[Corpora-List] Job: Senior Research Associate – Computational Linguistics, Lancaster University

Rayson, Paul p.rayson at lancaster.ac.uk
Mon Nov 29 14:37:48 CET 2021

Senior Research Associate – Computational Linguistics, Lancaster University School of Computing and Communications Salary: 35,326 to 40,927 Closing Date: Tuesday 04 January 2022 Interview Date: Friday 14 January 2022 Reference: A3612 https://hr-jobs.lancs.ac.uk/Vacancy.aspx?ref=A3612

The School of Computing and Communications (SCC) within Lancaster University’s Faculty of Science and Technology, in collaboration with the Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS), and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is seeking to appoint a Senior Research Associate to work on a study funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Health Services & Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme. The project, “Realist evaluation of online mental health communities to improve policy and practice”, is led by Professor Fiona Lobban (Spectrum Centre, Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University), and includes a large team of collaborators in Lancaster University and mental health providers including online community hosts, moderators, and community members (University of Manchester, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, University of Nottingham).

Mental health problems, including depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, eating disorders, and psychosis, affect approximately 1 in 6 people in the UK at any one time (>11million people). People seek support in a wide variety of ways, increasingly through peer support, and by going online. They search for information and join online mental health communities or forums. Although widely used, the impacts of using online mental health communities, and mechanisms by which these occur, are poorly understood. Our aim is to improve the uptake, safety and usefulness of online mental health communities. We will do this by developing a programme theory about how online mental health communities work, for who, why, and in what contexts. We will use this theory to develop best practice tools for commissioners, community hosts, moderators, and referring clinicians.

The SRA will be part of two internationally recognised centres of expertise for natural language processing and corpus linguistics (UCREL and CASS), and will work directly with Professors Paul Rayson (SCC/UCREL), Elena Semino (Linguistics/CASS), and Fiona Lobban (Chief Investigator in Division of Health Research/Spectrum). The SRA will liaise directly with mental health online community hosts to construct a confidential corpus of online community data; create descriptive case summaries of each community; and develop and apply computational techniques (e.g. natural language processing, corpus-based discourse analysis and social network analysis) to test theories about how support works within the theories. This will require collaborative interdisciplinary working with colleagues collecting survey and in-depth qualitative interview data. We are seeking someone with a thorough understanding of computational linguistic approaches, and the ability to apply these in a creative and flexible way. You need to be able to work independently, and understand the needs of people experiencing mental distress, and be able to respond appropriately.

For more details, please see the associated job description and person specification for this position. Potential candidates can also make informal enquiries to Professors Paul Rayson (p.rayson at lancaster.ac.uk) and Elena Semino (e.semino at lancaster.ac.uk).

This is a full time position expected to start in March/April 2022, and the SRA will join on an indefinite contract, however the role remains contingent on external funding, which at this time is due to end on 31 December 2024.

Lancaster University are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis. The School is also an Athena Swan Bronze Award holder, driving good employment practice and initiatives to address gender inequalities in Computing higher education and research. .

We welcome applications from people in all diversity groups.

Paul Rayson Director of UCREL and Professor of Natural Language Processing Group Lead (SCC Data Science) School of Computing and Communications, InfoLab21, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4WA, UK. Web: http://www.research.lancs.ac.uk/portal/en/people/Paul-Rayson/ Tel: +44 1524 510357 Contact me on Teams<https://teams.microsoft.com/l/chat/0/0?users=p.rayson@lancaster.ac.uk>

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