PhD Studentship in Corpus Linguistics / Applied Linguistics People, products, pests and pets: the discursive representation of animals



The research project ‘People, products, pests and pets: the discursive representation of animals’ (Leverhulme £249K) is running at King’s College London and The University of Birmingham from October 2013 to 2016.

To work on the project, we are seeking applications for a three-year PhD studentship at the University of Birmingham. This is a re-advertisement, following the withdrawal of the student initially appointed. The starting date of the PhD will be as soon as possible after the selection process is complete, between October 2013 and January 2014. Previous applicants need not re-apply.

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 for UK home and EU students is £3,925; the fee for students in other categories is higher and the difference cannot be funded from this award.)

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; changes over time in newspaper reports featuring stories about wild / domestic / farmed animals; archival texts from organisations represented in the main project, etc.

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Informal enquiries are welcome and can be made to Dr Alison Sealey [email protected], 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. Only applicants who are not already reading for a PhD are eligible for this studentship.

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  27th September 2013

  1. 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).
  2. Covering letter one A4 side only, describing your preparation and qualification for, and interest in, this studentship.
  3. A sample of your post-graduate academic writing (up to 3000 words), or a short academic publication.
  4. A proposal of not more than 2000 words, outlining the PhD research you would undertake within the parameters of the Birmingham studentship for this project as described in the summary. 

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 [email protected] 27th September 2013. 

Interviews will be conducted as soon as possible after the closing date, in Edgbaston, Birmingham.

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