PhD position in Neurolinguistics (1.0 FTE)

Department

Faculty of Arts

Organisation

University of Groningen

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has established an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative university offering high-quality teaching and research. Its 36,000 students are encouraged to develop their own individual talents through challenging study and career paths. The University of Groningen is an international center of knowledge: it belongs to the best research universities in Europe and is allied with prestigious partner universities and networks worldwide.

The Graduate School for the Humanities is the home to all PhD candidates of the Faculty of Arts (circa 250), and is committed to creating and maintaining excellent conditions for PhD research in all fields of the humanities. In addition to organizing local courses, the GSH works closely with 16 national research schools which offer regular courses and seminars by national and international top researchers.

The Centre for Language and Cognition of the University of Groningen (CLCG) is the institutional home for all the linguistic research carried out within the Faculty of Arts. The Computational Linguistics group of CLCG provides a vibrant working atmosphere with state-of-the-art research in all major areas of Natural Language Processing.

Job description

Applications are invited for a PhD candidate in the area of neurolinguistics and clinical linguistics.
This position is embedded in the NWO-funded VIDI project of dr. Vânia de Aguiar “Verb processing and verb learning in children with pediatric posterior fossa tumors (PPFTs)”, which is due to start in February 2022.

The project characterizes verb processing and verb learning abilities of children with PPFTs, and compares them to the abilities of typically developing children (aim 1). In addition, neural correlates of language abilities will be studied (aim 2), while studying the effects of proton radiotherapy on language ability, as well as the relationship between changes in language and neuroanatomical changes during and after the proton therapy treatment (aim 3). Children with PPFTs will be tested from 2-3 weeks after surgery. Verb processing and learning ability will be studied in the context of various levels of syntactic (concerning grammar) and semantic (concerning meaning) complexity. This will make it possible to identify difficulties with syntax and semantics and to document their impact on verb learning.

The selected PhD candidate will conduct language assessments of children starting from 2-3 weeks after surgery, and will gather and analyze structural T1 MRI and diffusion MRI scans. This project entails a collaboration between the University of Groningen, the University Medical Center Groningen, and the Princes Máxima Center in Utrecht.

Requirements

We are looking for a motivated and enthusiastic student with a Master degree in clinical linguistics, neurolinguistics, speech-language pathology, or psychology.

Previous experience in administering and interpreting diagnostic tests for language assessment in children is mandatory. This may be documented via a BAPD testing license, or by clinical internships (in which case, it is recommended that the internship supervisor writes one of the recommendation letters).

Experience with scripting (R/Matlab/Python) is desirable, but not essential.

Native or native-like command of the Dutch language is mandatory, because data collection and language diagnostics with children will have to be conducted in Dutch.

Furthermore, an excellent knowledge of English and good academic writing skills are essential.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, the University of Groningen offers you:

• a salary of € 2,434 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,111 gross per month in the final year, based on a full-time position
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance.

This 1.0 fte appointment is temporary, for a specified period of four years. The candidate will first be appointed for twelve months. After six months, an assessment will take place of the candidate’s results and the progress of the PhD project, in order to decide whether employment will be continued. The prospective starting date is 1 March 2022.

You will be enrolled in the Graduate School for the Humanities (GSH) of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Groningen. The GSH offers the organizational infrastructure within which PhD candidates participate in advanced training and supervised research: https://www.rug.nl/research/gradschool-humanities/

You will be carrying out your research in the context of the Neurolinguistics and Language Development group of the CLCG research institute.

Job Application

Do you meet our qualification criteria? If yes, your application should include:

1. a motivation letter in which you describe why you wish to do this research, and why you are the right person to do it
2. a full curriculum vitae, demonstrating academic excellence, including publications and presentations (if applicable)
3. certified copies of your Bachelor and Master degrees and grades belonging to each course unit of your bachelor and master degrees (in case of an on-going Master degree, please include your current grades and a certifying letter from your institution or thesis supervisor)
4. two reference letters, emailed directly by the academic referees to vania.de.aguiar@rug.nl
5. a research proposal: choose one of the aims (see aims 1-3 described under “Job description”) and develop a research proposal on that topic. This proposal should not exceed 4000 words (references are excluded from this word count)
6. proof of English proficiency test (e.g., IELTS or TOEFL test)

You can submit your application (in English) until 31st of January 11.59 pm / before 1st February 2022 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).
Start date: 1st of March 2022 (a somewhat later starting date can be discussed).

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), https://nvp-plaza.nl/download/?id=7714 and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers, https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/charter/code

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Dr Vânia de Aguiar (questions regarding the project)
vania.de.aguiar@rug.nl

Mrs. C. Englert MA (for questions about the submission procedure)
c.englert@rug.nl

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 221717

Digital application form