PhD Project - Linguistic theory and neuronal computation, University of Nottingham

Nottingham, ENGLAND | about 2 years ago

PhD Project - Linguistic theory and neuronal computation
Job Type
Research & Teaching
Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham & the Division of English, Nottingham Ningbo China

The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham UK and the Division of English at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China have an exciting opportunity for an inter-disciplinary, international PhD fellowship in Biology and Linguistics. 

The successful applicant will work with Dr Noah Russell in the Neurophotonics Lab (NPL) in theInstitute of Biophysics, Imaging and Optical Science (IBIOS), and with Dr Derek Irwin at the Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics China (CRALC), bringing together theoretical linguistics and experimental neuroscience research from across both the Divisions, allowing interdisciplinary work of the highest standard. The Neurophotonics Lab is developing technology to study fundamental aspects of information processing in the brain. To achieve this, we are developing a system in which a small network of cultured neurons will be able to continuously exchange information with a virtual environment programmed on a computer; such a construct is analogous to how a real organism interacts with its environment.This project involves the application of theoretical linguistics to analyse the semantic structure of levels of abstraction within this experimental system. This analysis will then be used to inform the mathematical design of experimental protocols.

The PhD fellowship will be 3 years in length and is expected to start in October 2012.  The scholarship will cover full tuition fees at each institution, living costs and an allowance for travel between campuses. The recipient will be required to spend initial time at the University of Nottingham UK, followed by time at the University of Nottingham Ningbo CRALC. Completion of the project will be conducted in Nottingham UK.

Applicants must have a first class Master's degree in Theoretical Linguistics, with evidence of research training. Some knowledge of Neuroscienceand Mathematics is also desirable. Applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS average of 7 or equivalent English language qualification.

Informal enquiries or formal applications with a CV, a brief statement of your research interests, and the names and email addresses of two referees should be addressed to Dr. Noah Russell email:, or Dr. Derek Irwin email: derek.irwin Please quote ref. ENG/617. Ths studentship will remain open until filled.

For more information about the schools involved, visit our UK and China websites:

  • Information for candidates ( pdf | doc )
  • Apply Online

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