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Postdoc position in Linguistics for Research Consortium 'Language in Interaction' (1,0 fte)

Dutch Research Consortium 'Language in Interaction'
Application deadline: February 17, 2019, 23:59 CET                     


The Language in Interaction research consortium invites applications for a postdoctoral position in Linguistics. We are looking for a candidate with a background in theoretical and/or computational linguistics.
You will contribute to the integration of linguistic expertise into the empirical research performed by teams of researchers in our consortium that are collaborating to collectively address the key questions of our field. You will be provided the opportunity to conduct research in one or more research areas relevant to the position. Supervision of BSc, MSc and PhD projects will be part of your responsibilities. You will be provided with budgetary resources for travel, materials and lab-use.

This position provides the opportunity for conducting world-class research as a member of an interdisciplinary team. Moreover, it will provide the opportunity to contribute to developing a theoretical framework for our understanding of the human language faculty.

Work environment

The Netherlands has an outstanding track record in the language sciences. The research consortium ‘Language in Interaction’, sponsored by a large grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific research (NWO), brings together many of the excellent research groups in the Netherlands with a research programme on the foundations of language.

In addition to excellence in the domain of language and related relevant fields of cognition, our consortium provides state-of-the-art research facilities and a research team with ample experience in the complex research methods that will be invoked to address the scientific questions at the highest level of methodological sophistication. These include methods from genetics, neuroimaging, computational modelling, and patient-related research. This consortium realizes both quality and critical mass for studying human language at a scale not easily found anywhere else.

We have identified five Big Questions (BQ) that are central to our understanding of the human language faculty. These questions are interrelated at multiple levels. Teams of researchers will collaborate to collectively address these key questions of our field.

Our five Big Questions are:

BQ1: The nature of the mental lexicon: How to bridge neurobiology and psycholinguistic theory by computational modelling?

BQ2: What are the characteristics and consequences of internal brain organization for language?

BQ3: Creating a shared cognitive space:  How is language grounded in and shaped by communicative settings of interacting people?

BQ4: Variability in language processing and in language learning: Why does the ability to learn language change with age? How can we characterise and map individual language skills in relation to the population distribution?

BQ5: How are other cognitive systems shaped by the presence of a language system in humans?

Successful candidates will be appointed at one of the consortium’s home institutions, depending on the position applied for. All successful candidates will become members of our Big Question teams. The research is conducted in an international setting at all participating institutions. English is the lingua franca.

You will be appointed at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. You will be supervised by Peter Hagoort, programme director of the Language in Interaction consortium. The research is conducted in an international setting at all participating institutions. English is the lingua franca.

What we expect from you

We are looking for highly motivated candidates to enrich a unique consortium of researchers that aims to unravel the neurocognitive mechanisms of language at multiple levels. The goal is to understand both the universality and the variability of the human language faculty from genes to behaviour. 

  • a PhD in Linguistics;
  • an integrative mindset;
  • a theory-driven approach;
  • good communication skills;
  • strong motivation;
  • excellent proficiency in written and spoken English.

What we have to offer

  • Full-time position (39 hours per week) with a term of appointment of 4 years.
  • The salary is according to the German TVöD (Tarifvertrag für den öffentlichen Dienst) and is classified in salary group E13 (depending on the experience of the applicant between EUR 3.827,03 and EUR 5.683,28 gross per month, based on a full-time employment).
  • In addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance
  • The Max Planck Institute involved has a number of regulations that make it possible for employees to create a good work-life balance.

Other Information

The institute involved is an equal opportunity employer, committed to building a culturally diverse intellectual community, and as such encourages applications from women and minorities.

Would you like to know more?

Further information on: the Language in Interaction Consortium.
Further information on: Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour

For more information about this vacancy, please contact:

Prof. dr. Peter Hagoort, programme director Language in Interaction and director of DCCN and MPI

Telephone: +31 24 3610648, +31 24 3521301


Are you interested?

Please submit your application (attn. of Prof. dr. P. Hagoort) to in electronic form. Your application should include (and be limited to) the following attachments:

  • a cover letter,
  • your curriculum vitae, including a list of publications and the names of at least two persons who can provide references.


Application deadline: February 17, 2019, 23:59 CET.

Last checked 2019-01-11 by Angela Heuts
About MPI

This is the MPI

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.



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