Research Fellow in Natural Language Processing

Southampton, United Kingdom
£31,406 to £38,587 per annum
16 May 2022
End of advertisement period
26 Jun 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Agents, Interactions & Complexity

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £31,406 to £38,587 per annum
Full Time Fixed Term (01/09/2022 - 31/08/2024)
Closing Date:  Sunday 26 June 2022
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  1562021FP-2R

You will join our team working on deep learning-based Natural Language Processing (NLP) models for behaviour classification as part of the ProTechThem (Building Awareness for Safer and Technology-Savvy Sharenting) research project. The post will be in the Agents, Interaction and Complexity (AIC) group, which is part of the department of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton. The AIC group leads a number of nationally important research centres including the UKRI Trustworthy Autonomous System Research Hub ( and the UKRI MINDS Centre for Doctoral Training (

The ProTechThem project ( is exploring how criminology and computer science can enable better targeted awareness-raising activities and to improve the tools we currently have to study, prevent and mitigate the negative impacts of sharenting practices. Sharenting is the sharing of identifying and sensitive information of minors and can introduce significant risks including negative psychological repercussions and pathways to child abuse and identity fraud/theft.

We are looking for applicants who have experience with deep learning-based NLP models and are interested in adapting this experience to the area of text classification and information extraction. Your role will be to research and develop deep learning-based NLP models for risky behaviour classification applied to short and long online conversations on forums and social media. Sharenting is an interesting domain with emergent vocabulary, so you will have the opportunity to gain experience with NLP methods that can work with limited training resources and human-in-the-loop training regimes.

The successful candidate will be given time during the project to develop their expertise in these areas, allowing them to create state-of-the-art NLP models and publish to the top NLP literature. You will have career development opportunities to increase your professional network (e.g. UKRI TAS Hub networking events), gain teaching experience (e.g. teaching assistance delivering lectures) and develop your research independence (e.g. apply for funding from Turing Post-Doctoral Enrichment Awards or internal grants).

To be successful you will have a PhD* in NLP, deep learning or a closely related subject. In addition to NLP research, an important part of the role is to interact with project partners in the UK and Italy, including research visits, and to become familiar with the sharenting problem domain.

The appointment is for 24 months.

The department of Electronics and Computer Science is the leading university department of its kind in the UK, with an international reputation for world-leading research across computer science, electronics, and electrical engineering. Research takes place in a multidisciplinary, collaborative environment and draws on our outstanding facilities. With over 550 researchers from many different subject backgrounds, the research culture in ECS is fast-changing and dynamic. Our internationally renowned teaching and research have been ranked among the highest in the UK.

For informal enquiries before submitting your application, contact Dr Stuart E. Middleton ( 

At the University of Southampton, we value diversity and equality.

*Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification.  The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD.  Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

Application Procedure: 

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. Please include a covering letter and full CV in your application. You will also need to specify at least two references on the application form. If you need any assistance, please call Hannah Farrance (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 2507. Please quote reference 1562021FP2R on all correspondence.

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