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Language Sciences Research Incubator Fund

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A small projects fund to foster innovative and interdisciplinary research in the language sciences

The call for applications is now closed. A new call will open in autumn 2017.

The projects awarded funding (after review) will: 

  • Promote interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration
  • Address emerging themes
  • Develop novel methodological approaches or tools
  • Be likely to lead to the development of further research grant proposals.


  • Applicants must be full members of the University of Cambridge for the duration of the project.
  • Each proposal should be submitted by co-applicants from at least 2 different research groups.
  • Postdoctoral researchers are eligible in principle, but should check with their department. Applications should include a supporting letter from your research supervisor (where applicable).
  • Travel costs and workshops/events will not be funded under this scheme.


  • Projects must be completed within 6 months of notification of the award.
  • A brief report must be completed within 9 months of notification of the award
  • Successful applicants will be required to present their projects at the Language Sciences Symposium in November 2017 (or the 2018 Symposium).
  • Financial support from Cambridge Language Sciences and the Isaac Newton Trust should be acknowledged in any outputs from a grant under this scheme.

Awards in 2016-17

A total of £20,000 was awarded to the following research projects in 2016-17.

Neural correlates of selective attention in bilingualism Dr Mirjana Bozic, Andrea Olguin, Dr Tristan Bekinschtein (Psychology); Dr Napoleon Katsos (Linguistics) A project to investigate whether being bilingual affects a listener’s ability to attend to speech in noisy environments, and  (if so) to explore the factors supporting this phenomenon. 

Crowdsourcing an error-annotated corpus of spoken learner English Dr Andrew Caines  Linguistics) & Dr Marek Rei (Computer Laboratory). The creation of the first error-annotated corpus of spoken learner English will be an open-access resource which allows for multiple future experiments for different research groups within language sciences.

Towards a parsed corpus of historical Welsh Dr David Willis (Linguistics), Dr Sheila Watts (German & Dutch), Prof. Paul Russell (Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic) Corpus development and research to lay the groundwork for a grant application. 

The relationship between vision and reading in global and local language processing Dr Elaine Schmidt, Dr Luca Cilibrasi, Dr Ana Pérez, Prof. Ianthi Tsimpli (Linguistics); Dr Andrew Welchman, Prof. Zoe Kourtzi (Psychology). This project aims to determine whether reading is influenced by visual processing abilities which are unrelated to language. 

Historical codeswitching and language mutability in the history of English Dr Laura Wright (English) & Professor Ian Roberts (Linguistics). Annotation of mixed-language Medieval Latin/Anglo-Norman French/Middle English business writing as a precursor to future research on language mutability in medieval English, and its significance in the development of modern English.

Multisensory semantic integration in inferential comprehension Dr Ana Pérez, Dr Elaine Schmidt, Dr Luca Cilibarasi, Prof. Ianthi Tsimpli (Linguistics); Dr Andrew Welchman, Prof. Zoe Kourtzi (Psychology). A project to study whether the integration of information across different sensory modalities facilitates and/or interferes with the comprehension of inferential information in monolingual adults.

Multi-word expressions in spoken learner English Dr Paula Buttery (Computer Lab) & Dr Andrew Caines (Linguistics). This project will bring together several existing resources in order to produce an analysis of multi-word expressions in spoken learner English.

Cambridge Language Sciences is a virtual centre for language researchers at the University of Cambridge. 

Our mission is

  • to connect a diverse research community
  • to create increased opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration
  • to advance knowledge through the cross-fertilisation of ideas
  • to develop external partnerships
  • to equip the next generation of researchers with the knowledge, experience and skills for interdisciplinary research.

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