PhD opportunities in Languages

News summary

Opportunities for doctoral study in Languages at the University of Ulster and Queen's University Belfast.

The School of Languages and Literature of the University of Ulster, and the School of Languages, Literatures and Performing Arts of Queen's University Belfast have been commissioned by the Department of Education in Northern Ireland to devise and implement a programme of research and consultation that will lead to the development of a comprehensive languages strategy for Northern Ireland. This programme will be carried out under the auspices of a partnership between the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS) and the two institutions.

A consultant will be appointed to design and oversee this process, and will be responsible for writing the report that will eventually be submitted to Government. The time-scale for this project, which it is anticipated will begin in October 2006, is eighteen months.

In addition to the consultant, the Subject Centre will award two research studentships. The successful candidates will be required to undertake doctoral research leading to a PhD. During the first eighteen months of the project, they will undertake a programme of directed research into one or more of the following or related areas:

  • Language acquisition/provision and public policy
  • Language pedagogy
  • Language and community/identity
  • Language learning and multi-culturalism/interculturality

This research will be used, among other things, to provide the book of evidence for the development of a Languages Strategy for Northern Ireland.

During the second eighteen-months of the project, the successful candidates will be available to provide advice on the implementation of the Strategy, as well as writing up their own research in doctoral form. It is not anticipated that the entire direction of their doctoral research will be focussed on issues local to Northern Ireland.

The successful candidates will be supervised by Professor John Gillespie, of the University of Ulster, and Professor David Johnston, of Queen's University Belfast. The Queen's-based researcher will have formal links with the University's research forum in Translation and Cultural Encounter (Betwixt and Between), and the Ulster-based researcher with the Centre for Research in Applied Languages.

Candidates should hold, or expect to hold by 31st August 2006, a first or upper second class honours degree in Language Studies or a cognate area. Successful candidates will enrol as of October 2006, on a full-time programme of research studies leading to the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Candidates must be fluent in at least two languages, one of which must be English. Preference might be given to candidates with a proven track-record in postgraduate study, preferably to Masters level in an appropriate discipline.

The studentship will comprise fees together with an annual stipend of £12,300, with travel allowances and other significant support (Laptops etc will be provided) and will be awarded for a period of up to three years subject to satisfactory progress.


Informal inquiries may be made to Prof. John Gillespie at and/or Ms Deirdre McCrory at

Application materials may be obtained from:

Hazel Campbell
Research Office
University of Ulster
Cromore Road
Coleraine BT52 1SA

Teleophone: 028 7032 4729

Please also include a CV and a statement (maximum 1000 words) in which you set out the nature of your research and how it will both contribute to and enlarge the broader project. Completed applications must be returned to the following address by Friday 29 September 2006:

Professors Gillespie and Johnston
c/o Subject Centre, School of Languages and Literature
University of Ulster
Coleraine BT52 1SA

It is anticipated that interviews will be held in early October 2006.