PhD Studentship Corpus Linguistics / Applied Linguistics

The research project ‘People, products, pests and pets: the discursive representation of animals’ (Leverhulme £249K) will run at King’s College London and The University of Birmingham from September 2013-2016, and we are seeking applications for 2 three-year PhD studentships (one at King’s, one in Birmingham). This advertisement relates to the studentship at the University of Birmingham.  The King’s studentship will be advertised separately. Further details of the project can be found here[1]. 

The successful applicant will receive an annual maintenance grant of £13,590 and an annual contribution of £3,828 towards payment of their fees. (The annual fee for 2013-14 is £3,925.) The successful applicant will have already completed Master’s study with a research training component at the time of beginning their PhD. 

The PhD student will use corpus analytic techniques to investigate ways in which animals have been represented in English discourse in the previous two centuries. This research will entail the collection and analysis of a diachronic corpus of texts, working in liaison with the project team and under the supervision of Dr Alison Sealey and Dr Mel Evans. We will expect intensive participation by the student in the main study during their first year, followed by more independent study in the following years. The precise focus of the research will be negotiated with the best applicant, but potential topics include: the language used in wildlife broadcasts from the earliest examples to 2000; newspaper reports featuring stories about wild / domestic / farmed animals 1800 – 2000; archival texts from organisations represented in the main project, such as the RSPCA, from its inception in 1824 to 2000. 

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Informal enquiries are welcome and can be made to Dr Alison Sealey, project Co-Investigator. 

Applicants should apply directly to Dr Alison Sealey via email. The successful candidate will be asked to apply formally to the University’s Graduate School after selection. 

Qualifications: you will have very good undergraduate and Master’s degrees in relevant disciplines, e.g. English Language, Applied Linguistics, Corpus Linguistics. Due to funding restrictions only UK home and EU students not already reading for a PhD are eligible. 

Application: Send hard and electronic copies of the documents listed below to Dr Alison Sealey, Department of English, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston B15 2TT by 12th June 2013.

  • CV including your undergraduate and MA/M.Phil educational history with degree and exam results, and any awards; special skills or experience (e.g. language proficiency, other relevant expertise); and publications (if any).
  • Covering letter one A4 side only, describing your preparation and qualification for, and interest in, this studentship.
  • A sample of your post-graduate academic writing (up to 3000 words), or a short academic publication. 

In addition, you need to supply two letters of reference, one of which should be from a tutor on your post-graduate course, preferably your dissertation supervisor. Ask your referees to send their letters directly by email to 12th June 2013.  

Interviews will be conducted in June in Edgbaston.

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