Universiteit Leiden

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Full professor in 'African Linguistics'

Vacancy number
22-766 13205
Academic staff
Internal , External
Publication date
22 November 2022
Closing date
22 January 2023 Vacancy closed

The Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL) is looking for a:

Full professor in 'African Linguistics' (1,0 FTE, 38 hours per week)
Vacancy number: 22-766 13205 

To start no later than September 2023.
The Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL) hosts a high-profile research group in the field of African languages and linguistics, whose activities include description and documentation of spoken and signed languages, the historical-comparative study of languages across Africa, theoretical-experimental approaches to African languages, and African perspectives on digital humanities. The group holds an annual Colloquium on African Languages and Linguistics (CALL) and members also edit the A-rated Journal of African Languages and Linguistics (JALL, published by De Gruyter Mouton).
The LUCL is looking to appoint a full professor in African Linguistics to support and expand the current lines of research of this group and to develop new approaches in research and education.
The applicant must meet the following requirements:
They have in-depth knowledge of African languages and linguistics and are also an inspiring and enthusiastic teacher. They meet the highest academic standards and can make a valuable contribution from the perspective of African languages to the research profile of the LUCL (Linguistic diversity and variation).
They are engaged in fieldwork in Africa, willing to strengthen formal and informal collaborations with researchers and institutions in Africa and elsewhere, and to liaise with networks of members of African language communities in Africa and the diaspora. The professor is capable of leading the group of teachers and researchers, supporting colleagues in their work and ambitions, and motivating them to jointly and individually grow and achieve more. They are ready to take on administrative duties, in the teaching programmes of both African Studies and Linguistics, as well as at the Institute and Faculty levels.
Your Profile:

  1. PhD in Linguistics / Language sciences with a focus on Africa;
  2. Demonstrable record of independent research and readiness to introduce innovative approaches in research;
  3. Engaged in long-term fieldwork in African communities;
  4. Willingness and ability to (co)-supervise and coach research on languages and linguistics of Africa and its diaspora in the broadest sense;
  5. Communicative competence in an African language and proficiency in English as the language of instruction. We have a preference for a candidate socialized in an African language;
  6. An inspiring, enthusiastic, and innovative instructor, who is able to teach linguistics and interdisciplinary courses in the Linguistics, African Studies and International Studies programmes, at BA, MA, and ResMA levels;
  7. Willingness and ability to strengthen formal and informal collaborations with Africanist researchers and institutions within Leiden as well as internationally, especially in Africa;
  8. Flexible and dedicated to teamwork, as well as a proactive leader with excellent communication skills and the ability to unite, initiate and build communities

The successful candidate will:

  1. Conduct research in the field of African languages and linguistics;
  2. Apply for project funding at the national and international levels (NWO, ERC, Horizon Europe, etc.);
  3. Teach courses in the programmes of African Studies, Linguistics, and International Studies, and train students in the humanities;
  4. Supervise BA, MA, and ResMA theses;
  5. Attract and supervise PhD candidates and junior researchers;
  6. Actively participate in the academic community of the LUCL, the Faculty of Humanities, and the University;
  7. Act as an ambassador of African languages and linguistics, both locally and internationally;
  8. Perform administrative and management tasks within the programs of African Studies and Linguistics, including chairing the BA African Studies, as well as more broadly in the LUCL, the Faculty of Humanities, and Leiden University.

If the successful applicant is not proficient in Dutch, they are expected to acquire a good command of Dutch within two years. The University will fund their Dutch training at the University’s Academic Language Center. 

Our organisation

Faculty of Humanities

A wealth of expertise in the fields of philosophy, (art) history, the arts, literature, film and cultural sciences, religious studies, linguistics and multidisciplinary area studies results in a unique Faculty of Humanities. Our global expertise, international focus and synergy of scientific approaches form windows to the world, opening up the many perspectives of a globalising world. In a century of large-scale levels of migration, intense and ever faster communication, cultural transformations and the politicising of culture and the rise of new (super) powers, the work and knowledge of the faculty’s staff is of vital importance to our society, both inside and outside of the Netherlands.
The Faculty of Humanities offers an inspiring and international work environment with room for diversity and growth for employees and students from the Netherlands and abroad. Our faculty is home to more than 8,000 students and 800 staff members. It offers a wide range of education, with students being able to choose from no less than 26 Bachelor’s and 27 Master’s degree programmes. The Faculty’s research is organised within seven institutes and contributes to six research dossiers for research at Leiden University. For more information see: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/humanities.
With over 120 linguists working at the institute, LUCL is a rich research environment that prides itself on fostering scientific excellence. At LUCL we offer extensive research support to our researchers. For example, our in-house grant officer will advise and help you apply for grants, a dedicated project officer will guide you with project finances and a communications advisor is on hand to assist you in publicising your research.
LUCL has a longstanding tradition in the study of the world’s languages and features unique linguistic expertise. Current theoretical insights are combined with modern experimental methods in its research profile area ‘Language Diversity in the World’. Researchers from our six umbrella research groups are experts in their respective fields but equally find innovative ways of collaborating with other fields and disciplines.

Terms and conditions
We offer a full-time temporary appointment for initially a period of 18 months, convertible into a permanent position in case of satisfactory performance. If the successful candidate has already held a full professorship or if they have successfully completed a tenure track, they may be eligible for a permanent appointment. The gross monthly salary will be between €6099.- to €8881.- (pay scale HL2),  commensurate with qualifications and experience. These amounts are based on a fulltime appointment and are in conformity with current salary scales (HL-2) under the collective employment agreement (CAO) for Dutch Universities.
An appointment at Leiden University includes pension build-up and other benefits, including an annual holiday premium of 8% and an end-of-year premium of 8.3%. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. For more information, see https://workingat.leiden.edu/. More information about the terms of employment can be found at: https://staff.leiden.edu.
After appointment, depending on experience and formal qualifications to date, the successful applicant will be required to enter a nationally standardized tertiary teaching skills certification trajectory (BKO or Basis Kwalificatie Onderwijs), successful completion of which is a condition for favorable assessment in work reviews.

Diversity and inclusion
Fostering an inclusive community is a central element of the values and vision of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.

Enquiries about the Chair can be made to Prof.dr. Lisa Cheng, Academic Director of LUCL, e-mail: WDlucl@hum.leidenuniv.nl. Enquiries about the procedure and conditions can be made to Maarit van Gammeren, Institute Manager, e-mail: m.s.k.van.gammeren@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

Please submit online your application no later than 01/22/2023 via our e-recruitment portal in the form of a single PDF file that contains the following items in the following order:

  • Curriculum Vitae including a list of publications and research projects;
  • a cover letter stating your motivation (max. 1 A4);
  • an outline of your research plans and their fit within the LUCL research agenda (max. 2 A4);
  • an outline of your teaching vision and plans (max. 2 A4);
  • an outline of your vision on academic leadership and your role within the academic community (max. 1 A4);
  • names of three references (please list these in your CV rather than entering them into the system).

The selection procedure includes a teaching session, a research presentation, as well as an interview. An external development assessment will be part of the procedure. Interviews with shortlisted candidates are expected to take place in February 2023.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


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