Research Associate - School of English, Drama and Creative Studies - 100011

University of Birmingham
United Kingdom
£27,924 - £34,304
Closing date
Aug 13, 2022

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Science, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Language and Linguistics, Art and Humanities
Full Time
Organization Type
University and College
Jobseeker Type
Academic (e.g. 'Lecturer')
Position Details

School of English, Drama and Creative Studies in the College of Arts and Law

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full Time

Fixed-term for up to 2 years


The Department of English Language and Linguistics seeks to appoint a Research Associate to work on the European Research Council project 'The dynamics of sign language grammar: Morphology, language change, iconicity and social structure in signing communities' (or 'SignMorph') led by Professor Adam Schembri.

The research associate will have an undergraduate degree in linguistics, anthropology, education, or psychology (or related fields) or equivalent, some previous research experience, a high level skills in in British Sign Language, as well as a demonstrated ability to work independently.

The Department of English Language and Linguistics has an outstanding international reputation, with particular strengths in relevant areas such as corpus linguistics, quantitative sociolinguistics, cognitive linguistics, and a growing interest in sign language research and gesture studies. As a member of the Department, the research fellow will join a lively and flourishing research community where they will enjoy opportunities for intellectual and other leadership in a collegiate and highly ambitious environment.

We believe that signed language research may be effectively carried out by researchers from a range of backgrounds. However, in light of the under-representation of deaf scholars and professionals in academia, we are committed to creating opportunities for deaf scholars. In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements, we therefore strongly encourage deaf individuals to apply.

Main responsibilities
  • Work on research activities to meet the objectives of the SignMorph project, particularly understanding aspects of the morphology of BSL and the social structure of the UK signing community
  • Collect research data; this may be through a variety of research methods, including surveys and interviews
  • Transcribe/annotate/analyse sign language data collected as well as data from the BSL Corpus
  • Disseminate research findings for publication, research seminars etc
  • Contribute to Departmental/School research-related activities and research-related administration
  • Contribute to public engagement activities, often working with the project leader and research fellows
  • Deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines
  • Promotes equality and values diversity acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture

Person Specification
  • The research associate will have (or be near completing) a degree in linguistics, anthropology, education, or psychology (or related fields), or have equivalent qualifications
  • Excellent BSL skills and good written communication skills
  • Knowledge of the UK signing community
  • Some knowledge of sign language linguistics
  • Experience in range of different approaches to the study of sign languages is welcome (including sign language documentation, typology, corpora, sociolinguistics, ethnography, and/or experimental studies)
  • Flexibility and ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Good organisational skills
  • Planning effectively, recognising and flagging up problems
  • Knowledge and experience of working within research ethics guidelines
  • Understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/administration processes
  • Knowledge of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, and how to actively ensure in day-to-day activity in own area that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly

For further information, please contact Adam Schembri ( )

Further information about the project:

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working

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