[Job Vacancy] PhD Studentship: Opportunity in Translation Quality Assessment

PhD Studentship: Opportunity in Translation Quality Assessment, University of Surrey

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Guildford
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,285
Hours: Full Time

Studentship description

Established in 1982, the University of Surrey Centre for Translation Studies (CTS) is one of the UK’s leading centres for research, scholarship and teaching in translation and interpreting. CTS has recently secured funding for strategic expansion, which will enable the centre to integrate its established expertise in how professional translators/interpreters interact with, and adapt to, emerging technological ecosystems with research into the automation of these practices. This expansion project seeks to recruit eligible PhD candidates who are willing to conduct research in the following area:

We are seeking a candidate who is interested in pursuing a PhD on the topic of how we can use computers to assess the quality of translations. The research to be carried out is expected to propose methods which can be applied to both human and automatic translations. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, quality estimation, (automatic) post-editing, human evaluations and even new evaluation metrics. This research agenda may entail the development of data driven automated methods for estimating the quality of translation and/or perform automatic post-editing. New evaluation methods could build on existing evaluation metrics which compare a translation with a set of gold standards, or propose alternative metrics which rely on eye tracking or post editing effort to assess the quality. We expect that the successful candidate will develop some software to implement the research ideas proposed. In light of this, some programming experience is desirable, but not essential.

The successful project will need to rely on a solid, evidence-based, eclectic mixed-methods approach benefiting from cross-fertilization among different disciplines (such as machine learning/artificial intelligence, natural language processing, corpus linguistics, translation studies, etc.) in order to further the development of tools, resources and training for enhanced communication across languages and types of languages, to conceptually map out intersections of machine and human translation, and to explore the usability of and social responsibility in automated translation solutions. The successful candidate will benefit from excellent technological working conditions, international contacts, and a stimulating interdisciplinary work environment.

This is a three year project, commencing in October 2020.

Entry requirements

First class or upper second class BA and Master’s level degree (or international equivalent) in Computational Linguistics, Natural Language Processing, Translation Studies, Computer Science or related field.

IELTS test (test not older than 2 years): 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with at least 7.0 in the writing component and at least 6.0 in the other components.


A stipend of is £15,285 for 20/21, which will increase each year in line with the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) rate, plus Home/EU-rate fee allowance of £4,407 (with automatic increase to UKRI rate each year) and £500 for conference travel.

How to apply

Applications can be made through the CTS PhD in Translation and Interpreting page. 
Please state the project title clearly on your research statement – this statement should be 1,000 words long, excluding references and must be uploaded in .DOC format in the “research proposal” area of the application portal. Applicants should also include a copy of their CV, two academic references and their completed academic degrees and degree transcripts.

Closing date for applications Monday 20th July 2020.

Application enquiries

Applicants are encouraged to email Prof Constantin Orasan (C.Orasan@surrey.ac.uk) first to discuss their application.