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Language Sciences Research Incubator Fund

Language Sciences Research Incubator Fund

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

The next call is expected to open in March/April 2019 (announcement via the Language Sciences mailing list).

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Isaac Newton Trust and of Cambridge University Press in providing additional funding to support this programme.

shcup txtblack cmyk Isaac Newton trust

Since the Incubator Fund grant, we've been contacted by the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, University of Wales to collaborate on a related project using the techniques we've developed

Dr David Willis, Theoretical and Applied Linguistics ("Towards a parsed corpus of historical Welsh", 2016-17 award)


Proposals are evaluated by a review panel. Priority will be given to those which

  • Promote interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration
  • Address emerging themes
  • Develop novel methodological approaches or tools
  • Are 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.

 Conditions of funding

  • 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 research at the next Language Sciences Annual Symposium following completion of their project.
  • Financial support from Cambridge Language Sciences and the Isaac Newton Trust should be acknowledged in any outputs from a grant under this scheme.

NOTE: Employment of research assistants usually needs to be done through TES. Please seek HR advice before including personnel costs as part of a proposal.


Since launching the Incubator Fund a total of £54,600 has been awarded to the following projects.

Awards in 2018-19

Talk about mind and space: paternal and maternal contributions to school readiness Dr Elian Fink (Centre for Play in Education, Development & Learning), Prof. Claire Hughes (Centre for Family Research), Dr Henriëtte Hendriks (Theoretical & Applied Linguistics)

Cognitive differences between bilingual and monolingual 'struggling learners' Curtis Sharma (Theoretical & Applied Linguistics), Dr Joni Holmes (Centre for Attention, Memory & Learning, MRC-CBU), Dr Napoleon Katsos (Theoretical & Applied Linguistics), Dr Jenny Gibson (Faculty of Education), Dr Jacalyn Guy (Centre for Attention, Memory & Learning, MRC-CBU)

The costs of faking it: exploring the role of accent in human social signalling Prof. Robert Foley (Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies), Jonathon Goodman (Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies), Prof. Ian Roberts (Theoretical & Applied Linguistics), Prof. Francis Nolan (Phonetics Lab, Theoretical & Applied Linguistics)

Automatically standardising two multilingual code-switched corpora Dr Theresa Biberauer (Computer Science & Technology/Theoretical & Applied Linguistics),  Christopher Bryant (Computer Science & Technology), Li Nguyen (Theoretical & Applied Linguistics), Sana Kidwai (Theoretical & Applied Linguistics)
Computational psycholinguistic investigations of semantic graph representations Dr Andrew Caines (Computer Science & Technology), Dr Mirjan Bozic (Psychology), Giulia Boloventa (Theoretical & Applied Linguistics), Dr Paula Buttery (Computer Science & Technology)


Awards in 2017-18

Language, Brains & Machines: an initial literature review Anna Samuel, Dr Andrew Caines, Dr Paula Buttery (Dept. of Computer Science & Technology). 

Learning a language at your brain's pace Dr Henriëtte Hendriks (Linguistics), Prof. Zoe Kourtzi (Psychology), Dr Vicky Leong (Psychology), Dr John Williams (Linguistics) 

Neural encoding of semantic and syntactic information in bilingualism Dr Mirjana Bozic (Language Brain and Bilingualism Lab, Psychology), Andrea Olguin (Language, Brain and Bilingualism Lab, Psychology), Tristan Bekinschtein (Cambridge Consciousness & Cognition Lab, Psychology) 

'Bhavishya Shakti'- Constructs of a novel education intervention in urban slums Prof. Sumantra Ray (NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition and Health), Prof. Ianthi Tsimpli (Linguistics), Dr Minha Rajput-Ray (NNEdPro), Ms Ananya Ria Roy (NNEdPro) 

Multilingualism and subjective wellbeing in the family: a systematic review Dr Napoleon Katsos (Linguistics), Dr Jenny Gibson (Education) 

A personalised literacy and numeracy teaching app for mobile devices Dr Andrew Caines (Linguistics/ALTA); Dr Paula Buttery, Russell Moore, Dr Andrew Rice (Computer Science & Technology); Prof. Ianthi Tsimpli (Linguistics) 

A collaborative game-based approach to documenting linguistic variation in Brazil  Dr Ioanna Sitaridou (Spanish & Portuguese), Dr Paula Buttery (Computer Science & Technology), Dr Andrew Caines (Linguistics/ALTA)


Awards in 2016-17

Preliminary data are novel and very promising, showing that bilingualism modulates the neural mechanisms for selective attention. […] The first manuscript based on this data set is currently under review and the second one is in preparation.

Dr Mirjana Bozic, Dept. of Psychology ("Neural correlates of selective attention in bilingualism", 2016-17 award)

Neural correlates of selective attention in bilingualism Dr Mirjana Bozic, Andrea Olguin, Dr Tristan Bekinschtein (Psychology); Dr Napoleon Katsos (Linguistics) 

Crowdsourcing an error-annotated corpus of spoken learner English Dr Andrew Caines  (Linguistics) & Dr Marek Rei (Computer Laboratory). 

Towards a parsed corpus of historical Welsh Dr David Willis (Linguistics), Dr Sheila Watts (German & Dutch), Prof. Paul Russell (Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic) 

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). 

Historical codeswitching and language mutability in the history of English Dr Laura Wright (English) & Professor Ian Roberts (Linguistics). 

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). 

Multi-word expressions in spoken learner English Dr Paula Buttery (Computer Lab) & Dr Andrew Caines (Linguistics). 

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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Upcoming events

Institutional multilingualism / Challenging monolingual histories (MEITS seminar series)

Feb 28, 2019

Seminar Room G, Second Floor, 17 Mill Lane, CB2 1RX

Workshop: The Future of AI: Language, Ethics, Technology

Mar 25, 2019

Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Workshop: Presentation skills

Jun 12, 2019

SR24 (2nd floor), English Faculty

Language Sciences Research Symposium for early-careers researchers

Jun 26, 2019

The Cavonius Centre, Gonville & Caius College

Previous events

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