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The Psychometrics Centre

Cambridge Judge Business School

The University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre is looking to hire a full time postdoctoral research associate on a contract to work on an exciting collaborative research project funded by Innovate UK. The role will involve using computational linguistics to extract psychological insights from text and other behavioural datasets. It is funded under the call for "Enhancing the Value of Interactions with Digital Content" and relates to the development of a "Personal Information Management System". This system will be accessible through the CitizenMe mobile app and integrated online tools that can deliver research outputs directly to the public.

This project is a collaboration with CitizenMe Ltd. and the Sheffield Institute of Translational Neuroscience. It centres on the CitizenMe application, which is designed to put everyday users of the internet back in control of their digital identity. The service provides citizens with greater transparency on the use and proliferation of their personal data in the digital age and empowers them to safely transact their data with companies. Citizens can receive psycho-demographic and emotional insights on their personal data through the service, and the research position will focus on developing the predictive algorithms and research tools driving these insights. The researcher will work with a range of data sources and formats, with an emphasis on extracting psychological and emotional information from samples of text and other digital records of language use. These samples may include user-generated text, SMS data stored on users' devices, social media statuses posted online, voice recordings, secondary datasets from partner companies and various open-source databases.

The successful applicant will have a PhD in a field related to computer science, linguistics or psychology, strong experience in the emerging areas of natural language processing and deep learning and a familiarity with the challenges and opportunities of analyses using Big Data. Initially the scope of the research will be to understand the relationship between use of language, psychological traits and emotional states. As the project progresses, the focus will be on using and developing tools for the extraction of relevant linguistic features from diverse sources of data and understanding how these sources can be blended to provide the most informative feedback to individual participants and the highest value insights for business and academia. Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available until 30 March 2016 in the first instance.

This research should culminate in providing a predictive algorithm that translates samples of text into deep psychological and emotional insights, which is integrated in the CitizenMe application and which can learn from evolving user behaviour over time. The algorithm will need to be put into an API or other format through which it can be accessed by third parties, including other researchers and enterprises, in order to maximise the impact of the collaborative research project and improve the lives of citizens of the European Union and beyond.

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