Postdoctoral Researcher in Music

University College Cork Department of Music

Post-Doctoral Researcher, Department of Music

24 Months, Fixed-Term, Whole-time Post

Position summary

A Post-Doctoral Researcher post in Digital Humanities is available at the Department of Music in the School of Film, Music, and Theatre at University College Cork. The position is funded by the European Research Council and are associated with the research project CIPHER: Hip Hop Interpellation. This study of global hip hop knowledge flows will synergize ethnographic and digital humanities methods to examine how hip hop “unlocks the global through the local.” The researcher will work closely with the Principal Investigator, J. Griffith Rollefson, and a diverse, world-leading team of ethnographic researchers, with computational support from the Insight Centre for Data Analytics.

The successful candidate will work with a team of ethnographic researchers to develop a corpus of hip hop lyrics. S/he will develop thematic tags with the team to map the flows of interrelated hip hop archetypes or “gems of knowledge” that have emerged in different forms and in different languages around the world. With the support of UCC’s Insight Centre for Data Analytics, the candidate will build from this knowledge base an interactive public-facing searchable web application that maps these knowledge flows across time and space (with the potential of integrating and developing further computational methods—NLP, Machine Learning, Stylometry, etc.). This CIPHER Map will be a user-friendly interactive web-based world map complete with search functions, user submissions, and moderation. The successful candidate will show an ability to manage the data and visualization sides of the project.

In the Application Letter, candidates are expected to outline how their interests and skills align with the CIPHER project – namely, how they might attend to the particular challenges that websites like,,, and others have approached in the last decade—and how they might further develop and extend those solutions.

The successful candidates are expected to live in Cork, Ireland and become part of the research environment/network of the university and contribute to its development. The digital humanist/computer scientist is expected to develop computational solutions and produce web-based outputs as well as potentially collaborating with the CIPHER team in published results and otherwise contributing to popular dissemination of the research results.

In the evaluation of the applications, emphasis will be placed on:

The applicant’s knowledge of digital humanities skills such as corpus development, data visualisation, and web application skills
The applicant’s estimated academic and personal ability to carry out the project within the allotted time frame and contribute to the research project CIPHER
Good co-operative skills, and the ability to successfully join in academic collaboration within and across disciplines
Supplementary Information on the CIPHER project and the post is available at the following URL:

Project Title: CIPHER: Hip Hop Interpellation

Post Duration: 24 Months

Salary: €39,522 - €46,906 p.a. (IUA Salary Scale)

For an information package including further details of the post see
Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to J. Griffith Rollefson, Professor of Music, Email: , Telephone: +353 (0)21 490 4931.

Applications must be submitted online via the University College Cork vacancy portal ( Queries relating to the online application process should be referred to, quoting the job-title and project name.

Applicants must submit the following attachments with the electronic application, in pdf format:
Application Letter (max 2 pages single spaced) describing the applicant’s qualifications and motivation for the position
Curriculum Vitae (complete list of education, positions, and other qualifying activities)
Project proposal (max 2 pages single spaced). The proposal should address the following questions: (1) What computational methods will you employ to develop and tag a corpus of hip hop lyrics. Further, what methods would you use to design and engineer a user-friendly interactive web-based world map complete with search functions, user submissions, and moderation? (2) How will you draw upon your own technical experience when working on the project and how will that background benefit the project? What will be the advantages of your methodological approach, and how will you deal with potential practical and ethical challenges? (3) Because of challenges related to Covid-19 the CIPHER project has had to limit its focus as proposed in the original CIPHER proposal. If given additional time and supports (beyond two years), what further data analytics methods (Machine Learning, NLP, Semantic Tagging, Stylometry, Computational Sociolinguistics, etc) would you be interested in developing if you were to further develop this project?
Please note: shortlisted finalists who are not selected for the post will be invited to apply for external funding through the EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship*. Professor Rollefson and UCC Research will support interested candidates in the application process. CIPHER has already hosted three such postdoctoral researchers through this prestigious fellowship.*
Please note that all documents must be in English.

The short-listed candidates will be invited to a virtual interview at UCC. Details of interview will be finalised at a later date. It is envisaged that the post will start on 1 August 2022 and run for two years.

The CIPHER Project strongly encourages applications from underrepresented groups as part of its core mission to promote global justice and equality of access.

Candidates should apply, in confidence, before 12 noon (Irish Local Time) on Tuesday, 31 May 2022.

No late applications will be accepted.

Please note that an appointment to posts advertised will be dependent on University approval, together with the terms of the employment control framework for the higher education sector.

UCC is committed to creating and fully embracing an inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated. As a University we strive to create a workplace that reflects the diversity of our student population where people from a wide variety of backgrounds learn from one another, share ideas, and work collaboratively. UCC is committed to being an employer that recognises the value of diversity amongst its staff. We encourage applicants to consult our policies at and initiatives at and we welcome applications from everyone, including those who are underrepresented in the protected characteristics set out in our Equal Opportunities & Diversity Policy.


Contact Person : Professor J. Griffith Rollefson

Contact Email :

Job ID : 055371

Contact Number :

Close Date : 31-May-2022 12:00