An opportunity has come up for a short Python programming summer project in Economics at the University of Bristol (details below). This would be an ideal June/July summer project for, e.g. a PhD student or researcher between contracts who can program in Python, and who is interested in learning about textual analysis and research software engineering. If you have any questions, please contact Tuan Ho (tuan.ho  at The successful applicant will receive training, mentoring and support both from Tuan and also from the Research Software Engineering group in the Advanced Computing Research Centre at Bristol.


Developing textual analysis tools to analyse independent auditors’ reports on UK firms

Applications are invited for a post of research assistant who can develop the textual analysis tool described below in the Python language. The work should be completed by the end of July 2017.

Project description

There have been significant changes in the auditors’ disclosures on three areas: risks, materiality and scope of the audit in the independent auditors’ reports for UK firms since October 2012. This project aims to develop a textual analysis tool to examine the characteristics of those changes and associate them with the stock market’s valuations and measures of risks.

The tool will parse the independent auditors’ reports from the UK companies’ annual reports and analyse the contents of the independent auditors’ reports.

The expected outputs from the analysis include but not limited to:

– Length of the report
– Names of the auditor and the auditing companies
– Word clouds including the frequencies of some important key words related to key areas (risk, materiality and scope of the audit)
– Topics and subsections of the audit reports
– The positive and negative tones of those topics and subsections
– Similarity and dissimilarity over time in language, template, audit risk areas etc.
– Clarity or ambiguity
– Agreement or disagreement with management

Contact details:

Tuan Ho
Lecturer in Finance and Accounting
School of Economics, Finance and Management
University of Bristol
Email: tuan.ho   at
Phone: (0117) 3941500
Office: Room 1.24, 15-19 Tyndalls Park Road

University of Bristol – short Python programming summer project

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