Postdoctoral Researcher: Multilingual Island: Sites of Translation and Encounter (MISTE)  

Project: Multilingual Island: Sites of Translation and Encounter (MISTE)

School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Ref. No. University of Galway 304-22

The National University of Ireland Galway is recruiting a full-time, fixed term Postdoctoral Researcher for the project Multilingual Island: Sites of Translation and Encounter (MISTE). The project takes a ‘shared island’ approach to create an in-depth understanding of intercultural encounters in Ireland through the lens of language and translation, comparing settings in Galway and Belfast. The position is funded under the North-South Research Programme.

Project Description

This project will measure multilingual practices to investigate the role of translation in bringing together migrants/refugees and local communities; and to explore the creative potential of translation to raise awareness of cultural diversity in Ireland. The project compares approaches to language and migrant/refugee integration in different sites with a view to informing policy and best practice. 

MISTE will work in Galway and Belfast to

  • Measure multilingual practices in sites of everyday encounters between migrants/refugees and local communities (religious sites, sports grounds, community centres, libraries);
  • Investigate the role of translation (including non-professional translation provided by religious figures, social workers etc.) in everyday encounters between migrants/refugees and local communities;
  • Explore the creative potential of translation to establish a dialogue between migrants and the community, and to provide a migrant perspective on the theme of Ireland as a ‘shared island’;
  • Compare how Northern and Southern approaches to migrant/refugee integration impact the practice of multilingualism.

The research team comprises researchers in University of Galway (Prof. Anne O’Connor; Dr. Andrea Ciribuco, Dr. Lorna Shaughnessy) and in QUB (Dr. Piotr Blumczynski). The researcher will be based in the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies, located in the Hardiman Research Building in University of Galway and will work on sites in Galway and in Belfast.

Contract duration:  1 February 2023 – 31 July 2024 (18 months)

Job Description

The Postdoctoral Researcher (PDR) will perform ethnographic observations of religious and sport sites in Galway and Belfast, coordinating with researchers from the QUB team. They will focus on multilingual interactions in the sites, taking informed annotations on language use, translation, (including non-professional translation and interpreting, and language brokering), objects and tools. Subsequently, in conjunction with the other team members, as appropriate, the PDR will conduct semi-structured interviews in each site. The PDR will also be involved in the organisation of translation workshops that engage with multilingual migrants in the area, liaising with civil society partners. The post places emphasis on ethnographic work and community engagement.

The PDR will be responsible for the transcription and pseudonymisation of interviews and session recordings and for qualitative coding of data through Nvivo to individuate common themes and enable a comparative North-South analysis.

The PDR will be involved in the dissemination of project findings and raise awareness on the potential of multilingual, migrant perspective for a ‘shared Ireland’. This will include co-authoring and presenting conferences papers; co-authoring peer-reviewed articles; co-ordinating social media communications, and co-creating and organising community outreach events.


Suitable candidates must meet the following criteria

  • PhD in Translation or Sociolinguistics or related area (submitted before interview date)
  • Demonstrable research interest in the intersection of language and migration 
  • Experience of ethnographic research 
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Ability to work well both collaboratively and independently
  • Highly motivated, with excellent organisational skills

Desirable criteria:

  • Demonstrable research interest in the social, cultural and policy aspects of translation.
  • Excellent IT skills / social media
  • Peer-reviewed publication record
  • Experience of community outreach and partnerships outside academia
  • Familiarity with contexts of migration and diversity
  • English proficiency plus a degree of expertise in at least two additional languages (preferably including one of the following: Polish, French, Romanian, Lithuanian, Spanish, German, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic, Ukrainian).

To Apply

Applications should include a covering letter outlining the applicant’s suitability for the role, a CV, and the contact details of two referees. Applications should be sent as one pdf file via email to 

Please put the relevant reference number University of Galway 304-22 in subject line of e-mail application.

Salary: €41,209 per annum (public sector pay policy rules pertaining to new entrants will apply)

Start: 1 February 2023

Further information on research and working at University of Galway is available on Research at University of Galway

For information on moving to Ireland please see

Further informal enquiries concerning this position may be made by contacting Professor Anne O’Connor:

Closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00 pm, Friday 9 December, 2022. 

Interviews are planned to be held virtually, the week commencing December 19, 2022.

University of Galway reserves the right to readvertise or extend the closing date for this post.

University of Galway is an equal opportunities employer.

All positions are recruited in line with Open, Transparent, Merit (OTM) and Competency based recruitment.