Research Fellow (Out of Our Minds Project) - School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music

Country: United Kingdom;

City: Birmingham

Vacancy added: 29.07.2019

Employer: University of Birmingham

Resumes due: 28.08.2019


The College of Arts & Law is seeking to appoint a postdoctoral Research Fellow in Linguistics. The Fellow will create and contribute to the creation of knowledge by undertaking a specified range of activities within a Leverhulme-funded project that aims to develop new ways of describing what speakers know about their language to make learning foreign languages easier. The project is led by Prof Dagmar Divjak in collaboration with Dr Petar Milin. More information about the project is available on


Summary of Role

Work within the Out of Our Minds team to achieve the project goals
Lead on design, analysis and interpretation of (results from) computational simulation studies
Analyse, interpret and disseminate research findings and results, for general and specialist audiences
Contribute to writing follow-on bids


Main Duties/Responsibilities

  • Devise new, cognitively plausible linguistic abstractions that build on the results obtained using computational simulations with learning algorithms (as well as behavioural experimentation), with assistance of the project leads if required.
  • Collaborate with other project team members to develop linguistic or experimental designs that test the validity of our computational models
  • Contribute to developing new models, techniques and methods for describing linguistic knowledge
  • Collect research data through a variety of research methods, such as literature reviews, linguistic annotation, psychological experimentation and computational simulation
  • Carry out advanced statistical analysis of experimental and computational simulation data, and contribute to the interpretation of the results from a linguistic perspective
  • Apply knowledge in a way which develops new intellectual understanding
  • Record, analyse, and write up the results of the work, maintaining a permanent record of the methodologies and experiments, and prepare data for open access archiving
  • Contribute to the dissemination of the research results through conference presentations and by preparing journal publications
  • Contribute to writing bids for follow-on research funding
  • Plan own workload within the project timetable to ensure that the overall project milestones and objectives are met
  • Assist the project lead in ensuring that the research is running within the timelines laid down in the project plan, and that any problems are highlighted in advance; deal pro-actively with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines
  • Provide guidance, as required, to PhD students on the same work package, and to support staff and any students who may be assisting with the research
  • Contribute to the overall activities of the research team and the wider research environment of the College
  • Contribute to public engagement activities of manifest benefit to the project, the College and the University, often under supervision of a project leader
  • Carry out management/administration/clerical duties relating to the organization of the project as required
  • Carry out any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post, as assigned by your line manager or her nominee


Person Specification

Essential (unless otherwise specified)


Qualifications & Experience

  • Have a PhD in Linguistics, ideally in morphology or morpho-syntax

  • Demonstrable research experience in linguistic analysis and corpus linguistic.

  • A thorough working knowledge of a range of statistical techniques for analysing linguistic data (e.g. regression techniques).

  • Experience working with a Slavonic language, and/or willingness to learn Polish.

  • Have a track record of publications appropriate to stage of career

  • Lead author on at least one research publications in a peer reviewed journal.

  • (Desirable): Experience of cross-, inter-, or multi-disciplinary research approaches and methods

Communication skills

  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, in English (CEFR level C2 is required for non-native speakers)

  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly

  • Experience of disseminating academic research through presentation and publication, including the ability to communicate research to non-specialists.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to liaise effectively with colleagues and external stakeholders

Team working

  • Ability to work as an effective member of a team, to support the work of colleagues, aligning the day-to-day work and goals of the team.

  • Eagerness to learn, acquire new skills and share expertise

  • Co-ordinate own work with others to avoid conflict or duplication of effort

  • Experience of motivating and supporting junior team members
    Problem solving and decision making


Position Details

School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music - College of Arts and Law

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time

Fixed term - 12 Months

Full time starting salary is usually within the range of £30,395 to £39,609. With potential progression once in post to £42,036

Closing date  - 28 August 2019

Where to send resume: