[Corpora-List] DEADLINE APPROACHING (15 January): 3 research positions at the University of Essex on using data collected through online games to develop computational models of anaphora resolution

Massimo Poesio poesio at essex.ac.uk
Tue Jan 10 21:27:18 CET 2017

* Job openings: 3 positions on using data collected through online games to develop computational models of anaphora resolution*

University of Essex, Language and Computation Group

Applications are welcome for 3 positions funded by a 5-year European Research Council Advanced Grant awarded to the project DALI: Disagreements in Language Interpretation. The project will address a fundamental question for computational linguistics, psycholinguistics and theoretical linguistics: namely, the extent to which humans disagree on language interpretation (in particular, on the interpretation of anaphoric expressions), and the implications of such disagreements, e.g., on the development of computational models of anaphoric interpretation. We will do this by using online games-with-a-purpose to collect numerous interpretations for very large numbers of anaphoric expressions, building on the successful experience with the Phrase Detectives GWAP, by analyzing these data using Bayesian annotation models, and by developing methods for training taking disagreements into account.


We seek outstanding researchers with a genuine interest in developing exciting games and/or studying how anaphoric expressions are interpreted, and ideally both.

1. For the first position, we are looking for someone with superior

skills in the development of games for mobile devices who can develop

with us exciting games-with-a-purpose for mobile phones or social media

platforms that can attract and be used by thousands of players to

collect data for computational linguistics. Advanced programming

skills are required. Applications from outside academia, e.g., the

gaming industry, are welcome.

2. For the second position, we are looking for a researcher with an

extensive background in machine learning, and specifically in Bayesian

inference, who can apply such methods to analyze very large datasets

collected through games-with-a-purpose and to develop novel models of

anaphoric interpretation. Advanced programming and mathematical skills

are required.

3. For the third position, we are looking for an excellent programmer

with solid experience with machine learning methods and ideally a

background in computational linguistics / language technology to

develop the language technology required to support the development

of games-with-a-purpose to collect data for computational linguistics:

e.g., create and fine-tune NLP pipelines, integrate anaphora

resolution in the games, maintain tools like the anaphora resolution

platform BART, etc. A PhD is not required for this position, and it

would be possible for this researcher to study for a PhD part-time.

All researchers are expected to have excellent analysis and abstraction skills, and an interest in working in an interdisciplinary environment.

If you think that your background is relevant to the research program of the project and you have good programming and quantitative skills, splease do get in touch even if you do not fit the profiles above.


The University of Essex is a research-oriented University ranked among the top 20 Universities in the UK. It is also the location of one of the oldest research groups in computational linguistics in the country, established over forty years ago, and currently known as the Language and Computation Group:


composed of over 20 computational linguists from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE), the Department of Language and Linguistics, and the Data Archive.

The University of Essex is located in beautiful countryside made famous by Constable and little changed since, near to the coast, and with easy access to London.


All of these positions will be available starting February 1st 2017. Deadline for application is January 15th, 2017.

Applications should be made through the University of Essex's website at the following links, where details about salary and conditions are also provided:




Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Massimo Poesio (poesio AT essex.ac.uk).

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