Collaborators, Visitors & Future Team Members
Collaborators at Maryland
Visitors -- come play with us!
We do not have funding for visiting scientists. But we do make every effort to provide office space, and to fully integrate visitors into the research community.
All visitors to Linguistics must be approved by the department faculty, and must have a faculty sponsor, who acts as the main point of contact for the visit. Drop me a line if you think I might be a suitable sponsor. If you are a faculty member who is looking to spend a year in the US and your interests are not a close fit to mine, then you should look for a sponsor whose interests genuinely match your own. If you are a motivated student who would like to learn more about how we do our research, we’d like to hear from you.
Undergraduate summer interns: Esther Chung (Wellesley, now Johns Hopkins U), Miriam Farkas (Harvard), Maggie Kandel (Yale), Christina Kelly (Harvard), Chris O’Brien (Michigan State, now MIT); Valerie van Mulukom (Utrecht University).
Note: from January 2024 my primary appointment will be at Oxford University. I will also continue as faculty (part-time) at the University of Maryland. I will be supervising graduate students at both Oxford (Masters & DPhil) and Maryland (PhD). Students interested in working with me can pursue this via either institution. I will add more information here once available. In the meantime, please email me if you are interested in exploring possibilities.
I never tire of saying how much I appreciate the team of students that I’ve worked with.
If you are interested in joining our group and think that you’d be a good fit, then do drop me a line. But I recommend that you do a little homework first. Our group does interesting work in a lot of different areas, but the individual pieces fall under a broader agenda, and so it’s a good idea to understand what it is that we’re trying to do. This site is a good place to start.
A good way to figure out if this is the right place for you to is to look at the profiles of our current and former team members. We look for people who are resourceful, scientifically adventurous, enjoy collaboration, write well, and above all can appreciate big picture questions and nit-picky linguistic detail at the same time. As you can see from perusing Maryland Linguistics, we value community very highly, and look for people who can contribute to this. Doing a PhD isn’t easy, but with the right set of people it can also be fun.
In any year I am generally open to taking new graduate students, but the ultimate decision lies with the Dept of Linguistics. Competition for admission is stiff: we receive 160-180 applications in a typical year, and can afford only 6-8 new students, from 12-15 offers. We wish that we could afford more. So what’s the best way to prepare? Dive into research, find out what excites you. Think and write about the research (don’t just be a “lab rat”). Get to know experienced researchers well, and try to impress their socks off: their endorsements count for a lot.
I am very involved in the NACS Program, but I have never supervised a NACS PhD student. Why? Students who get excited about the same things that I do tend to prefer the Linguistics curriculum, which still has a great deal of room for individualization. However, most of my Maryland PhD students complete the NACS Certificate in addition to the regular PhD.
Our PhD program has no specific GRE or GPA score requirement. But it is worthwhile to put effort into getting a good GRE score. UMD has minimal TOEFL requirements for students who do not have a degree from an English-speaking university, but we like to see evidence of greater proficiency in written and spoken English. We do not accept students for a terminal MA degree. If you’re interested primarily in second language acquisition, then you’re better served by the SLA program. If you’re interested in the neuroscience of language, but don’t enjoy linguistic detail, you probably will be happier elsewhere.
If you are talented and motivated but have little relevant background, don’t be discouraged. I’ve been there myself. Keep your options open, and consider a 2-step route to a competitive PhD program. Some students first gain experience in a terminal masters program, or through a research assistant position. Some of our past Lab Managers and Baggett Fellows are now prominent researchers in their own right.