IMPRS PhD Fellowships 2024

IMPRS Fellowships Language and Genetics Language Development
full-time part-time

The International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Language Sciences is offering two fully-funded PhD Fellowship for four years (2024-2028) with a preferred start-date in September or October, 2024.

The position

The IMPRS for Language Sciences invites applications for TWO PhD fellowships that are funded by the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science. The goal of the scheme is to enable young researchers to pursue interdisciplinary research projects in the language sciences, supervised by leading scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and its partner institutes at the Radboud University -- the Centre for Language Studies and the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour

The fellowships are suitable for applicants from a variety of backgrounds including:

  • artificial intelligence
  • (medical) biology
  • (cognitive) neuroscience
  • cognitive & behavioural science
  • computer science & engineering
  • genetics
  • linguistics
  • neurobiology
  • philosophy
  • physics & mathematics
  • psychology


You will have access to state-of-the art research and training facilities and a generous conference and travel budget. Your educational training programme will be provided by the International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, and will involve both core and individually chosen coursework to complement the PhD research, and training in soft skills such as writing and presentation. Radboud University, our partner university, will issue the doctoral degree through the faculty at which the promoting professor in the supervisory committee is appointed. 


The MPI for Psycholinguistics conducts interdisciplinary research into the psychological, social and biological foundations of language. Scientists at the Institute study a variety of topics including how children and adults acquire language, the role of genetic factors, how speaking and listening happen in real time, how the brain processes language for communication, and how language connects to cognition and culture. The Institute's approach to the science of language and communication is unique, addressing these fundamental issues at multiple levels, from molecules and cells to circuits and brains, all the way through to the behaviour of individuals and populations.

We are situated on the campus of the Radboud University in Nijmegen, and have close collaborative links with the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour and the Centre for Language Studies at Radboud University.  Staff and students at the MPI have access to state-of-the art research and training facilities (including audio-visual equipment, EEG, fMRI, eye tracking, virtual reality labs, molecular biology labs and a child-friendly child development lab).

The Institute is part of the Max Planck Society, an independent non-governmental association of German-funded research institutes dedicated to fundamental research in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and the humanities.

The MPI for Psycholinguistics recognises the positive value of diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination. We are committed to redressing systemic problems with diversity in science, and therefore welcome applications from all suitably qualified candidates, irrespective of gender, disability, marital or parental status, racial, ethnic or social origin, colour, religion, belief, or sexual orientation.

Preliminary Information (updated: 28 Aug 2023) -- click to expand

Kindly note that all information presented here is subject to change without advance notice. We invite you to check back again in early November for the latest details.

Tentative Schedule

Full advert posted

2 Nov 2023

Application portal opens

4 Dec

Application deadline

8 Jan 2024



Shortlisted candidates invited

2 Feb

Referees of shortlisted candidates contacted

2 Feb

Reference form submission deadline

9 Feb




Informal conversations with department IMPRSers       

5 – 22 Feb

Informal conversation with selection committee
and potential supervisors        

26 Feb – 8 Mar

Notice of offers & rejections sent

29 Mar


Application Requirements

In order for an application to be considered for review, it must contain the following:

  • curriculum vitae, which lists activities in reverse chronological order and also includes the contact information of up to 3 (academic) referees. 
  • letter of motivation, the content and format of which will be specified in the full advert.
  • supporting documents, such as academic degrees, diplomas and transcripts, which may be submitted as copies that are not certified true or notarised. HOWEVER, certified true or notarised copies (including translated ones) must be promptly provided upon request when the applicant is invited for an interview. Ultimately, these versions will be required in order for an official offer of employment to be made and to be issued a contract of employment at the MPI for Psycholinguistics.


Documents in languages other than English, Dutch or German must be translated into any of the aforementioned languages. We apologise for any inconveniences this may cause.

We do not require proof of English language proficiency by means of a language test, but applicants who have taken such a test in 2019 or later are welcome to include their results in the application.

An extensive Frequently Asked Questions section will be made available with the full advert. We ask you to please wait for its publication before sending your questions to the IMPRS Coordinator, dr. Kevin Lam, by e-mail.



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