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IMPRS for Language Sciences -


Research programme

Students' doctoral research programmes will be guided by their supervisors at the partner institutes, according to those institutes' usual guidelines.

In order to participate in the IMPRS for Language Sciences, students must undertake a research programme in a relevant area of the language sciences, for example:

  • Language production
  • Language comprehension
  • The interaction between perception and action in the language domain
  • Language acquisition by children (normal and impaired) and adults
  • Multilingualism
  • Language and its relation to other cognitive faculties (e.g. memory, vision, audition)
  • Language and the brain, brain development and plasticity, and language learning
  • Modelling of language processing
  • Corpus studies of language behaviour and their implications for language processing
  • Language diversity and the implications for language processing in the individual
  • Language typology and the search for constraints on ‘possible languages’
  • In-depth descriptions of undescribed languages which throw new light on the language capacity
  • Language and modality (sign languages, gesture and language)
  • The evolution of language and its traces in the brain, physiology, cognitive capacities for learning and memory, multi-modality and typology of languages
  • Language and genetics

Upon successful completion of their research programme, IMPRS for Language Sciences students will be awarded a special certificate, highlighting their participation in the research school.


Education programme

The purpose of the IMPRS for Language Sciences is to provide a broad, multidisciplinary training environment for its students.

In addition to their research programme, each student who takes part in the research school also completes an education and training programme.

The coordinator of the IMPRS for Language Sciences works closely with each of the students and their supervisors to help them make the best use of the multidisciplinary perspectives on language that are available.

Upon successful completion of their education programme, IMPRS for Language Sciences students will be awarded an official certificate listing their education and training achievements.


The courses taken will depend on the practical needs of each student in order to give them the necessary skills and background for their research.

These courses will range from discipline-specific courses to more general training, such as academic writing, presentations and other soft skills.

Many of the courses taken by IMPRS for Language Sciences students are offered through Radboud University (study guide), and through the Research Masters in Cognitive Neuroscience in particular.

Additional special courses and training are arranged on an as-needed basis by the IMPRS for Language Sciences. Topics have included R, PERL & Praat, formulating research questions, Role and Reference Grammar, and academic writing.

Students also participate in a core IMPRS curriculum worth 6.5 ECs, which includes an introduction to Nijmegen research and researchers; training in presentation skills, career development; a course on interviewing and writing for the general public, and a course which will provide students with the essentials of all major neuroimaging techniques. Ethical research is also emphasised.


IMPRS for Language Sciences students are subject to different requirements from their institute of origin, including the length of time they have to complete their doctoral studies.The education programme requirements of the IMPRS for Language Sciences are therefore flexible and are scaled to suit contract length.

In order to successfully complete the education and training programme for the IMPRS for Language Sciences, students must earn 18 ECs (credits in the European Credits Transfer System; 1 EC = 28 hours of student work) through courses, training, workshops and participation in summer/winter schools:

Note: These are the minimum ECs needed for the IMPRS for Language Sciences education programme. These requirements complement those of the Donders Graduate School and the Graduate School for the Humanities at Radboud University. Students should speak to their programme coordinators if they have questions.


Students are expected to participate in a wide range of relevant activities, some related to their research projects (such as research and project group meetings, colloquia and symposia, conferences, lectures, etc.), and some enrichment activities specifically organised by the IMPRS for Language Sciences.

IMPRS students contribute to the intellectual and social life of the research school by suggesting guest speakers and organising workshops (for example, the Relations in Relativity workshop).

Many of these IMPRS activities are open to the Nijmegen community, but others are for participants in the research school only, such as our popular IMPRS Evenings. Recent IMPRS Evenings have included discussions on what makes a good poster, how to start networking for a post-doc position, and time-management for busy PhDs.

Regular activities for IMPRS students include a Work-Life Balance training, an introductory course on Linear Mixed Effect Models in R, a workshop on programming in python, a Presentation Skills workshop, and a Current Issues in the Language Sciences course for first year students.

Last checked 2017-08-30 by Kevin Lam
International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences


Street address

Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Mailing address

P.O. Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands


Kevin Lam
IMPRS for Language Sciences Coordinator

Tel: +31 24 3521 549