Aafke Hulk studied French language and literature at the University of Utrecht, where she obtained her doctorate in 1982. During and after completing her doctorate research she worked as an assistant, later associate professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, until her appointment as full professor of French linguistics at the University of Amsterdam in 1990. In 1999 she became member of the governing board of NWO for a period of 5 years. In 2002 she left Amsterdam and moved to Utrecht University where she occupied a chair in Romance linguistics. In September 2003 she returned to the University of Amsterdam where she became dean of the faculty of Humanities. From February 2008 untill August 2010, she was guest-researcher at the Meertens institute, as collaborator and supervisor of an international, NWO funded project on Early successive bilingualism. From August 2010 untill December 2013 she was rector of the Netherland Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, a research institute of the Royal Academy, in Wassenaar. From 2014 onwards, she combines her (parttime) professorship at the University of Amsterdam with several supervisory/non-executive board memberships and continues her international research on bilingualism, while being also active as member/ chair of committees involved with the selection, funding and organisation of academic research.
Her main research interests are
-bilingualism in young children and heritage speakers
-L1, L2 and L3 acquisition of Romance and Germanic syntax
-interaction between linguistic theory and language acquisition