Post-Doctoral Fellow

Updated: 19 days ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 26 May 2024

New Zealand Institute of Language Brain and Behaviour (NZILBB)
Te Kaupeka Toi Tangata | Faculty of Arts
Located in Ōtautahi | Christchurch, Aotearoa | New Zealand

  • Full-time 37.5 hours per week (1.0 FTE)
  • Fixed term position until February 2027
  • Salary range $85,000

Kia hiwa rā, kia hiwa rā!

He hiahia, he pūkenga nōu ki te mahi a te Postdoctoral Fellow? Nāia te pōwhiri nā Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha kia tono mai i te tūranga nei.

Āu Mahi | What You Will Do
The New Zealand Institute of Language, Brain and Behaviour is seeking a Post-Doctoral Fellow to join the team of researchers working on a project funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund, entitled "Does Machine-Assisted Writing Erase Linguistic Diversity?" The research team comprises Dr. Ben Adams (University of Canterbury), Dr. Jonathan Dunn (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), and Dr. Andrea Nini (University of Manchester).

The project looks at the written production of English users across five dialect areas, both with and without the assistance of large language models, in order to find out the linguistic influence which such tools exert. The project involves both experimental work and statistical analysis of experimental results. We will collect writing samples under a range of conditions and compare them using computational models with the goal of understanding, and ultimately increasing, linguistic diversity in digital settings.

Project Abstract

Recent advances in generative artificial intelligence have enabled machine-assisted writing, ranging from grammar checking and stylistic suggestions to fully machine-generated text. At the same time, we know that natural writing -- undertaken without machine assistance -- is characterised by rich linguistic diversity across dialects, genres, and individuals. We all write in our own style. The essential question in this project is the degree to which machine-assistance alters or removes these unique grammatical patterns in writing, the syntactic elements that make up our dialects and styles. Our basic approach is to collect written samples from participants both with and without machine-assistance. We then use methods from computational linguistics and forensic linguistics to measure the impact of generative AI on written language. This project includes five separate dialects, two genres of text, and a wide range of grammatical features in order to find out exactly where and how and in what way machine-assistance changes the way we write. While generative AI is being quickly integrated into many different domains, we do not yet know how the use of this technology will change language itself. This project is essential for promoting the survival of linguistic diversity and creativity in an increasingly digitised world.

Mōu | Who You Are
Applications are invited from researchers with expertise and experience in experimental research, preferably with a background in Psycholinguistics or Cognitive Science or Psychology or Computational Sociolinguistics or any related area. You will be conducting participant-based experiments and statistical modelling; experience or capability in both of these areas is highly desirable.

The Post-Doctoral Fellow will be employed by the New Zealand Institute of Language Brain and Behaviour, University of Canterbury and will be required to relocate to Christchurch. The expected start is negotiable.

Mahi Ngātahi | Who You Will Work With
We collect audio, visual, articulatory, neural and behavioural data on how individuals speak, listen, interact, and otherwise use language in their day-to-day lives. With this data, we study the foundations of language as an integrated, multimodal, statistical system operating in a social, physical and physiological context. We study the relationship between language and other modes of cognition and behaviour. We are interested in language development throughout the lifespan, in how non-language information (social, physical, contextual, visual) affects individuals' speaking and listening behaviours, and in how these ultimately shape the linguistic system.

In addition to driving internationally significant theoretical advances, the Institute is also committed to the application of these theoretical concepts to language disorders in young and older individuals, and to language education, as well as to creating and improving language-related technologies.

For more information about our team, please visit us at NZILBB

Ngā Painga o UC | Why UC
Tangata Tū, Tangata Ora - Engaged, Empowered, Making a Difference.

The University of Canterbury is committed to accessible higher education, service to community and the encouragement of talent without barriers of distance, wealth, class, gender or ethnicity. The University explicitly aims to produce graduates and support staff who are engaged with their communities, empowered to act for good and determined to make a difference in the world.

What we offer

  • Economy class one way relocation airfare and visa costs'
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Supportive working environment
  • Generous annual leave provisions and competitive salary
  • Professional development opportunities
  • A unique working environment in a beautiful campus with access to UC facilities such as the recreation centre and Staff club at discounted rates plus onsite café's and eateries, and more

For more information, please visit: http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/joinus

For more information about Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury, please visit www.canterbury.ac.nz

The closing date for this position is: 26 May 2024 (midnight, NZ time)
Applications will be reviewed after the close date.

Pēhea te tono mai | How You Apply
Applications for this position must be submitted on our careers websit e and should include a cover letter and resume.  Please note, we do not accept applications by email, however we are happy to answer your queries in relation to the application process, please forward these to [email protected]  

For further information specifically about the role, please contact: [email protected] to discuss the opportunities associated with this position.

Please Note: Applications for Postdoctoral Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant Doctoral qualification. The title of Postdoctoral Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the Doctoral degree.

Appointable salary for a Post Doctoral Fellow will be $85,000 (pa)

For overseas applicants, please visit Immigration New Zealand website or the New Zealand Government's official Covid-19 website , to review the latest health and visa requirements for visiting and working in New Zealand. 


Job Details
Reference # 20227
Posted on 01 May 2024
Closes on 26 May 2024 23:55
Location(s) Christchurch
Expertise Education & Training, Research & Development
Job level(s) Academic
Work type(s) Fixed term full-time
More details (document) PD Postdoctoral Fellow NZILBB April 2024.pdf
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