Stephen Parker

    Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    I am currently happy to take doctoral students wanting to use Corpus Linguistic (CL) methods in law, particularly in the areas of Family Justice, risk, public inquiries and expert evidence. In the coming months I will be offering specific funded and part funded doctoral projects.

    Personal profile


    Stephen Parker is a Senior Lecturer in Law working in the Aston Law School (ALS). He has multi-disciplinary background, having a BSc. joint honours in Chemical Engineering and Management from Loughborough University and a Masters in Law from Bristol University. He worked for Rolls-Royce plc. for 21 years, starting as an aerodynamicist, moving on to software development, IT project and systems manager and left as a Head of IT. Having retrained in law Stephen has worked in academia as a lecturer and researcher being involved in numerous externally funded projects and currently leads an ESRC project looking at risk prediction in child protection. He is currently interested in the role of the State in intervening in private family life and the use of expert evidence in the justice systems. His risk project is exploring the role of predictive tools and AI currently being touted as a panacea in so many areas of life. As a critical thinker with a STEM background and legally qualified he has a unique take on the systems and processes which surround us all. He is developing methodologies for law using Corpus Linguistic (CL) to extend the ability of law researchers to add statistical rigour to the analysis of legal documents. His teaching focusses expert evidence, legal methods but has taught medical law as well as other core law options. His current doctoral students are law and corpus linguistics focussed.


    Masters in Corpus Linguistics, Lancaster University

    PGCertHE, University of the West of England

    Masters in Law, Bristol University

    BSc. (joint hons) Chemical Engineering & Management, Loughborough University

    Diploma in Industrial Studies (DIS), Loughborough University

    Research Projects/Collaborations

    Funded Projects

    Co-Investigator on the ESRC Large Grants project: “Developing corpus approaches to safeguarding and family justice system research”. Grant Reference: ES/Y002709/1, (£2.5m)

    Principal Investigator on the ESRC Transformative project: “The ‘risk of risk’: remodelling artificial intelligence algorithms for predicting child abuse”. Grant Reference: ES/R00983X/2, (£250k)

    Co-Investigator on the Nuffield foundation project: “Investigating the reasons for the rise in Care Order Applications in the Family Courts”. Grant Reference: JUS/43090.

    Co-Investigator on the ESRC Transformative project: “Rethinking child protection strategy: evaluating research findings and numeric data to challenge whether current intervention strategy is justified”. Grant Reference: ES/M000990/1.

    Membership of Professional Bodies

    Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

    External positions

    Visiting Researcher, Data Science Institute, Lancaster University

    2 Oct 2023 → …


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