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The Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC) currently has a vacant PhD position as part of the FGW Starting grant ‘Events in language and cognition’, led by principal investigator Dr M.E.P. Flecken. The deadline for applying to this vacancy is 10 October 2023.

What are you going to do?

We are looking for a PhD researcher to study the influence of language in event learning, in both adults and children, using psycholinguistic experimental research methods. The project is situated in the fields of cognitive linguistics, psycholinguistics and cognitive science, in particular, the subfield of ‘event cognition’.

The project’s main objective is to explore the role of language in how people learn about events happening in the world around them. A specific subdomain of our cognition, called ‘event cognition’, allows us to rapidly understand and learn about the activities we witness on a daily basis. Research on novel object category learning shows that the use of linguistic labels can aid learning. The question is, does this also hold for the domain of event and action learning? To investigate this, we will carry out psycholinguistic experiments with adults and primary school children, involving training or learning sessions. Results will shed light on the extent to which language may guide learning across different stages of development.

Tasks and responsibilities:

  • submission of a PhD thesis within the period of appointment;
  • developing and carrying out experimental studies involving adults and children;
  • publishing papers in peer-reviewed journals;
  • presenting intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
  • participating in meetings of relevant ACLC research group meetings and attending ACLC lectures and seminars;
  • teaching courses at bachelor’s and/or assist at master’s level in the 2nd and 3rd year of your appointment (0,2 FTE per year);
  • participating in the PhD training programmes of a National Research School and the Faculty of Humanities.

What do you have to offer?

You are a creative, aspiring researcher, with a strong interest in the interface between language and other domains of cognition. You like to design and run experiments, and work with human participants, including children. You are interested in data analysis and visualization. You are a good writer and can present yourself well.