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Research Fellow

University of Birmingham - School of English, Drama and Creative Studies

Location: Birmingham
Salary: £31,406 to £40,927 with potential progression once in post to £43,434 (Grade 7)
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 5th August 2022
Closes: 28th August 2022
Job Ref: 100178

University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £31,406 to £40,927, with potential progression once in post to £43,434 – PLEASE NOTE as this vacancy is externally funded the maximum starting salary that can be offered is £34,304

Fixed-term for up to 3 years

The Department of English Language and Linguistics seeks to appoint a Research Fellow to work on the ERC-funded project ‘The dynamics of sign language grammar: Morphology, language change, iconicity and social structure in signing communities’ (or ‘SignMorph’) led by Professor Adam Schembri. SignMorph will focus on key aspects of sign language morphology in (1) ‘established’ macro-community sign languages, (2) ‘established’ micro-community sign languages, and (3) ‘emerging’ sign languages. SignMorph aims to better understand similarities and differences in the grammar of sign languages, and how these are shaped by language-internal and language-external factors. The factors to be investigated in the study include (1) the role of iconicity in mapping grammatical meanings onto form, (2) the apparent recent emergence of many sign languages, and how this short history has impacted on the processes which create grammatical structure, and (3) the sociolinguistic structure of signing communities.

The Department 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. You 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 Duties include;

  • Design research activities to meet the objectives of the SignMorph project
  • Collect research data; this may be through a variety of research methods, such as scientific experimentation and research interviews
  • Analyse and interpret sign language data

Person Specification includes

  • The research fellow will have (or be near completing) a PhD in linguistics, anthropology, or psychology (or related fields)
  • High level research skills, high level skills in a sign language, as well as a demonstrated ability to work independently 
  • 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) 

For further information, please contact Adam Schembri; a.schembri@bham.ac.uk

Further information about the project: www.signmorph.net

To download the full job description and details of this position and submit an electronic application online please click on the Apply Online button above or visit our careers website; https://bham.taleo.net/careersection/external/jobsearch.ftl?lang=en&portal=101430233, please quote Job Ref 100178 in all enquiries.

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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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