up to $8,000 (GST inclusive) to enable researchers and teachers to work together to conduct collaborative inquiries into significant contemporary issues related to teaching and learning in secondary school English. In 2022, that area is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the identity and agency of English teachers, and the sustainability of English teaching more broadly.

The VATE Research Grant is available to single researchers or to a collaborative team of researchers with a view to enhancing the quality of English teaching through research and professional learning. Project action plans must involve collecting and analysing data from the VATE community and can involve teachers as participants in the research. The findings from the research must be disseminated to the VATE community and interstate English teaching colleagues. Funding can be used for research assistance, travel and accommodation, CRT coverage, transcription services and to facilitate meetings. Funds cannot be used for equipment or conference attendance. The successful applicants will enter into a funding agreement with VATE.

The research inquiry will begin in Semester Two 2022 and will conclude at the end of 2023 (18 months duration). The research will incorporate and develop the following items:

  • Member survey/s and member engagement
  • Literature review with relevant research shared with the VATE community through its regular eBulletins
  • An interim report on findings; and a final discussion paper that is both theoretical and practical for dissemination to the VATE and AATE communities
  • A presentation at the VATE State Conference
  • A paper ready to be considered for publication in English in Australia or another peer reviewed journal
  • Additional professional learning opportunities and publications will be discussed post-publication of the final discussion paper.


The successful applicant/s must attend at least one VATE Professional Learning and Research Committee meeting during the course of the project and a written report on progress must be presented to the Committee and VATE Council. Applicant/s must all be VATE members and demonstrate a track record of conducting research leading to publication.

An application consisting of reponses to the selection criteria and the Research Grant template may be submitted to education@vate.org.au by no later than 12pm on Thursday 18 August 2022. Download the required application form here.


Previous recipients of the VATE Research Grant

Teaching writing today: A collaborative study (2018)
This research focused on the teaching of writing and sought to understand how English teachers are designing curriculum for the teaching of writing. Researchers involved with this project included Lucinda McKnight, Deakin University; Helen Billett, Woodleigh School; Mandy Goff, Tallangatta Secondary College; Andrea Hayes, Brighton Grammar; Tim Mannix, Brentwood Secondary College; Julian Sefton-Green, Deakin University (Project Mentor). Read the study here.

Video games in the English classroom (2018)
Researchers: Lead teacher, Nicole Jasinowicz, Wodonga Senior Secondary College, and Alex Bacalja, University of Melbourne. You can view Alex's IFTE/AATE (2020) presentation 'Critical digital game literacies in the English classroom' here and his VATE State Conference (2019) presentation 'Selecting, curriculum planning and teaching games as text' here. Alex's research can be found in Digital games and language learning: Theory, Development and Implementation (pp. 113-116) and Critical Digital Literacies: Boundary-Crossing Practices (pp. 185-204).

Text Selection in the Senior English Curriculum (2018)
This project with the Melbourne Graduate School of Education was funded by VATE and investigated the past ten years of VCE English textlists (2010-2019). The project quantified and analysed the frequency of different categories of texts and analysed the implications of these trends on student egagement and student life-worlds. The report, co-authored by Alex Bacalja and Lauren Bliss, can be found here.