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How to Apply

A cover letter and CV are required for consideration for this position.  The cover letter should outline your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position. The CV should include contact information for at least two references. Please apply online at, job opening number 161420. 

Job Summary

A generously funded project (2016-2021) welcomes applicants with interest in and expertise in automated text analysis. The project, M-Write, brings together researchers from writing studies. the natural sciences, and computer programming to investigate how Writing-to-Learn pedagogies promote conceptual learning by students in large-enrollment gateway courses. Students write in response to carefully crafted assignments, participate in automated peer, and then revise their drafts. Approximately 10,000 students have already participated in M-Write courses, which means that there is already a large corpus of student writing and peer review responses, with more being added each semester. We seek a specialist in automated text analysis to join the interdisciplinary research team, which includes specialists in language and linguistics, software engineering, behavioral science, and cognitive psychology.  Goals include principled corpus compilation, analysis, and development of corpus-driven algorithms to support student learning of key concepts highlighted in assignments.


Major Areas of Responsibility:

  • Retrieve and create corpora for NLP and associated linguistic analysis
  • Develop and test systems for identifying students who appear to lack key concepts as defined by lexical and grammatical structures, discourse analysis, and possible sentiment analysis
  • Work with software engineer to design a data warehouse that will facilitate the ability to collect, manage, and archive data including student interviews, student surveys, student writing samples, and academic and demographic data for students in order to conduct research leading to peer-reviewed publications, and future external funding
  • In collaboration with other project staff collect, manage, and archive data including student interviews, student surveys, student writing samples, and academic and demographic data for students in order to conduct research that could lead to peer-reviewed publications
  • In collaboration with project team, organize, synthesize, and analyze project data, and write co-authored papers for peer-reviewed articles

Required Qualifications*

Ph.D. in computational linguistics, natural language processing, machine learning, cognitive linguistics, sentiment analysis or related area. Previous research experience in textual analysis in terms of syntax (e.g. parts of speech tagging), semantics (e.g. topic segmentation) and discourse analysis is essential. Research in statistical modeling is also required. 

Desired Qualifications*

Strong computer science skills and data warehouse design skills are highly desired. Background in the theory and research of writing-to-learn pedagogies and experience with educational technology in natural language processing are desired but not required.

Additional Information

Start date:  January 1, 2019 (this date is flexible)

Employment: 12 months

Salary: $50,000

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.  The University of Michigan is committed to foster learning, creativity and productivity, and to support the vigorous exchange of ideas and information, not only in the classroom but in the workplace by: 

  • Creating a work environment in which people treat each other with respect and dignity, regardless of roles, responsibilities or differences. 
  • Providing support, direction and resources enabling us to accomplish the responsibilities of our jobs and to reach the goals that are set for professional and personal growth.

Application Deadline

September 15, 2018

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.