University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


PhD Research Studentship in Second Language Learning, Corpus and Computational Linguistics (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD Studentship at the Section of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, University of Cambridge. This studentship, starting on 1 October 2023, is tied to a part-time Research Assistant position and linked to the EF Research Lab for Applied Language Learning

The lab focuses on connecting basic research in second language acquisition with teaching and learning practice. One research theme involves the analysis of big learner data from learners of English as a second language and the application of computational techniques for analyzing and modeling the learning trajectories of varying learner groups across proficiency levels. The aim is to obtain learner profiles that can inform language teaching and lead to educational applications for language learning, in particular in automated feedback and adapting learning activities to the needs of individual learners. The Research Lab is funded by EF Education First through a research grant to Dora Alexopoulou.

The successful candidate will have a Master's degree (equivalent of first-class/distinction) in applied linguistics, computer science or related subject, preferably with a specialization in Computational Linguistics, completed by September 30th 2023. A background in second language learning will be an asset.

The PhD student will work with Dr Alexopoulou as a member of the EF Research Lab for Applied Language Learning. You will join the Language Technology Lab and the research cluster for Language Acquisition and Language Processing and will be part of a world-class multidisciplinary research environment combining computer scientists, linguists and experts in language learning.

The PhD studentship is further linked to a part time Research Assistant role for the first two years, supporting the research project of the EF Research Lab for Applied Language Learning. The Research Assistant would be expected to work up to 6 hours per week and would be paid in line with the University pay scale (grade 5, point 034 pro-rata).

The studentship is available to Home or International Fee status applicants. The studentship will cover full University fees and an annual stipend, starting at £18,622.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.

To apply for this opportunity, please do not apply online through the Postgraduate Admissions Portal. Instead, please email your CV along with a covering letter and a 3-page PhD research proposal to Dr Dora Alexopoulou ( Your CV should include a list of previous education and academic achievements. Please provide the names and contact details of two referees who are familiar with their work in the relevant field whom we can contact for a reference once the vacancy has closed. Please also supply unofficial transcripts for any previous degree-level study and a sample of recent research writing of approximately 5,000-10,000 words. The sample can be either an essay produced during masters-level studies or a section of a dissertation, and must be a single-authored work.

Non-native English speakers may need to provide evidence of their English ability as per University requirements.

The closing date for applications is midnight (BST) on Thursday 15th of June 2023. If you have any questions, please contact Dr Dora Alexopoulou (

Interviews will be held during the week commencing 26th June 2023 at the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge.

Please quote reference GP36872 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.