Oxford Languages Summer Placement 2023

Oxford Languages Summer Placement 2023

The Oxford Languages Department at Oxford University Press is pleased to announce that it will be running a virtual paid summer placement for 2023, which will run for five weeks from Monday 10 July to Friday 11 August.

About Oxford Languages

Oxford Languages is a department of Oxford University Press and is the world’s leading dictionary publisher. Our world-class language research programme builds on over 150 years of experience and technological innovation to deliver authoritative, evidence-based content in more than 50 languages.

From bespoke language datasets to self-service APIs to our flagship Oxford English Dictionary (OED), all Oxford Languages content is uniquely curated and delivered by our expert team of lexicographers, linguists, and language technologists to the highest of standards.

As well as the OED, a historical dictionary which covers the meaning and history of words—past and present—from across the English-speaking world, our English monolingual dictionaries include the Oxford Dictionary of English (ODE)—a dictionary of current English—and the Sentence Dictionary, an electronic dictionary which provides example sentences drawn from real-world usage.

The Summer Placement

There are two placement positions available, to work on various lexical projects within Oxford Languages. These projects include (but are not limited to):

  • Work on the Oxford Sentence Dictionary and the Oxford Dictionary of English, adding new example sentences, improving existing content, and identifying potential new words and senses. The task will involve working with a web-based editing tool and conducting corpus-based research, with a focus on identifying dated and sensitive content and improving the accuracy of sense disambiguation within our example sentences.
  • Work on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to identify early examples of usage. This task will involve working through quotations listed in a word document and checking them against existing OED entries to see if they provide earlier evidence of a sense of a word.
  • Work on the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary, going through a set of OED senses within a particular semantic field (for example sports, food and drink, finance, biology, etc., depending on interest and areas of expertise) and putting them in the appropriate Historical Thesaurus category, with the help of a piece of software which automatically identifies possible classifications.
  • Work to identify words or senses for consideration for the Oxford Languages datasets. The task will involve carrying out internet research to identify words and senses not currently included in our datasets and recording the meanings of these words along with examples of their use on a database for future assessment.
  • Work on prioritizing new words and senses that have been suggested as additions to the Oxford Languages datasets. The task will involve working with Excel spreadsheets listing the items which are under consideration, evaluating the significance of each item, and assigning a score to them on the spreadsheet.
  • Work on our pronunciation data (transcriptions and audio), creating new links from the Oxford Dictionary of English to improve existing content and widen coverage. The task will involve listening and matching. Knowledge of the symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet is useful but not essential.
  • There will also be opportunities to hear about the work of the various teams around the department, including editorial teams, such as research, science, bibliography, and etymology, as well as language technologists, marketing, and project management.

Candidates do not require any prior training or experience to apply for the placement. Successful candidates will be able to:

  • write clearly and concisely in an accessible style
  • retrieve and assimilate information in diverse fields
  • distinguish between different senses of the same word
  • demonstrate a practical, discerning approach to research
  • produce consistently high-quality and accurate work

You should outline how you meet these criteria in your covering letter.


Pay: £11.35 per hour (Oxford Living Wage)

Duration: 5 weeks (Monday 10 July to Friday 11 August)

Maximum of 35 hours/week

Remote working

Shortlisted candidates will be required to complete a lexicographical aptitude test and may be called for interview. Interviews will take place virtually over the Microsoft Teams platform.

Please send a CV and covering letter to OL.Placement@oup.com. The closing date for applications is Monday, 1st May 2023. Candidates must be eligible to work in the UK and have a British bank account. Due to the short-term nature of the placement we are unable to provide sponsorship for anyone not currently eligible to work in the UK. For more information on eligibility to work in the UK, please visit https://www.gov.uk/legal-right-work-uk.

The placement is fully virtual, so candidates can be located anywhere in the UK. Due to the virtual nature of the placement, candidates must have access to a computer with video and audio capabilities, reliable internet access, and Microsoft Office access. Meetings and training sessions will be held using the Microsoft Teams platform.

We are committed to supporting diversity in our workforce and ensuring an inclusive environment where all individuals can thrive. We seek to employ a workforce representative of the markets that we serve and encourage applications from all.

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