Computational Linguistics - Senior Researcher Ref. 2848

Black History MonthMind Silver AwardThe Times Top 100Disability confident leaderThe Prince's Responsible BusinessStonewall Diversity Champion 2021The Guardian UK 300 logoSocial Mobility Foundation Award

Technology Roles
Cheltenham, Manchester
Full-time and part-time opportunities (flexible working hours available)
£39,166 - £42,592 with potential to qualify for specialist skill payment of up to £7,800 per annum in the future. You will also receive a one-off recruitment bonus.

About Us 
At GCHQ, we unlock the complex world of data and communications to keep the UK and its citizens safe, both in the real world and online. Working closely with our British Intelligence partners in MI5 and MI6, we protect the UK from threats including serious organised crime, terrorism, and cyber-attacks. A role in GCHQ means you’ll have varied and fascinating work in a supportive and encouraging environment that puts the emphasis on teamwork.

The Role 
As a Senior Researcher in Computational Linguistics, you’ll role will be to propose, develop, contribute and lead a small number of research tasks, working within a small internal team you’ll help develop solutions for National Security language analysis applications. This is a very collaborative role, tasks may be carried out by teams made up of internal research staff, academic or industry partners or a combination of both.  You’ll contribute research within defined projects to further language analysis capabilities used by customers across the department and within partner agencies and may include contribution to international research efforts.

Day-to-day you’ll design and implement techniques for a language analysis (text) application, carry out experimentation and evaluation of tools and techniques, review and identify the research tasks to be carried out with academic partners , and contribute to and lead team efforts in larger research projects. Then, as research develops, you’ll share and communicate research outcomes with partners and customers, developing, and supporting prototypes where appropriate, and helping customers adopt new capabilities

You will be required to undertake line management responsibilities, and provide mentoring and guidance for junior members. You’ll be given the opportunity to develop skills through mentoring a summer internship. There is occasional travel for workshops, conferences, liaison, and training for both personal and technical development.

About You
Ideally you’ll have STEM  graduate qualification, 2:2 or above, or equivalent along with programming skills in at least one of Python, C, C++ or Java. You’ll have an interest in human languages, how they vary in different contexts, and in developing computational models to capture and infer meaning. And you’ll have an aptitude and experience in research and/or development of language technologies, e.g. application of Machine Learning in Natural Language Processing or Understanding.

You’ll have a questioning mindset, an ability for critical thinking, be innovative, with a disciplined approach to developing and testing ideas. And have experience of working in a team and successfully delivering outcomes such as proof-of-techniques, system capabilities, and publications.

Training and Development 
We’re invested in you, which is why we offer plenty of training, development courses and packages internally like the Data Science Development Programme and the Linguistics Analytical Pathway Programme courses and modules.

We also offer support for external technical development through courses, online learning and through opportunities to attend international academic conferences and workshops. Your training will be tailored to meet your needs as part of your continuous personal development programme.

And when you join, we’ll pair you up with a mentor and buddy to help you settle in. And our three-day induction will help you to get to know the organization.

Rewards and Benefits 
You’ll receive a starting salary of £39,166 - £42,592. with potential to qualify for specialist skill payment of up to £7,800 per annum in the future. You will receive an additional one-off recruitment bonus. Plus other benefits including:

•    25 Days Annual Leave automatically rising to 30 days after 5 years' service, and an additional 10.5 days public and privilege holidays
•    Opportunities to be recognised through our employee performance scheme
•    Interest-free season ticket loan (parking and travel)
•    Excellent pension scheme
•    Cycle to work scheme
•    Facilities such as a gym, restaurant and on-site coffee bars (at some locations)
•    Paid parental and adoption leave.

Equal Opportunities
At  GCHQ diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission. To protect the UK, we need a truly diverse workforce that reflects the society we serve. This includes diversity in every sense of the word: those with different backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodivergent conditions. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce such as women, those from an ethnic minority background, people with disabilities and those from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Find out more about our culture, working environment and diversity on our website:

We’re Disability Confident
GCHQ are proud to have achieved Leader status within the DWP’s Disability Confident scheme.  This is aimed at encouraging employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people.  Being Disability Confident, we aim to offer a person-to-person interview to any candidate who self-identifies as disabled and meets the essential criteria for the role.  This is our ‘Offer of Interview’ (OOI). To secure an interview for this vacancy, the essential criteria which will be assessed at application sift (in order of application process) are: 

•    STEM  graduate qualification, 2:2 or above, or equivalent along with programming skills in at least one of Python, C, C++ or Java
•    Able to demonstrate proficiency in programming
•    Able to demonstrate an interest in Language Technology
•    Able to demonstrate examples of successfully working on the research or application of language technology development (or related)
•    Able to demonstrate effective communication with a range of like minded stakeholders and customers

What to Expect
Our recruitment process is fair, transparent, and based on merit. Here is a brief overview of each stage, in order:

•    Application sift, looking at your motivation for the role and the organisation
•    Interview and Presentation
•    If successful, you will receive a conditional offer of employment, subject to vetting

Please note, you must successfully pass each stage of the process to progress to the next. Your application may take around 6 - 9 months to process including vetting, so we advise you to continue any current employment until you have received your final job offer.

Before You Apply
To work at GCHQ, you need to be a British citizen or hold dual British nationality. You can read our full eligibility criteria here.

This role requires the highest security clearance, known as Developed Vetting (DV). It’s something everyone in the UK Intelligence Community undertakes. You can find out more about the vetting process here.

Please note we have a strict drugs policy, so once you start your application, you can’t take any recreational drugs and you’ll need to declare your previous drug usage at the relevant stage.

The role is based in Cheltenham or Central Manchester, so you’ll need to live within a commutable distance. Please consider any financial implications and practicalities before submitting an application, as we do not offer relocation costs.

Please note, you should only launch your application from within the UK. If you are based overseas, you should wait until you visit the UK to launch an application. Applying from outside the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member. 

Right to Withdraw Statement: 
Please be aware that we withhold the right to bring forward the closing date for this role from the original closing date once a certain number of applications have been received. Please be mindful of this and submit your application at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment.

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.