In a fierce competition with applicants from universities around the world, University of Macau Ph.D. candidate, Mr. WU Jincheng, specializing in Linguistics from the Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, has successfully secured two prestigious international dissertation research grants under the supervision of Prof. Cecilia Guanfang Zhao.

The TOEFL Grant for Doctoral Research in Language Assessment from U.S. Educational Testing Service (ETS), and the Duolingo English Test (DET) Doctoral Dissertation Award, together provided Jincheng with a combined grant of 11,000 USD to support his dissertation research on the topic of “Evaluating multimodal composing in higher education: The development and validation of a scoring rubric for academic presentation.”

Multimodal composing (MC) has gained increasing attention in educational settings, as it empowers students to exercise their autonomy and unleash their creativity through the use of diverse modes, including audio, visual, linguistic, spatial, and gestural elements, across various communicative contexts. The assessment of MC, however, has failed to go beyond the use of predominantly linguistic-based writing rubrics. Such an assessment approach limits the realization of MC’s full potential and the benefits it offers. As a response, Mr. Wu proposes to address this gap by developing and validating an assessment tool tailored specifically for evaluating academic presentations, one of the most commonly employed genres of MC in university and academic settings.

The TOEFL Grant and the DET Award from ETS and Duolingo, respectively, are highly competitive programs designed to recognize and support promising Ph.D. dissertation research in the field of language testing and assessment. The achievements highlight the exceptional research contributions made by FAH Ph.D. students. The Department and Faculty take great pride in nurturing such talented young minds that continue to push the boundaries of knowledge and make significant strides in their respective fields.

See the links below for the official announcements of awardees and their funded research by the funding organizations.

2024 TOEFL Grant for Doctoral Research in Language Assessment

2023 Duolingo English Test (DET) Doctoral Dissertation Awards