SPRINT 2016-2017 has officially opened

SPRINT IS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS.

What is SPRINT? It’s the Summer Project Research INTernship. SPRINT involves offering students the chance to undertake paid, summer internships. Each internship runs for four working weeks (twenty days) in summer (June to August), each intern is paid a little over £1,500, and we have four SPRINT placements available for the 2016-2017 year.

Want to know more? The full SPRINT page also includes information on…

Note that you may not yet have your marks back for your Term One work. It is sensible to wait until you have as much information as you can before submitting your form, but of course, don’t leave it till after the deadline!

V1617-08-CH – Misogyny in the machine

SUPERVISOR(S): Dr Claire Hardaker

DATE(S): Project will run in either June or July 2017

JOB DESCRIPTION: In recent months, two think-tanks (Demos and Brandwatch) released research relating to misogynistic online behaviour of men and women. In their reports they each undertook automated analyses of millions of tweets and both arrived at the conclusion that women are more often misogynistic online than men. The purpose of this project is to put such claims to the test, empirically, using a combination of corpus linguistic and manual coding. Ultimately this gold-standard dataset will be used to train automated analyses to establish whether it is possible to accurately analyse large datasets in this way. The role will involve:

  • Becoming familiar with the basics of NLP and automated analysis of tweets;
  • Becoming familiar with the output from Twitter’s API (i.e. JSON);
  • Undertaking analysis and supplying metadata, e.g. gender, purpose, target, etc.;
  • Carrying out basic analysis of the results;
  • Reporting activities and findings on an ongoing basis, e.g. via presentation, in meetings, by email, etc.

Where necessary, training will be provided.

PERSON SPECIFICATION:

  • An extremely good eye for detail – this is absolutely crucial;
  • An interest in online language, aggression, impoliteness, and/or gender;
  • A strong ability to work independently and as part of a team.

IMPORTANT NOTES: This role will entail working with data that contains offensive, abusive, sexualised, and pornographically explicit content. As such this project is not suitable for anyone below the age of 18, and/or anyone who may find such content upsetting or disturbing.

V1617-07-VB – #LancsBox: Corpus-based teaching materials development

SUPERVISOR(S): Dr Vaclav Brezina and Dr Matt Timperley

DATE(S): Project will run in either June or July 2017

JOB DESCRIPTION: Lancaster University has a long tradition of corpus linguistic research. The ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS) is developing a new tool for corpus analysis called #LancsBox. #LancsBox includes a number of functionalities for language analysis and data visualization. The main aim of this project is to make the tool accessible to a wide range of users including students and experienced researchers. For this, we will be producing a detailed manual, video tutorials, and teaching materials used with #LancsBox.

The role will involve:

  • Utilising corpus techniques (collocations, concordances, keywords);
  • Writing clear descriptions and explanations;
  • Being creative and using visualization tools in MS Office (e.g. Word, PowerPoint);
  • Reporting back on activities undertaken in various forms, e.g. via presentation, in meetings, by email, etc.

Where necessary, training will be provided.

PERSON SPECIFICATION: Our ideal candidate will…

  • Have an interest in corpus methods and innovation;
  • Have good communication skills and the ability to work in a team;
  • Like teaching and producing teaching materials;
  • Have a good level of computer literacy, and knowledge of social media;
  • Have a strong ability to work independently and as part of a team.

V1617-06-CH – Native language influence detection

SUPERVISOR(S): Dr Claire Hardaker and Dr Sheryl Prentice

DATE(S): Project will run in either June or July 2017

JOB DESCRIPTION: The Native Language Influence Detection project (NLID6) involves the analysis of linguistic features that occur when non-native speakers contribute online in English. In other words, we are interested in the influence of an L1 on the use of English. These features may manifest themselves at any level of language from orthographic and morphological right through to pragmatic and discoursal. However, for our project to achieve its maximum potential, the collected data must be of the highest standard possible. We therefore require a candidate who will be able to:

  • Quality-check samples of the existing data to spot issues of, e.g. Google Translate, quoting from other sources, etc.;
  • Undertake open-source intelligence gathering to fill in blanks in the metadata;
  • Carry out authorship attribution analyses on questioned documents;
  • Report back on activities undertaken in various forms, e.g. via presentation, in meetings, by email, etc.

Where necessary, training will be provided.

PERSON SPECIFICATION:

  • An extremely good eye for detail – this is absolutely crucial;
  • An interest in languages other than English, and in online language;
  • A strong ability to work independently and as part of a team;
  • A very high level of discretion.

IMPORTANT NOTES: This role will entail restrictions relating to social media and general public broadcast. If you would like to discuss these further before applying, contact the project manager in the first instance.

V1617-05-JG – Edwardian Postcard project

SUPERVISOR(S): Dr Julia Gillen

DATE(S): Project will run in either June or July 2017

JOB DESCRIPTION: The Edwardian Postcard project studies everyday writing on postcards from the first decade of the twentieth century. The project includes considerable public engagement and crowdsourcing. The research has diverse aspects and so there is some freedom for the student to select areas they would like to work in. You could work with any or all of the following, depending on your interests:

  • Liaising with members of the public, through various channels including social media;
  • Transcribing, digitizing; categorizing and database activities;
  • Corpus, discourse or multimodal analyses.

