Psychology of Language

At the moment, we can offer internships at the Juggling act: Speaking and listening in conversation cluster and the Individual Differences Cluster.

Job description

We offer the opportunity to learn how to design, conduct, and analyze different types of experiments (collecting reaction times, eye tracking, or EEG data). Depending on the length of the internship, students typically carry out (parts) of a small project (such as background reading, designing a study, generating materials, testing adult participants or implementing computational models, analyzing results, reporting the results in writing and presenting them orally) in collaboration with one or more of our researchers. 


•    These internships are intended for MA/MSc students and advanced BA students who wish to gain experience in experimental psycholinguistics. 

•    Applicants should have some prior training in experimental psychology or psycholinguistics, and good knowledge of English.

What we offer you

The duration of the internship is flexible, with a minimum of 8 weeks, starting between September and December 2024. Please note that the internship is unfortunately unpaid.

The available supervisors for the internship are:

•    Constantijn van der Burght (Juggling Act Cluster; behavioral methods, prosody, language production and comprehension, neuroimaging)

•    Candice Frances (Juggling Act Cluster; behavioral methods, eye-tracking, timing in prosodic production, prosody effects on comprehension, contextual diversity)

•    Kyla McConnell (Individual Differences Cluster; online behavioral task battery, individual differences, predictive processing, executive function tasks)


Please check our website (“Where to stay”), for accommodation options in/around Nijmegen. One of the options is the Vertoef guesthouse. Please note that the Radboud Guesthouse is not available for interns. You can also contact our michaela.regeer [at] (secretary) for rental listings, or look at websites like Pararius.

Application procedure

To apply for an internship starting in September 2024 (or later), please use our application portal. The deadline for applications is June 1st, 2024. We will inform all candidates by the end of June. Our next “application round” (for internships starting in January 2025), will be in October.

Applications should be in .pdf format and should include:

  1. Your CV
  2. Name and contact details of two referees
  3. A motivation letter, in which you answer the following questions:
    1. How long do you want to intern for?
    2. Which months are you available?
    3. Will you be applying for course credit (e.g., Master’s thesis or internship)?
    4. What is your experience with any of the following: programming, statistics, Praat, neuroimaging, and linguistics?
    5. Which skills or experiences would you like to gain from this internship?
    6. Which projects are you most interested in from our department? Alternatively, who from our department are you most interested in working with? Feel free to include more than one name.

If you have questions about the post that you wish to discuss before you apply, please email the Research Project Coordinator of the Psychology of Language Department: annelies.vanwijngaarden [at] (Annelies van Wijngaarden).

The employer

About our institute

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is a world-leading research institute devoted to interdisciplinary studies of the science of language and communication, including departments on genetics, psychology, development, neurobiology and multimodality of these fundamental human abilities.

We investigate how children and adults acquire their language(s), how speaking and listening happen in real-time, how the brain processes language, how the human genome contributes to building a language-ready brain, how multiple modalities (as in speech, gesture and sign) shape language and its use in diverse languages and how language is related to cognition and culture, and shaped by evolution.

We are 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 Max Planck Society is an equal opportunities employer. We recognise the positive value of diversity and inclusion, promote equity and challenge discrimination. We aim to provide a working environment with room for differences, where everyone feels a sense of belonging. Therefore, we welcome applications from all suitably qualified candidates.

Our institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University and has close collaborative links with the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour and the Centre for Language Studies at Radboud University. We also work closely with other child development researchers as part of the Baby & Child Research Center.

Staff and students at the MPI have access to state-of-the-art research and training facilities.

About the Psychology of Language department

At the Psychology of Language Department, our main goal is to understand how speaking, listening, reading and writing take place in real-life contexts, for instance in informal conversation. We also aim to understand how people with varied educational and cultural backgrounds (ranging from highly literate academics to illiterate adults) differ in their language skills and the ways they use language.

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