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Research Fellow in Longitudinal NLP

Computer Science

Location:  Guildford
Salary:  £36,024 to £40,521 per annum and dependent on level of appointment
This position is available on a 12 month fixed term contract
Post Type:  Full Time
Closing Date:  23.59 hours BST on Monday 22 July 2024
Interview Date:  Monday 29 July 2024
Reference:  031124

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

We 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 make a real difference.  

The role

Applications are invited for a 12-month Research Fellow in longitudinal natural language processing (NLP), to work full-time on an ESRC-funded project “MetaCurate-ML: Extraction and Utilisation of Metadata from Non-machine-actionable Documents to Improve Data Curation and Discovery”. We are looking for the successful post holder to start as soon as possible and will be based in the Department of Computer Science and its highly regarded Nature-inspired Computing and Engineering (NICE) research group, reporting to the project PI (Dr. Suparna De).

The researcher will work on NLP model design, training and inference. They will work within an ESRC project (‘MetaCurate-ML’) that aims to develop machine learning (ML)/NLP models for processing of longitudinal pdf survey text data to allow evaluation of data items to assist with human-in-the-loop automated disclosure evaluation. This is an excellent opportunity for a Research Fellow to further develop their research and software skills in longitudinal NLP and generative AI. They will work collaboratively within an ambitious multi-disciplinary collaboration with social scientists, metadata curators  and data management specialists from CLOSER, University College London (UCL), the UK Data Service (UKDS) and Scotcen. 

The post-holder will be responsible for:

  • Designing, developing and evaluating ML models for longitudinal text equivalence in large longitudinal questionnaire datasets, taking advantage of recent developments in contextual text embeddings and large language models (LLMs). The developed models with take into account relevant open taxonomies and ontologies. 
  • Working collaboratively with software developers from CLOSER, UCL to develop software tools and systems to visualise the model results through graph networks.  

About you

  • The successful applicant is expected to have a PhD (gained or near completion) or equivalent professional experience in Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, or a related discipline.
  • Experience and evidence of effective independent research work within a team. More broadly, demonstrated ability to plan and execute a research project, solve problems independently, and make original contributions to a research field. 
  • Strong programming skills; experience with Python NLP and deep learning libraries (e.g., HF Transformers, PyTorch, or TensorFlow).
  • Demonstrated quality of research performance, as evidenced by high-quality publications in top-tier ML and NLP conferences and journals.
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly, orally and in writing, in English.

For informal inquiries about the position, please contact Dr. Suparna De (

How to apply

Please attach a CV and complete the application form evidencing your suitability for the role. 

Interview Dates

Interviews will be held remotely over MS Teams on the 29th or 31st July 2024.


Further details:    Job Description    
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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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