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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Level: PhD
Duty: Research,Project Work
Linguistic Field: General Linguistics
Application Deadline: 10-Jul-2012
Supporting Institution: University of Nottingham
English and Engineering
LL Issue: 23.2783
Posted: 20-Jun-2012
Support Description: PhD Project - Linguistic theory and neuronal computation

The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham UK and the Division of
English at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China have an exciting opportunity
for an inter-disciplinary, international PhD fellowship in Biology and Linguistics.

The successful applicant will work with Dr Noah Russell in the Neurophotonics Lab
(NPL) in the Institute of Biophysics, Imaging and Optical Science (IBIOS), and
with Dr Derek Irwin at the Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics China
(CRALC), bringing together theoretical linguistics and experimental neuroscience
research from across both the Divisions, allowing interdisciplinary work of the
highest standard. The Neurophotonics Lab is developing technology to study
fundamental aspects of information processing in the brain. To achieve this, we
are developing a system in which a small network of cultured neurons will be able
to continuously exchange information with a virtual environment programmed on a
computer; such a construct is analogous to how a real organism interacts with its
environment. This project involves the application of theoretical linguistics to
analyse the semantic structure of levels of abstraction within this experimental
system. This analysis will then be used to inform the mathematical design of
experimental protocols.

The PhD fellowship will be 3 years in length and is expected to start in October
2012. The scholarship will cover full tuition fees at each institution, living costs
and an allowance for travel between campuses. The recipient will be required to
spend initial time at the University of Nottingham UK, followed by time at the
University of Nottingham Ningbo CRALC. Completion of the project will be
conducted in Nottingham UK.

Applicants must have a first class Master's degree in Theoretical Linguistics, with
evidence of research training. Some knowledge of Neuroscienceand Mathematics
is also desirable. Applicants whose first language is not English must have an
IELTS average of 7 or equivalent English language qualification.

All enquiries may be sent to Dr. Noah Russell nottingham.ac.uk>,
or Dr. Derek Irwin .
For more information about the schools involved, visit our UK and China websites:
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/engineering/index.aspx
http://www.nottingham.edu.cn/en/english/index.aspx
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/english/index.aspx
Application Mailing Address: Dr. Derek Irwin
199 Taikang Rd. E
Ningbo Zhejiang 315100
China
Contact Information: Dr. Derek Irwin
derek.irwin@nottingham.edu.cn