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Research Associate (Language Variation and Change) (Fixed-Term for 3 years)

Requisition ID:  19101

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  12-May-2022

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


We understand how important the full employment package is to our colleagues at Newcastle University and we are committed to providing a great range of benefits and discounts for all.  You can learn more about what is available here on our Benefits Website page.


Salary: £31,406 - £40,927 per annum


Closing Date: 31 May 2022


This position is for 3 years full time, with an anticipated start date of 1st September 2022


The Role


We are seeking an experienced and enthusiastic postdoctoral Research Associate to further exploit the fieldwork and other data collected in a project investigating the acquisition of sociolinguistic variation by newcomers to Northern Ireland. Múin Béarla do na Leanbháin (‘Teach the Children English’) was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council via a Research Leadership Fellowship award held by Professor Karen Corrigan between 2014 and 2016. It has led to the publication of Corrigan (2020) as well as collaborative outputs such as Corrigan & Diskin (2020). The underpinning research has also been exploited to embed equality, diversity and inclusion values in Northern Ireland’s education and heritage sectors.


You will be supervised by Professor Corrigan. You will undertake work that builds on the research and engagement programmes to date by generating wider academic and societal impacts.

We are a world class, research-intensive university which also delivers education of the highest quality. We play a leading role in the economic, social and cultural development of North Eastern England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


You will be working in the English Language and Linguistics Subject Group of the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics (SELLL). Colleagues have particular research strengths in synchronic and diachronic approaches to language variation and change. The Subject Group is equally strong in experimental methods as well as in theoretical approaches to how language is acquired and structured. For more information about our team’s research, please click here.


In terms that speak more generally of both the School’s ambition and its culture, SELLL aligns itself with the principle: “Literature and Language in Action: Engaging Communities.” For more information on our relationships with Partner Organisations that support this strategy, please click here. Ours was the first unit in our subject area in the UK to secure the award of Athena Swan Bronze accreditation from the Equality Challenge Unit (, an award that represents our commitment to the advancement of equality and diversity. As a School, we recognise that different people bring diverse perspectives, ideas and cultures and that this diversity brings great strength. We are committed to the benefits of a diverse intellectual community of staff and students and to promoting the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion in all of our activities (see the University’s institutional EDI strategy here). The School thus actively encourages applications from underrepresented groups. In addition, all applicants should feel free to communicate to the selection panel any circumstances that have impacted upon their career path, including those related to COVID-19 restrictions. 


We are likewise committed to the professional career development of all our colleagues. You will therefore benefit from a range of excellent development opportunities including internal and external training, active institutional membership of specialist networking groups and opportunities to gain experience of other areas of advancement.

Find out more about the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences here.

Find out more about relevant Research Institutes, Centres and Special Interest Groups here.  


For informal enquiries, please contact Professor Karen Corrigan, Director of Research in Linguistics, via email:


Key Accountabilities

  • Maintain and update project databases and websites
  • Design, implement and interpret data analyses using relevant statistical and data visualization tools (e.g. R)
  • Support the public engagement elements of the project
  • Contribute to high-quality research outputs
  • Further the research programme of English Language and Linguistics in SELLL in addition to that of the Modern Languages and Linguistics Unit of Assessment more broadly (under Professor Corrigan’s guidance)
  • Co-ordinate your own work with that of others
  • Deal with problems which may affect the achievement of research objectives and contribute to project planning
  • Present information on research progress and outcomes in oral and written form to Professor Corrigan at regular intervals
  • Contribute to the writing up of the research and its dissemination to academics and wider publics, either through seminar and conference presentations or through publications in reputable outlets
  • Work to deadlines and manage, with support, competing priorities
  • Ensure that personal knowledge in relevant fields of study, methodologies and relevant software/tools is kept up-to-date
  • Maintain academic standards and freedom, and work in accordance with university policies (e.g. ethics, equal opportunities, health and safety)
  • Undertake relevant training and development activities to further your capacity for taking on wider responsibilities
  • Develop, with advice, an awareness of your own professional development needs and your personal development strategy


The Person


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • You have subject expertise in sociolinguistics, with a particular focus on language variation and change
  • You are able to comprehend L2 Englishes and the regional English dialects of Northern Ireland
  • You have excellent analytical (quantitative and qualitative) skills including knowledge of R for data manipulation and analysis
  • You have excellent organisational abilities and time management skills
  • You have excellent oral and written communication skills
  • You have experience of public engagement activities for societal benefit
  • You are able to use personal initiative and creativity to solve research problems
  • You have experience of using data visualization tools


Attributes and Behaviour

  • You have excellent interpersonal skills including team working and a collegiate approach
  • You are able to work independently as well as collaboratively
  • You are willing and able to engage with academic and non-academic audiences and partners



  • You have a PhD in sociolinguistics or a closely related sub-area (in hand or within 3 months of completion)

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.


The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.

Requisition ID: 19101