PhD Candidate on L2 Pronunciation Learning at the Donders Centre for Cognition

PhD Candidate on L2 Pronunciation Learning at the Donders Centre for Cognition

Published Deadline Location
7 Jun 7 Aug Nijmegen

Job description

Are you an aspiring researcher and would you like to explore how some second language learners acquire a near-native accent in their new language? Then join the collaborative and supportive work environment of the Donders Institute as a PhD candidate. You will be able to put your ideas to the test and push your boundaries. You do this in a collaborative, multidisciplinary and supportive work environment, with a diverse international staff.

Learning a second language (L2) after early childhood is a challenge, especially in terms of pronunciation. While most adult learners speak their L2 with a foreign accent, a small minority of talented individuals does not, but rather acquires a near-native accent in L2. Together with our team, you will investigate the neural correlates of this ability in such 'super-pronouncers'.

In four separate experimental studies, you will make use of behavioural, electrophysiological (EEG) and brain imaging techniques (e.g. fMRI) to get to the bottom of exceptional pronunciation talent. We expect the results of the project to represent a big step towards a better understanding of human variability in learning, not only in terms of language.

This position is closely linked to the ERC Consolidator project 'Multiple routes to memory for a second language' recently awarded to Dr Kristin Lemhöfer. You will work together with the members of that project in one team. The project will be supervised by Dr Lemhöfer, Prof. James McQueen, and Dr Gabriele Janzen.

PhD candidates at the Donders Institute are required to devote 10% of their time to teaching or other academic activities (e.g. lab management).

Specifications

Radboud University

Requirements

  • You should be enthusiastic about science and the topic, and hold a Master's degree in cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, psycholinguistics, phonetics, or another relevant field.
  • You will need excellent analytic, statistical / methodological and writing skills, experience in experimental research (ideally within psycholinguistics), and team spirit.
  • Prior experience with EEG and / or fMRI research, or with programming phonetic software such as PRAAT, would be a plus.
  • You should have an excellent command of written and spoken English.
  • A working knowledge of Dutch (the participants' native language) would be an advantage.

If you are a member of a group underrepresented in academia, e.g. in terms of gender or ethnicity, you are especially encouraged to apply.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 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).

  • 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 part of the Donders Graduate School for Cognitive Neuroscience, as well as (if so desired) the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Languages Sciences.
  • 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 29 or 41days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.

Employer

The Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour is a world-class interfaculty research centre that houses more than 700 researchers devoted to understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of the human mind. Research at the Donders Institute is focused around four themes: 1. Language and communication, 2. Perception, action and decision-making, 3. Development and lifelong plasticity, 4. Neural computation and neurotechnology. The position is embedded in Theme 1, but has close links also to Theme 3. Donders scientists work together with colleagues from affiliated institutes like the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, the Behavioral Science Institute, and the Centre for Language Studies. Excellent, state-of-the-art research facilities are available for the broad range of neuroscience research that is being conducted at the Donders Institute. The Donders Institute has been assessed by an international evaluation committee as 'excellent' and recognised as a 'very stimulating environment for top researchers, as well as for young talent'. The Donders Institute fosters a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, supportive research environment with a diverse international staff. English is the lingua franca at the Institute. 
The position is based at the Donders Centre for Cognition (DCC), one of the four centres of the Donders institute. It is part of the Faculty for Social Sciences of Radboud University and is host to a vibrant community of PhD candidates.

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!

Additional information

For questions about the position, please contact dr. Kristin Lemhöfer, Principal Investigator at +31 24 36 126 30 or kristin.lemhofer@donders.ru.nl.

Specifications

  • PhD; Research, development, innovation; Education
  • Behaviour and society; Language and culture
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1191252

Employer

Location

Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen

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Application procedure

You can apply until 7 August 2022, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to dr. Kristin Lemhöfer. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:
  • A letter of motivation.
  • Your CV including the names and contact details of two potential referees.
  • Proof of your Master’s degree, including grade transcripts.
  • Your Master's thesis (or a current draft thereof) in PFD format.
The first round of interviews will take place on Friday 26 August. The second round of interviews will take place on Friday 9 September. Interviews may take place online (via video-conferencing). You would preferably begin employment on 1 November 2022.
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.

Application procedure

Application procedure

You can apply until 7 August 2022, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to dr. Kristin Lemhöfer. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:
  • A letter of motivation.
  • Your CV including the names and contact details of two potential referees.
  • Proof of your Master’s degree, including grade transcripts.
  • Your Master's thesis (or a current draft thereof) in PFD format.
The first round of interviews will take place on Friday 26 August. The second round of interviews will take place on Friday 9 September. Interviews may take place online (via video-conferencing). You would preferably begin employment on 1 November 2022.
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.

Make sure to apply no later than 7 Aug 2022 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).