Research Fellow in Language Development

Leeds, United Kingdom
Nov 09, 2017
Dec 01, 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

Are you an independent researcher with an interest in children’s language processing in its social context? Do you have experience of designing, running, and analysing eyetracking experiments or language interventions with young children? Would you like to contribute to a three-year project on language and socioeconomic disadvantage funded by the ESRC, including substantial impact, training, and networking opportunities?


Project title Children's experience, understanding, and use of adjectives across the socioeconomic spectrum.


Children need a solid command of descriptive language to communicate successfully. Adjectives can increase vocabulary, which is highly predictive of children's subsequent achievement. By examining children's psycholinguistic processing within its social context, this project aims to reveal how socioeconomic background affects adjective acquisition. Some of the challenges posed by adjectives may be disproportionate for children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, whose word learning and sentence comprehension difficulties may hinder their ability to handle descriptive language.


Applications are invited for a 30-month Research Fellow position (0.8FTE) that will support an ESRC New Investigator grant awarded to Dr Catherine Davies. The post will involve implementing a series of studies investigating children’s acquisition of descriptive vocabulary across the socioeconomic spectrum. 


We are looking for a highly-motivated independent researcher with experience of using psycholinguistic and/or developmental methodologies, and with strong data management and quantitative analysis skills. You will work closely with the Principal Investigator in developing innovative approaches to studying language development, enhanced by local, national, and international training. This post offers the opportunity to join Language@Leeds; a large research group at the University of Leeds. You will benefit from a range of networking activities, including working with non-academic stakeholders. You will also gain experience in supervising a junior colleague. 


To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact: 


Dr Catherine Davies, Principal Investigator

Tel: +44 (0)113 343 3564