We are looking for a full-time PhD candidate to join the newly founded Minerva Group ‘Language Evolution and Adaptation in Diverse Situations’ (LEADS), led by Dr. Limor Raviv, at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. The ‘Language Evolution and Adaptation in Diverse Situations’ (LEADS) group is embedded in the Language & Genetics department of the MPI for Psycholinguistics.
The 4-year PhD project will combine experimental and computational methods to investigate the role of age and gender diversity in shaping language innovation and change. Specifically, you will investigate whether different linguistic tendencies are associated with speakers of different gender and age who are situated in diverse communities, and whether women and adolescents really lead the process of language change from the initial stages of language emergence. These questions will be addressed using two complementary methods: 1. Group communication games, in which mini-societies of interacting participants come to the lab and create new artificial languages to communicate with each other; And 2. Computational models, in which populations of simulated hierarchical Bayesian agents interact with each other over generations.
What we expect from you
Desirable (traits that would give you an advantage)
What we have to offer
The PhD position is fully funded for 4 years (starting gross salary is € 2.673,71 per month). The institute provides fully equipped research facilities, technical support, as well as a conference and travel budget. PhD students participate in the International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, which involves core and individually chosen coursework to complement the PhD research and training in soft skills such as writing and presentation. You are entitled to 30 holiday days per year (on the basis of fulltime employment), as well as Dutch and German institute holidays.
Work environment / employer
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 facilities (including audio-visual equipment, EEG, fMRI, eye tracking, virtual reality labs, molecular biology labs, and a 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 recognizes 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 individuals from minority groups and from groups that are otherwise underrepresented.
How to Apply
Applications should include:
The deadline for applications is May 17th, 2021.
For questions and informal enquiries, contact Dr. Limor Raviv (limor.raviv [at] mpi.nl).