PERSON SPECIFICATION:

  • A strong ability to work independently and as part of a team;
  • An interest in history/heritage.

V1617-04-PR – The bilingual brain: Studying the neural basis of language learning

SUPERVISOR(S): Dr Patrick Rebuschat, Dr Aina Casaponsa

DATE(S): Project will run in June 2017

JOB DESCRIPTION: This project provides you with a unique opportunity to work at the intersection of experimental psycholinguistics and cognitive neuroscience. The purpose of the experiment is to study how our brain learns a novel language by using electroencephalography (EEG). For this purpose, we have participants learning a new language in our new EEG lab while we monitor their brains’ electrophysiological responses. This is part of a larger project with colleagues in Lancaster Psychology (Padraic Monaghan) and Bangor Psychology (Guillaume Thierry). Your main duties are likely to include:

  • Provide assistance in setting up the EEG experiment, e.g. by creating stimuli, tasks, etc.;
  • Recruit and test subjects (in our EEG lab);
  • Code and analyse data;
  • Present results to other members of the research group.

PERSON SPECIFICATION: The ideal candidate would have the following characteristics:

  • Interest in learning how to run cognitive neuroscience experiments;
  • Excellent ability to recruit participants;
  • Excellent ability to test participants in a timely and efficient manner;
  • Good time-management skills;
  • A background in psycholinguistics or psychology is desirable but not essential.

IMPORTANT NOTES: Data collection should take place before August 2017.

V1617-03-JC – Shakespeare: The insults

SUPERVISOR(S): Prof. Jonathan Culpeper

DATE(S): Project will run during June or July

JOB DESCRIPTION: This project focuses on insulting words in Shakespeare’s works. For example, in “Thou cream faced loon” (Macbeth), the first three words are not of interest to us, as they could all be used in non-insulting ways in that period. But “loon” is of interest as it was generally insulting. In this project, you will work with your supervisor in exploring what such words meant in the context of Shakespeare’s works and also those of his contemporaries. The basic move here will be to take words from the Arden dictionary of insulting words in Shakespeare (see: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/search?q=shakespeare%20dictionaries&Gid=1&pg=1) and give them the corpus-based treatment. More specifically, you will:

  • engage with corpus methods, lexicography and Shakespeare;
  • consider current research;
  • analyse data from both Shakespeare and his contemporaries;
  • work with your supervisor in interpreting the data and entering it into a database.

This project is part of the Encyclopaedia of Shakespeare’s Language project.

PERSON SPECIFICATION: Full training in methods will be provided, so you do not need to have extensive knowledge of any particular area. However, you will need:

  • strong ability to work independently and as part of a team; and
  • an interest in (or at least sympathy with!) corpus-methods.

V1617-02-JC – Shakespeare: The technical words

SUPERVISOR(S): Prof. Jonathan Culpeper

DATE(S): Project will run during June or July

JOB DESCRIPTION: This project focuses on the language of medicine, the military, the law, music, food, plants or religion in Shakespeare’s works (just one of these areas!). To take the example of medical language, what did it mean in Shakespeare’s time to be diagnosed as “choleric” , and what exactly was a “urinal”? In this project, you will work with your supervisor in exploring what such words meant in the context of Shakespeare’s works and also those of his contemporaries. The basic move here will be to take words from one of the Arden dictionaries of technical words in Shakespeare (see: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/search?q=shakespeare%20dictionaries&Gid=1&pg=1) and give them the corpus-based treatment. More specifically, you will:

  • engage with corpus methods, lexicography and Shakespeare;
  • consider current research;
  • analyse data from both Shakespeare and his contemporaries;
  • work with your supervisor in interpreting the data and entering it into a database.

This project is part of the Encyclopaedia of Shakespeare’s Language project.

PERSON SPECIFICATION: Full training in methods will be provided, so you do not need to have extensive knowledge of any particular area. However, you will need:

  • strong ability to work independently and as part of a team; and
  • an interest in (or at least sympathy with!) corpus-methods.

V1617-01-JC – Shakespeare: The Latin and/or French words

SUPERVISOR(S): Prof. Jonathan Culpeper

DATE(S): Project will run during June or July

JOB DESCRIPTION: This project focuses on the presence of Latin and/or French words in Shakespeare’s works. For example, the French characters speak a kind of ‘Franglais’, which provides the audience some humour (especially when they are inadvertently rude), but also hints at xenophobia. In this project, you will work with your supervisor in describing those French or Latin words. Were those words used by other English writers of that time? Were they in fact pretty much already adopted as part of the ‘English’ lexicon? What did they mean, and what were they doing in Shakespeare anyway? In carrying out this investigation, you will focus on the individual words used. More specifically, you will:

  • engage with corpus methods, lexicography and Shakespeare;
  • consider current research;
  • analyse data from both Shakespeare and his contemporaries;
  • work with your supervisor in interpreting the data and entering it into a database.

This project is part of the Encyclopaedia of Shakespeare’s Language project.

PERSON SPECIFICATION: Full training in methods will be provided, so you do not need to have extensive knowledge of any particular area. However, you will need:

  • some knowledge of French or Latin;
  • strong ability to work independently and as part of a team; and
  • an interest in (or at least sympathy with!) corpus-methods.