PhD in Translation Quality Assessment

This project offers full scholarships (at Home/EU rates) to suitable PhD candidates who wish to work on the interaction between translation and technology, especially with regard to how we can use computers to assess the quality of (automatic) translations. In the context of this PhD assessment of quality covers a wide range of topics including quality estimation, (automatic) post-editing, human evaluation and even new evaluation metrics.

Start date
1 October 2020
Duration
35 months
Application deadline
Funding information

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.

About

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:

PhD in Translation Quality Assessment

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 postediting 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.

Supervisor profile:

Prof Constantin Orasan:
Constantin Orasan is a Professor in Language and Translation Technologies. Constantin’s main research focus is on how methods from Natural Language Processing can help professional translators. Other areas of research of interest for him are automatic summarisation, text simplification, corpus linguistics, and machine learning for NLP. To date, he has successfully supervised to completion 8 PhD students.

Dr Félix do Carmo:
Félix do Carmo is a Senior Lecturer in Translation and Natural Language Processing focused on the application of natural language processing, machine learning and translation technologies in translation research, translation teaching and translation practice. Before joining University of Surrey, he spent over 20 years as a translator, reviser, translation company owner, university lecturer and translation conference organiser.

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Eligibility criteria

Candidates must hold a 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 requirements: 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

This competition is open to all applicants. UK, EU and overseas students are welcome to apply for the studentship posts advertised.

Please note that higher tuition fees apply for non UK/EU/EEA students and that the PhD studentships offered in the remit of this scheme are at EU/Home rates. For classification of fee status, please visit the UKCISA website. 

How to apply

Applications can be made through the CTS PhD in Translation and Interpreting page. Please state 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. Applicants are encouraged to email Prof Constantin Orasan first to discuss their application.


Application deadline

Contact details

Dimitris Asimakoulas
11 LC 03
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 689913
E-mail: D.Asimakoulas@surrey.ac.uk

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