Research Assistant on the Neural Mechanisms of L2 Learning at the Donders Centre for Cognition

Research Assistant on the Neural Mechanisms of L2 Learning at the Donders Centre for Cognition

Published Deadline Location
16 Jan 31 Jan Nijmegen

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Job description

How do people learn a second language (L2)? As a research assistant, you will investigate the role of neuroanatomically different memory systems in the formation and retention of long-term memories in L2 learning. Join our world-class interfaculty research centre which fosters a collaborative, multi-disciplinary and supportive research environment with a diverse international staff.

We are only slowly beginning to understand the different ways in which memories can be formed and retained in long-term memory. Different memory systems in our brain (e.g. the hippocampus versus neocortical structures) are involved, depending not only on whether and how long ago the information was learned, but probably also on the individual learner, the type of learning material, and the learning situation. As part of the team of the ERC consolidator project 'MultiMemoryL2 - Multiple routes to memory for a second language', you will contribute to the study of how different memory systems are used for L2 word, pronunciation and grammar learning, and how this differs between individuals and learning contexts. The project makes use of behavioural, electrophysiological and brain imaging techniques.

Your main tasks will be to prepare and carry out behavioural and neurocognitive experiments, and support their analysis. You will also support the professional handling of data archiving and ethical approval, as well as other administrative tasks within the ERC project. This position is well-suited to qualify and prepare for a later PhD position.

You will work with the members of the project in a team consisting of several junior researchers as well as senior members Dr Kristin Lemhöfer, Prof. James McQueen, Dr Gabriele Janzen, Prof. Herbert Schriefers, and Dr Vitória Piai.


Radboud University


  • You will at least have, by the time of appointment, a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Linguistics, Cognitive Neuroscience, Education or Special Education, or another relevant field of study.
  • You have affinity and experience with collecting and analysing experimental human data.
  • You possess good planning and time-management skills.
  • You have good communicative skills, team spirit, and feel comfortable interacting with people.
  • A good command of Dutch (the participants' native language) will be an advantage.
  • Flexibility will be required with respect to working hours (testing will likely take place on specific days, including evenings and weekends).
  • Members of groups underrepresented in academia, for example in terms of gender or ethnicity, are especially encouraged to apply.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: It concerns a temporary employment for 1 year. This will be followed by a two year contract after a positive evaluation.

  • It concerns an employment for 0.5 - 0.8 FTE.
  • The gross monthly salary amounts to a minimum of € 2,471 and a maximum of € 3,336 based on a 38-hour working week, depending on previous education and number of years of relevant work experience (salary scale 7).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • The contract is for a period of one year with the option to extend for a further two years after a positive evaluation.
  • 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.
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.


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. Natural computing ∧ neurotechnology. 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 of Social Sciences at Radboud University and is host to a vibrant community of junior researchers.

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!


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Language and culture
  • max. 32 hours per week
  • €2471—€3336 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1203511



Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen

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