'How IATEFL scholarships work' by Maureen McGarvey

24th June 2017

It’s that time of year again! April 2018 may seem a long way off, but applications for scholarships for the 2018 annual IATEFL Conference in Brighton have been open for a couple of weeks. The closing date for applications is 4.00 pm UK time on Tuesday, July 18th – so you still have time to apply.

The very first scholarship ever awarded by IATEFL was the Ray Tongue scholarship, which was first awarded in 1991. This scholarship was set up in memory of Ray Tongue, who spent a large part of his life in Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. This award is one which restricts application to those from those particular countries. In 1996, the First-time Speaker Scholarship was added, later re-named the Gill Strurtridge First-time Speaker Scholarship, in honour of Gill Sturtridge, a prolific author of ELT resource books. This is the award won by Katy Muench, who shared her scholarship winner’s journey with us in this series of blog entries. Subsequently, scholarships were established in the name of Bill Lee and Gillian Porter Ladousse.

In 2004, the Learning Technologies Special Interest Group became the first SIG to offer a travel grant to conference, and the tradition of SIGS offering scholarships was born. Since then, institutions, publishers, private individuals and IATEFL itself have added to the list of scholarships you can now apply for. The range and scope of available awards means that whatever your area of interest, there is bound to be a scholarship you can apply for!

Applications are read by panels of readers, sometimes from the sponsor, sometimes readers with knowledge in the specialist field. Reading your applications is an exciting, inspiring and wonderful experience for the reading panels. We learn so much from your applications, which open a window for us onto your teaching and training contexts and challenges. Once the winners are decided, the Scholarship Committee will contact you to let you know the good news. This will happen between Monday 28th August and Thursday 7th September 2017, so be sure to check your emails during that period. If you win, you need to confirm acceptance as soon as possible. Head Office and the Scholarship Committee will then get in touch with you to talk you through the next steps, and are always here to support you between your confirmation of acceptance and your arrival in Brighton. We can help you with visa applications and with accommodation, and we have a Scholarship Winners’ Gathering on the first evening of conference. This means you can meet the other winners and the sponsors, and share your conference experience with them over the coming days.

Applying for a scholarship may seem like a big step, but as they say, ‘you have to be in it, to win it’! So please have a look at the scholarship page on the website and apply. We look forward to reading your applications, and to seeing our winners in Brighton in 2018.

Maureen has worked in ELT for longer than she cares to remember, and has taught in the UK, Spain and Hungary as well as on short training contracts in other locations. She has been a committee member on the Leadership and Management Special Interest Group for IATEFL, and is Co-ordinator for the IATEFL Scholarship Committee (formerly the Scholarship Working Party), responsible for managing the IATEFL scholarship scheme. Maureen currently line manages academic staff in IH London and also manages a team of online tutors working remotely in a variety of locations. She is a frequent conference speaker on topics related to academic management and online training. She lives in North London with her daughter and their dog. She has a guilty addiction to reality TV programmes. Her email is Maureen (dot) mcgarvey (at) ihlondon (dot) com.