LINGUIST List 31.3867

Tue Dec 15 2020

Jobs: English; Polish; Computational Linguistics; Neurolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics: Researcher, University of Birmingham

Editor for this issue: Becca Morris <>

Date: 15-Dec-2020
From: Emma Hough <>
Subject: English; Polish; Computational Linguistics; Neurolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics: Researcher, University of Birmingham, UK
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University or Organization: University of Birmingham
Department: Department of Modern Languages
Job Location: Birmingham, United Kingdom
Web Address:
Job Title: Research Assistant - Applied Natural Language Processing (NLP) Specialist

Job Rank: Researcher

Specialty Areas: Computational Linguistics; Neurolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics

Required Language(s): English (eng)
                            Polish (pol)


Department of Modern Languages, College of Arts and Law

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK (Remote working considered)

Full Time

Fixed term from January 2021 to 31 December 2021 (12 months)

Grade 6

Starting salary between £27,511 and £30,046

Closing date - January 10th 2021

Background :
The College of Arts & Law is seeking to appoint an Applied Natural Language Processing (NLP) Specialist, with experience in using Machine Learning (ML) techniques. The successful applicant will run computational simulations of real-life language learning problems, using existing algorithms, and focus on the cognitive plausibility of the linguistic input and output. The aim of these simulations is the generate, in collaboration with a linguist on the team, novel teaching materials for use in classroom intervention studies.

The project is led by Prof Dagmar Divjak in collaboration with Dr Petar Milin. More information about the project is available at the department link above.

Summary of Role:
- Work within the Out of Our Minds team to prepare their findings for testing and use in classroom settings
- Lead on the NLP/ML side of the application, and apply ideas to both real data (e.g., language corpora) and idealized language learning problems (e.g., artificial language designs)
- Analyse and interpret the findings of the NLP/ML applications and prepare technical reports, summarizing the obtained results
- Communicate technical reports to the linguists and psychologists on the team with the aim to facilitate the development of new teaching practices and classroom interventions
- Assist the linguist in developing teaching materials on the basis of the computational findings, e.g. by retrieving examples from the data

Main Duties / Responsibilities:
- NLP: prepare raw corpora for computational modelling using existing tools for annotation, tagging, lemmatization etc.
- Run computational models (i.e. simulations) of language processing using a range of machine learning and cognitive modelling techniques
- Actively contribute to the interpretation of the results of the computational simulations and (advanced) statistical analyses.
- In collaboration with a linguist, prepare the output in a way that can be used as classroom teaching materials.
- Record, analyse, and write up the results of the technical work, maintaining a permanent record of the applied machine learning and cognitive modelling techniques.
- Apply version control essential for data preparation, curation and open access archiving.
- If needed, assist with a range of research software engineering tasks, such as optimization, parallelization, use of GPUs, scaling-up etc.
- Plan own workload within the project timetable to ensure that the overall project milestones and objectives are met, and highlight any problems in advance.
- Contribute to the overall activities of the research team.
- Carry out clerical duties relating to the organization of the project as required.
- Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post as assigned by the line manager or their nominee.

Applications must be submitted via the University of Birmingham jobs site, found at the application link provided below.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Professor Dagmar Divjak or Dr Petar Milin at the contact information below.

More information about the Out of our Minds project can be found here:

Please note - we are unable to offer visa sponsorship for this post

Application Deadline: 10-Jan-2021

Web Address for Applications:
Contact Information:
Prof. Divjak

Page Updated: 15-Dec-2020