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Research Associate in Historical Iranian Linguistics (Fixed Term)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Location: Cambridge
Salary: £33,309 to £40,927 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 15th September 2021
Closes: 4th October 2021
Job Ref: GU28149

Reference: GU28149

Closing date: 04 October 2021

The Department of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge invites applications for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the field of Historical Iranian Linguistics.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate would work in the research team of the ERC-funded project 'Echoes of Vanishing Voices in the Mountains: A Linguistic History of Minorities in the Near East' (ALHOME) under the direction of Professor Geoffrey Khan. The project aims to reconstruct the complex, socioreligious past of Aramaic-speaking and Kurdish-speaking communities in Western Asia through a study of the history and interrelationship of their languages.

Key activities associated with the role include:

  •  The historical interpretation of Iranian linguistic data and the assembling of new data from the relevant Iranian languages of the region, as well as investigating the linguistic convergence between Neo-Aramaic and Iranian.
  •  Collaborating with Neo-Aramaic specialists and a Kurdish linguistics specialist in the analysis of these convergences and divergences using, where relevant, computer-generated models.
  •  Make core contributions to a linguistic atlas that maps the Neo-Aramaic dialects and the Iranian languages of the region.
  •  Undertake new research relating to the Iranian languages of the region and publish this in the form of single authored monograph and academic papers in peer-reviewed journals.
  •  Carry out administrative tasks relating to the project.
  •  Participation in the wider activities of the linguistics community in Cambridge, including contributions to seminars and assistance in grant-writing.
  •  Teaching of Iranian languages to the ERC project team.

Applicants must have:

  •  A PhD in the field of Iranian Languages and Linguistics.
  •  Expertise in Kurdish and Gorani dialects, as well as their classification and historical background.
  •  A good knowledge of the basic principles of historical and contact linguistics.
  •  Excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills.
  •  A willingness to take on administrative tasks as necessary.
  •  A demonstrable commitment to working in a team.

A basic familiarity with Neo-Aramaic dialects and cultures and the social history of the region would be an advantage.

Funding for this post is available until 31 August 2025.

The closing date for applications is midnight (BST) on Monday 4th October2021. We expect to hold interviews in the week commencing 11th October 2021 subject to change.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit :

If you have any questions about this vacancy you can contact Professor Geoffrey Khan, or about the application process, please contact our HR team on

Please quote reference GU28149 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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