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Cambridge Language Sciences

Interdisciplinary Research Centre
 
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The Language Sciences Workshop Fund offers support for interdisciplinary workshops on ambitious questions with the potential to lead to large-scale research projects. 

We are offering funding for two interdisciplinary workshops in 2022. This is an internal call for researchers at the University of Cambridge and affiliated institutions only. The closing date for applications is midnight on 29 April 2022.

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The workshops should contribute to the development of new research activity linked to one or more of the following “moonshot” questions:  

Language, Trust & Society: How can people with diverging views be supported to successfully communicate and negotiate? 

  • Timeliness: development of new technology has outpaced the evolution of mediation and politeness conventions.
  • Answering this question requires understanding how people communicate and miscommunicate, how disputes can be resolved, and what tools could make these processes smoother.

Language, Health & Well-being: How can language use allow us to understand and predict mental health conditions?

  • Timeliness: advances in AI are creating new opportunities for personalised healthcare.
  • Answering this question requires understanding the variation in language use between individuals, how this depends on underlying cognitive processes, and how this can be applied in a clinical context to improve patient outcomes.

Language, Learning & Diversity: What does language diversity tell us about the past, present, and future of humankind?

  • Timeliness: an estimated 40% of the world's languages are currently endangered, many in areas with high socioeconomic deprivation and at high risk of environmental degradation.
  • Answering this question would mean understanding the history of human populations, how languages are learnt by individuals, and how they change over generations.

Language & Education: How can learning a second language be made effortless?

  • Timeliness: the majority of the world's population learns at least one second language, but even motivated learners typically take thousands of hours of study and practice to reach proficiency.
  • Answering this question requires understanding the process of language learning, which aspects are difficult or effortful, and how this process changes with different contexts or approaches to learning and teaching. 

There is funding of up to £2,000 available per workshop. Proposals should have at least two co-applicants from different disciplines. Workshops may be online, hybrid and in-person.

If you have any questions about this funding please email contact@languagesciences.cam.ac.uk.


Eligibility & funding criteria

Proposals will be evaluated by peer review and by the Language Sciences Management Committee. Where proposals are found to overlap, cooperation between the different groups will be encouraged in the interests of involving a wide range of researchers. 

Eligibility

  • All applicants must be full members of the University of Cambridge or affiliated institutions.
  • Each proposal should be submitted by co-applicants from at least two different research groups.
  • The workshop programme must be interdisciplinary 
  • The topic should be relevant for one or more of the moonshot questions
  • External speakers and participants may be invited.

Conditions of funding

  • Workshops should be delivered within 6 months of notification of the award. 
  • A written report on the workshop should be provided for publication on the Cambridge Language Sciences website within 2 weeks after the event.
  • Outcomes of the workshop should be reported back to Cambridge Language Sciences.

What we do

Cambridge Language Sciences is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. Our virtual network connects researchers from five schools across the university as well as other world-leading research institutions. Our aim is to strengthen research collaborations and knowledge transfer across disciplines in order to address large-scale multi-disciplinary research challenges relating to language research.

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