[Corpora-List] Queen Mary University of London: postdoctoral position in ERC-funded project on using data collected through online games to support research in the linguistics and interpretation of anaphora/coreference

Massimo Poesio m.poesio at qmul.ac.uk
Fri Sep 14 11:17:55 CEST 2018

Postdoctoral position on using data collected through online games to support research in the linguistics and interpretation of anaphora/coreference

Applications are invited from outstanding computational linguists / NLP researchers combining an excellent background in theoretical linguistics (in particular semantics) with (ideally) research skills in the use of machine learning methods for NLP/CL , for a Postdoctoral Research Assistant position in DALI, a project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) on using games-with-a-purpose to collect very large datasets to support research in the linguistics and interpretation of anaphoric expression/coreference.

The main responsibility of the post holder will be analyzing the data about anaphora and anaphoric ambiguity already collected using the /Phrase Detectives/ game (over 4.5 million judgments) and those that will be collected through a range of games under development, identifying the main sources of disagreement among our players, and use the insights thus obtained to push forward our understanding of the linguistics of anaphora and the state of the art in computational modelling of anaphora resolution. The chosen candidate will also be expected to provide input in the development of new games so as to improve the quality of the data collected, and in the development of new models of anaphora resolution / coreference, focusing in particular on those aspects of anaphora resolution that are most overlooked in current models (e.g., discourse deixis, plurals). He/she will lead and co-author a range of outputs of the project; and contribute to the dissemination of research findings to a range of stakeholders and audiences.

The successful candidate will hold a PhD with a focus on computational linguistics / NLP, theoretical linguistics, or machine learning for NLP. A strong background in theoretical linguistics in general and semantics in particular, ideally with a focus on anaphora, is essential. Demonstrable skills in using computational and machine learning methods to analyse large amounts of linguistic data are also essential; experience with developing computational models of semantic/discourse interpretation (especially of anaphora resolution or coreference) highly desirable. Strong programming skills, particularly in languages used in CL/NLP such as Python, Perl, Java, R. Familiarity with languages for building NNs such as Tensor Flow a definite plus. The candidate is also expected to have excellent analysis and abstraction skills, and an interest in working in a research environment.

The positions will be funded by the ERC Advanced Grant DALI, a five-year project on collecting large amounts of data on anaphora resolution / coreference via games-with-a-purpose and using them to study anaphora. For details on the project, see http://dali.eecs.qmul.ac.uk/

The successful candidate will join a team based in the Cognitive Science Research Group at Queen Mary University of London (http://cogsci.eecs.qmul.ac.uk/), in particular the Computational Linguistics Lab (http://compling.eecs.qmul.ac.uk/) but also including collaborators from the Games and AI research group at QMUL, from Queen Mary's top-rated Linguistics Department, from the Language and Computation Group at the University of Essex, from the Linguistic Data Consortium, and from Columbia University's Statistics Department. London is an extremely exciting city in which to live, and a very lively centre of research in NLP/computational linguistics, both in academia and industry.

This is a full time post until 31 Aug 2021 (whichever is the shorter) starting 1 November 2018 or as soon as feasible after this date. The starting salary will be 36,677 -43,152 per annum inclusive of London allowance. Benefits include 30 days annual leave, defined benefit pension scheme and interest-free season ticket loan.

Candidates must be able to demonstrate their eligibility to work in the UK in accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Where required this may include entry clearance or continued leave to remain under the Points Based Immigration Scheme.

Informal enquiries should be addressed to Massimo Poesio (m.poesio at qmul.ac.uk). For more information and how to apply, see:


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