Universiteit Leiden

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Postdoc position in Psycholinguistics

Vacancy number
Academic staff
Internal , External
Publication date
25 April 2023
Closing date
20 May 2023 Vacancy closed

Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics invites applicants for one Postdoc position in Psycholinguistics (1FTE)

Vacancy number: 13540

Deadline: May 20, 2023

Are you looking for a postdoc position to understand language and speech communication?

Are you excited about working in an interdisciplinary group?

Do you look forward to contributing as a highly motivated and cooperative team member?

If yes, you are cordially invited to apply and join us!

Project description
The Leiden University Center for Linguistics invites applicants for one postdoctoral position in experimental/computational psycholinguistics, where you are strongly encouraged to combine knowledge and skills from speech science, data science, and cognitive behavioral science into an interdisciplinary approach to the scientific study of language and speech melody.

The position is funded by Prof. dr. Yiya Chen’s vici grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (VI.C.181.040; Project Summary). You will be a member of the Leiden University Center for Linguistics (LUCL) and affiliated with the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC).

In the context of the vici project, you will work in an interdisciplinary team, which gives you the possibility to expand your horizon to other fields. You will collaborate with PhD students, Postdocs, and the PI. Your primary responsibility is to conduct psycholinguistic investigations related to the project’s topic. Together with your collaborators, you will design and carry out a series of experiments to develop and test theories about 1) how speakers of typologically different tone languages differ in the way theyvary pitch to signal both word-level tone and sentence-level intonation; and 2) how these differences affect the waylistenersuse pitch variation to recognize words and interpret sentences? You can choose to focus on production, comprehension, or the computational modelling of speech production/comprehension, depending on your background and interest. Your contributions to the project will lead to the creation of new knowledge and an integrated approach to our understanding of the encoding and decoding of speech melody in different languages.

Key responsibilities

  • Participate actively in group meetings and contribute to the formation of an interdisciplinary and cooperative research team.
  • Play a key role in all aspects of the psycholinguistic investigation of the project, including designing and conducting experiments, analysing data, and interpreting findings.
  • Disseminate research results at academic conferences.
  • Publish high-quality research articles in international peer-reviewed journals.
  • Mentor graduate and undergraduate students and (co-)teach BA and MA courses.
  • Co-organize project workshops, knowledge utilization activities, and conferences.

Selection criteria

  • Candidates must hold a PhD in Linguistics, Cognitive Science, Psychology, or a related field by the start date.
  • Experience in behavioral and eye tracking experiments is a must. Knowledge of EEG is highly valued.
  • Demonstrated interest in large-scale online experiments, Bayesian analytic methods, and/or cognitive models of speech processing is highly valued.
  • Training in linguistics is not a must but a general interest in language and speech processing is necessary.
  • Excellent command of English with strong academic writing skills.
  • Be able to communicate findings with team members and support other members in a research team.
  • Show commitment to open, replicable, efficient, and collaborative science.
  • Have interest/experience in teaching and co-supervising BA, MA, and PhD projects

Information about the university/faculty/institute
Leiden University was founded in 1575 and is one of Europe’s leading international research universities. Today, with about 7,000 employees, 16 Nobel Prizes, and 30,000 students, from more than 100 nationalities, the university offers you an excellent opportunity to broaden your horizons, develop your talents, and reach your full potential.

Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL) is one of seven Institutes that falls under the Faculty of Humanities. With over 120 linguists working at the Institute, it 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.

The Faculty of Humanities is rich in expertise in fields such as philosophy, religious studies, history, art history, literature, linguistics and area studies covering nearly every region of the world. With its staff of 995, the faculty provides 27 master’s and 25 bachelor’s programmes for over 7,000 students based at locations in Leiden and in The Hague. For more information: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/humanities.

The Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC) is a network focusing on science valorization and outreach, stimulating interdisciplinary exchange of knowledge and expertise on topics related to brain and cognition. Its research members come from a broad and diverse spectrum of specialized academic fields ranging from psychology, medical science, linguistics, biology, computer science, and philosophy.

Terms and conditions
We offer a fixed term 1 fte position. The initial term for the position is one year, with the possibility of extension up to three years. This full-time position may be extended for a longer term (up to four years) with the possibility of a part-time appointment.
You are expected to start on August 15, 2023, or as soon as possible after that.
Salary rangefrom € 3.974.- to € 5.439.- gross per month (pay scale 11), based on fulltime employment,in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universitiesand commensurate with qualifications and experience. Depending on qualifications, you may start at the appropriate step in scale 10 until you fully meet the requirements for scale 11 as specified by the Faculty of Humanities, particularly with regard to the number of years of relevant work experience.

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions.For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme.Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.More athttps://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions.

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.

For further information on this project, please get in touch with Prof. dr. Yiya Chen (yiya.chen@hum.leidenuniv.nl). On practical matters, please write to the LUCL institute manager Ms. Maarit van Gammeren (m.s.k.van.gammeren@hum.leidenuniv.nl).

To receive the fullest consideration, your application package should arrive by 20-05-2023 via the blue button in our application system. The selection process will continue until the positions are filled. For those shortlisted, you will be invited to come to Leiden (or online) for an interview.

Applicants should submit online:

  • A motivation letter with desired starting date (no more than 2 pages)

  • A detailed curriculum vitae

  • Research statement

  • Up to three representative publications

  • Names and contact information of three referees (no reference letters).

Inquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

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