PhD Scholarship in Corpus Linguistics

University of Nottingham Ningbo China
Thursday, March 31, 2016

Applications for one fully funded PhD position in Corpus Linguistics (funded for up to 3 years) are invited to work at the School of English UNNC, commencing in September 2016 or as soon as possible hereafter.

The PhD student will support the project of Corpus of Academic Written and Spoken English (CAWSE), which aims to build a large collection of students’ English language samples from the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC). UNNC was the first foreign university to open in China and is part of The University of Nottingham, which is ranked in the top 1% of all universities worldwide according to the QS World University Rankings 2013. The award winning UNNC campus offering a UK style education has grown to establish a student body of over 6,000 in just 10 years. As one of the few EMI (English-medium instruction) universities in China, UNNC creates a unique environment for teaching and learning and also provides exciting opportunities for linguistic studies into Academic English from diverse theoretical and analytical perspectives. The final product of UNNC-CAWSE, therefore, will offer open-access electronic resources (including a multi-modal pilot corpus) available for all researchers and practitioners who are interested in a wide range of topics, including for example Second Language Acquisition, English for Academic Purposes, World Englishes, and many other aspects of the Written and Spoken English unique to this new corpus.

By joining UNNC you will be living in China during an exciting period of economic development, gaining a global perspective on international education and experiencing a unique culture. Located less than two hours south of Shanghai by train, UNNC has a friendly and highly international research community to support the work of the UNNC-CAWSE project. You will be working closely with Dr Yu-Hua Chen and Dr Simon Harrison on the project as well as other researchers and a team of research assistants. More details about the position are below:


The PhD scholarship will include tuition fees and a stipend that will cover accommodation and monthly living allowance for up to 3 years.

*Key Requirements: - A strong background in Corpus Linguistics, Learner Corpus Research, Second Language Acquisition, Computational Linguistics or a relevant area in Applied Linguistics - Knowledge and experience in Quantitative Data Analysis, Statistics or Speech Recognition will be an advantage - Excellent communication and interpersonal skills - Good command of written and spoken English (evidence of capacity for presenting and publishing research is desirable) - Good command of written and spoken Chinese will be an advantage but not essential - Evidence of adaptability and flexibility and working in evolving interdisciplinary/intercultural environments - Ability to work under pressure and complete duties effectively to required deadlines - Attention to detail *Suggested areas for PhD dissertation topics including but not limited to: - Identify linguistic features (e.g. lexical, grammatical or discoursal) and/or academic skills (e.g. critical thinking) that distinguish different band scores - Investigate the relationship between rating scales, assessment tasks, tutors’ feedback and quality of coursework samples - Compare linguistic/meta-linguistic features across different types of assessment tasks - Domain analysis of communication/academic skills for EMI students - Language development patterns of students’ academic performance - Explore the features that support Chinese English as a unique variety of English - Multimodal corpus analyses of spoken English and gesture in face-to-face communication
If you have any queries regarding the position or the project, please contact the project leader Dr Yu-Hua Chen ( or the sub-project leader Dr Simon Harrison ( *To apply, please prepare the following documents and email them to Connie Zhou ( ) by 31st March 2016: 1) CV 2) 2,000-word research proposal 3) 5,000-word written sample (publication or coursework) 4) Two letters of recommendation (directly to UNNC) See ‘How to apply for a PhD at UNNC’: