Research Assistant, Department of Linguistics

Sydney, Australia
09 Apr 2018
End of advertisement period
22 Apr 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Part Time

Macquarie is the university of pioneering minds. Globally recognised as one of Australia’s leading research universities, Macquarie is a place where extraordinary new possibilities come to light. We’ve helped people to hear, introduced wireless internet technology to the world and broken through traditional boundaries by appointing Australia’s first female vice-chancellor.

At Macquarie you’ll join a vibrant community of diverse perspectives, all working towards a brighter future for our communities and our planet. Surrounded by beautiful parkland campus, our students and staff are free to explore and discover, supported by facilities including a high-tech library, private teaching hospital, gym and pools, childcare facilities, a campus train station and the newly expanded Macquarie Centre shopping complex next door. 

Join us and start seeing the world in a different light.

Macquarie’s Faculty of Human Sciences holds a distinctive place on the global stage. With several internationally acclaimed centres producing ground-breaking research in areas like linguistics, psychology, cognitive science and education, our faculty is a place of passionate educators and unbridled discovery. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities including the Australian Hearing Hub, we work together to investigate and answer some of the big questions about what makes us human.

The Department of Linguistics is well known nationally and internationally for our cutting-edge research in the fields of hearing research, language processing, child language acquisition and applied linguistics research on adult language learning. It has a developing program in the study of Australian Indigenous languages and is associated with the Conversation Analysis in Sydney (CAIS) research group.

The Role

We are seeking a Research Assistant to support a multi-institutional research project, Conversational Interaction in Aboriginal and Remote Australia (CIARA). This project is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant commencing in 2018 and is led by Dr Joe Blythe of Macquarie University, with the other Chief Investigators being Associate Professors Ilana Mushin and Rod Gardner of the University of Queensland and Professor Lesley Stirling of the University of Melbourne. The project will compare informal multiparty conversation in four Australian Aboriginal languages with analogous non-Aboriginal conversations in remote and regional locations. The project’s methodology is Comparative Conversation Analysis, sometimes called Pragmatic Typology. The project is supported by a reference group of Aboriginal researchers, and in addition to the CIs and RA, the project team will include three PhD students and potentially Honours students also, as well as casual RAs undertaking transcription tasks. It is affiliated to the research group Conversation Analysis in Sydney (CAIS).

This position will provide research support and assistance to the project team. In particular, the RA will provide administration and coordination support for the project, will be responsible for data management and coordination across sub-projects and field sites, will undertake some transcription and annotation of complex multiparty recordings and will contribute to research data coding and analysis. There will be opportunities for the RA to co-author conference presentations and research publications arising from the project, and they will have responsibility for managing the project website and public-facing media communication.

Selection Criteria

To be considered for this position applications must respond to the selection criteria below and attach as a separate document in the application process. 


  • Bachelor degree or equivalent in linguistics or related social science discipline
  • Strong communication skills
  • Strong organisational skills
  • Understanding of research methodologies


  • Demonstrated skill and experience in collating, transcribing and coding spoken language data
  • Project management skills and experience
  • Previous experience in managing spoken language corpora, including in management of metadata and archiving
  • Ability to travel domestically
  • Experience with Australian Aboriginal languages

Salary Package: from $70,699 - $80,381 p.a. pro rata (HEW Level 5), plus 17% employer's superannuation and annual leave loading

Appointment Type: Part Time (3 days per week), 3 year fixed-term contract.

Applications Close: Sunday, 22nd April at 11.55pm AEST

Specific Role Enquiries: Dr Joe Blythe, Lecturer and CIARA Project Leader on

General Recruitment Enquiries: Rohana Nagarajah, HR Administrator on  or +61 2 9850 8352

Macquarie University is an EO Employer committed to diversity and social inclusion. Applications are encouraged from people with a disability; women (particularly for senior and non-traditional roles); Indigenous Australians, people who identify as GLBTI; and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Applications need to be submitted through the Macquarie University online recruitment system. Where circumstances such as disability or remote location prohibit your access to our online system please contact the enquiries person listed in this advertisement for assistance.