Radboud University

PhD Candidate: Syntactic Transfer in Bilingual Sentence Reading

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About the employer

Radboud University is a denominational university originally established in 1923 as the Catholic University of Nijmegen.

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Employment 1.0 FTE

Gross monthly salary € 2,541 - € 3,247

Organizational unit Faculty of Arts

Application deadline 08 January 2023

Are you an aspiring researcher in bilingualism? And are you fascinated by the question of how the bilingual mind processes language? If so, you have a part to play! The Centre for Language Studies of Radboud University is looking for a PhD candidate for the 'The statistics of language as a novel window into the multilingual mind' project. 

The Centre for Language Studies (CLS) seeks a PhD candidate for the NWO-funded project 'The statistics of language as a novel window into the multilingual mind', which investigates how the languages of a bilingual affect each other during language comprehension. For more information about this project, click here.

You will collaborate in a small project team that investigates how a bilingual's languages interact during the comprehension of written sentences. Your main task will be to design and run experiments in which participants read in English and Dutch while their eye movements and brain activity (EEG) are recorded. You will also test participants at two locations in the UK (London and Nottingham). You will analyse the data to uncover how the syntactic properties of one language affect processing in the other, and report these results in scientific papers, conference presentations, and eventually a PhD thesis. A total of six months is reserved for non-research activities such as teaching, supervising students, workshop organisation, or public outreach. Furthermore, you will take approximately six months' worth of courses from the Graduate School for the Humanities.


  • You should hold a Master's degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. Linguistics, Psychology, or Cognitive Science).
  • You have demonstrable experience with running eye-tracking or EEG experiments.
  • During the contract period you will be expected to work on your PhD project in both the Netherlands and the UK (for up to six months). You should be willing to live and work in the UK during this period of time.
  • You have excellent communication skills in written and spoken English and high language proficiency in Dutch.
  • You are able to work independently and flexibly, and to take initiative where needed.
  • You communicate and collaborate effectively in a team setting.
  • You have good organisational skills.

We are

The Faculty of Arts is committed to knowledge production with a significant scientific and social impact. With over 500 academic and support staff, we teach and conduct research in the fields of history and art, languages and cultures, and linguistics and communication, using innovative methodologies and working in close collaboration between the disciplines. Our research is embedded in two research institutes: the Centre for Language Studies (CLS) and the Radboud Institute for Culture & History (RICH). We currently have approximately 2,500 students, enrolled in three departments: the Department of History, Art History and Classics, the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, and the Department of Language and Communication. We aim to contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive world, which is why we especially seek applications from candidates who bring diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and skills that will be assets to our study programmes and research profiles.

You will join the CLS research group on Cognitive and Developmental Aspects of Multilingualism but are also encouraged to attend the meetings of other relevant groups, such as the research group on Grammar and Cognition. You will be supervised by members of both these groups: Dr Stefan Frank, Dr Sybrine Bultena, and Prof Helen de Hoop.

Radboud University

We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!

We offer

  • It concerns an employment for 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,541 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,247 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract).
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.

Additional employment conditions

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Would you like more information?

For questions about the position, please contact Stefan Frank, Associate Professor at +31 24 36 15 491 or stefan.frank@ru.nl.

Practical information and applying

You can apply until 8 January 2023, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Stefan Frank. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:

  • A letter of motivation.
  • Your CV.
  • A list of courses and grades from your Master's programme.
  • The names and contact details of at least two people who can supply academic references.

The first round of interviews will take place on Monday 23 January. The second round of interviews will take place on Friday 27 January. You would preferably begin employment between the 1th of February and the 1th of June 2023.

We can imagine you're curious about our application procedure. It offers a rough outline of what you can expect during the application process, how we handle your personal data and how we deal with internal and external candidates.

Job details

PhD Candidate: Syntactic Transfer in Bilingual Sentence Reading
Houtlaan 4 Nijmegen, Netherlands
Application deadline
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About the employer

Radboud University is a denominational university originally established in 1923 as the Catholic University of Nijmegen.

Visit the employer page