Self-funded PhD students only

Project code



School of Languages and Applied Linguistics

Start dates

Closing date

Applications accepted all year round

This project is now closed. The details below are for information purposes only.
View our current projects here.

The 3-year, self-funded PhD will be based in the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and will be supervised by Dr Jonathan Evans, Dr Alessia Tranchese and Professor Matthew Weait.

The work will include:

  • Investigating hate speech (particularly homophobia and misogyny) in online fan translation communities
  • Building a corpus based on forum posts and analysing it using relevant tools
  • Interviewing community moderators in order to see how hate speech has been dealt with
  • Exploring comparative corpora
  • Developing an understanding of how offline forms of discrimination are (or are not) carried over into online fan communities.

This PhD offers a fantastic opportunity to undertake new research on hate speech, including misogyny and homophobia, in fansubbing and fan translation forums, such as Subsfactory or YYETS, and YouTube translation communities (e.g. Vietsub).

You’ll explore how linguistic discrimination is carried over from the offline world into the online world, and how aggressors construct their online identity, both individually and as part of a group. Existing datasets collected from Reddit as part of the project ‘The Language of Cybersexism’ will provide opportunities for statistical comparison with the linguistic features you’ll identify in fansubbing communities. 

This is an exciting opportunity for interdisciplinary study that touches on aspects of linguistics, fandom, translation, sociology, criminology and gender studies. You’ll benefit from the supervisors’ interdisciplinary experience of fan communities, translation, corpus linguistics, gender and sexual discrimination, discourse analysis, law, as well as their experience of dealing with research ethics.

The successful applicant will have the opportunity to refine the research questions and choose case studies, but it’s expected that the project will provide an account of the language used in bullying or hate speech in these communities and investigate the forms and practice of mediation that have been used to minimise it.

Fees and funding

Funding Availability: Self-funded PhD students only

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only).

2020/2021 fees (applicable for October 2020 and February 2021 start)

Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,407 p/a*

Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,204 p/a*

International full-time students: £14,300 p/a*

International part-time students: £7,150 p/a* 

*All fees are subject to annual increase

Entry requirements

  • You must be a UK or EU resident and hold a good honours degree (2:1 or above) from a recognised higher education institution.
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

You should have native or near-native competence in a language other than English (preferably French or Italian) with a 2:1 (or equivalent) at bachelor’s degree in applied linguistics, media studies, or translation studies (or related disciplines).
Ideally, you’ll have a master’s degree in a relevant area, excellent IT skills (including experience of webscraping), and familiarity with corpus-based discourse analysis.

How to apply

Please contact Dr Jonathan Evans ( to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting both the project code and the project title.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form and select ‘Languages and Applied Linguistics’ as the subject area. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. 

Please also submit a research proposal (up to 1000 words), detailing how you would develop this project:

  • What research questions would you pose?
  • How would you design the project?
  • What research methods would you use?
  • How would you engage with/ build on existing research?

Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.

Please note, to be considered for this self-funded PhD opportunity you must quote project code SLAL4360219 when applying.

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