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Conducting Research in the English Language Preparatory Program

Research policy

Educational research is a human endeavour, which facilitates our understanding of the world and contributes to the improvement of education and society as a whole. The following assumptions about educational research inform our views.

Educational Research:

  • attempts to find and generate new understandings of the world and phenomena within it;
  • is disciplined inquiry with the aim of extending knowledge for the benefit of individuals, institutions, and the field of education;
  • values the contributions of research methods shaped by different world views, without assuming the ascendency of any specific theoretical framework;
  • acknowledges that an individual’s ontological (what we know) and epistemological (how we know what we know) understandings of the world shape research designs and their realisation;
  • recognises that knowledge about education is socially constructed and contextually bound and, as such, findings are tentative and may/may not be ‘generalisable’ to other contexts and situations;
  • explores and seeks to interpret the social world, which may entail seeking to understand how groups/individuals see the world and their behaviour within it, or seeking to understand how individuals are shaped by their own and others’ perceptions;
  • recognises EFL/ESL as a field of research situated within the broader field of educational research, shaped by and informing it.

English Language Preparatory Program:

  • encourages and supports quality research (by internal and external researchers) which improves our understanding of teaching and learning;
  • supports emerging and experienced researchers, and the developing competence of novice researchers, through courses and ongoing dialogue;
  • actively protects and maintains the rights of participants in research through its framework of ethical guidelines and procedures;
  • values research in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and applied linguistics, but equally values research in other areas, such as teacher cognition, teacher knowledge, curriculum, educational management, etc.;
  • allocates its resources, in particular, to research which clearly contributes to the achievement of the school’s mission.

Procedures for requesting permission to conduct research in the English Language Preparatory Program (for internal and external researchers)

We support research proposals from novice and experienced researchers (internal and/or external to which:

  • are well-designed;
  • contribute knowledge to the field;
  • clearly state the steps taken to enhance the quality of the research in terms of reliability of the instruments, validity of the findings and ethical integrity.

The following procedures are intended to assist researchers in drawing up proposals for permission to conduct research in the English Language Preparatory Program, facilitating effective communication between researchers and the institution. The suitability of research requests is assessed on the following criteria:

  • Are the research design and methodology sound?
  • Will the study benefit the participants involved, the field and/or the institution?
  • Is the study feasible given institutional constraints?
  • Has Ethics Board approval been received from Bilkent University or from the researcher’s host institution?

All researchers are expected to complete the Research Request Proforma and submit it to prepdir@bilkent.edu.tr with the following documents:

  1. Ethics committee approval from Bilkent University or from the researcher’s host institution
  2. Informed consent forms for the participants
  3. Data collection tools

“Researchers are reminded that Bilkent University does not allow the use of students of research investigators as participants. Students who have the potential of being graded by the investigators during or following the semester(s) in which the study is being carried out should not participate in the study.” (taken from http://w3.bilkent.edu.tr/bilkent/application-for-an-ethics-committee-approval-for-a-research-project-which-will-use-human-participants/ )

In-house authors or external researchers who are considering the publication of research undertaken in Bilkent University, involving the institution and/or members of the institution, are advised that they should inform the English Language Preparatory Program of their intention to publish prior to sending for publication, with a copy of the proposed article. The English Language Preparatory Program will ensure that the article does not transgress any institutional ethical rules or sensitivities, or engage members of the institution in views which may run contrary to their own or the university’s interests at that time.