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Postdoc Research Fellow, Rational Evolutionary Phonology

Surrey, United Kingdom
£36,024 to £44,263 per annum
Closing date
25 Jun 2024


Location: Guildford
Salary: £36,024 to £44,263 per annum
Post Type: Full Time
Closing Date: 23.59 hours BST on Tuesday 25 June 2024
Interview Date: Monday 08 July 2024
Reference: 027524

The University of Surrey is a global community of ideas and people, dedicated to life-changing education and research.

We are ambitious and have a bold vision of what we want to achieve - shaping ourselves into one of the best universities in the world, which we are achieving through the talents and endeavour of every employee.  

Our culture empowers people to achieve this aim and to collectively, and individually, make a real difference.  

The role

Postdoctoral position on "Rational Evolutionary Phonology"

Prof Erich Round is seeking qualified applicants for a fully-funded three-year postdoctoral project on “REVOLUPHON: Rational Evolutionary Phonology". This postdoctoral project contributes the core cognitive and cultural evolutionary modelling components in the ERC-selected, UKRI-funded project "Rational Evolutionary Phonology", led by Erich Round in 2024–2029.

The position is based at the Surrey Morphology Group at the University of Surrey, and provides the opportunity to work in the vibrant and highly collegial research environment for which SMG is renowned.


REVOLUPHON is an ambitious project in computational cognitive science, cultural evolution and phonology theory, which seeks deeper explanations for human phonology. Though phonological theories are diverse, they contain recurrent axioms and atoms: segments, features, prosodic units, et cetera. We hypothesise that these units of representation are explicable in terms of the interaction of phonetics with resource limitations on human cognition (resource rationality). Separately, recent decades show that phonologies can be reasonably well modelled as optimisation problems, with optimisation imputed to the mind. We hypothesise that apparent optimisation, and its exceptions, arise because phonologies undergo cultural evolution, an optimising process. REVOLUPHON tests these hypotheses through computational modelling of cognition and cultural evolution, to develop new foundations for phonological theory.


The candidate will be a core member of a research team focused on achieving the REVOLUPHON project aims, and will participate in the broader activities both of the REVOLUPHON group and of the Surrey Morphology Group (SMG). The candidate will have opportunities at SMG to develop their research leadership profile while interacting with world-class researchers. Please refer to the full job description, under ‘Special requirements’ for key responsibilities. 

About you


Suitable candidates trained in phonology/morphology, conversant with computational cognitive science and skilled in research software development are strongly encouraged to apply. Please refer to the full job description, under ‘Special requirements’ for essential and desirable criteria. 

The position is full time, and the successful candidate will be required to work on-site at the University of Surrey, Guildford for three days per week.

How to apply

 Please apply on the University website and submit the following with your application:

  • CV
  • Contact details for 2 academic/industry referees.
  • DOI/URL links to three relevant, published works of research.
  • Research statement of one page, describing research interests and experience.

Further details: Job Description

For more information and to apply online, please download the further details and click on the 'apply online' button above.

In return we offer a generous pension, relocation assistance where appropriate, flexible working options including job share and blended home/campus working locations (dependent on work duties), access to world-class leisure facilities on campus, a range of travel schemes and supportive family friendly benefits including an excellent on-site nursery.

Click here to find out more about the benefits we offer to support you.

The University of Surrey is committed to providing an inclusive environment that offers equal opportunities for all.  We place great value on diversity and are seeking to increase the diversity within our community.  Therefore we particularly encourage applications from under-represented groups, such as people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups and people with disabilities.

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