PhD position on regional variation of Frisian (1.0 FTE)

PhD position on regional variation of Frisian (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
24 Jun 11 Jul Groningen

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Join the Melodies o

Job description

Join the Melodies of the North research project and develop your doctorate focused on advancing principles and techniques for creating phonetic archives for low-resource languages. Using Frisian as a case study, your research will address methodological and theoretical aims such as studying language variation and change, developing AI tools, and managing diverse stakeholder interests. This project will also explore the application of FAIR principles and open data, among other topics. The creation of a digital archive of spoken Frisian, capturing the diversity of dialects across the region, will serve as a valuable product of this research.

Melodies of the North will result in a detailed digital archive of spoken Frisian, encapsulating the rich diversity of dialects found across the region. The project seeks not only to preserve these linguistic variations via a digital archive, but also to analyze their unique phonetic features. This multidimensional approach aims to enhance our understanding of Frisian's linguistic landscape, contribute to its preservation, and foster educational and research opportunities. Beyond its research objectives, Melodies of the North emphasizes community engagement, promoting a culture of linguistic stewardship, and empowering Frisian-speaking communities to actively participate in the preservation and revitalization of their language.

As a PhD candidate, you will investigate the phonetic landscape of spoken Frisian language and work on the systematic mapping of Frisian language varieties. Your research will focus on bridging technical acumen with linguistic insight to advance the understanding, preservation and documentation of Frisian varieties. Your research may address questions related to prosodic and segmental variation, cross-linguistic influence, speaker characteristics (e.g. type of bilinguals, attitudes, etc.) and/or code-switching, etc.

In the research proposal that you are requested to submit with your application, you can develop your own perspective on this research project, detailing how you would approach this topic. In your proposal, you may formulate your own research questions, and choose your own theoretical lens, methodology, and/or empirical material.

Your research tasks may include

- Design and conduct field research for spoken Frisian data collection.
- Collect, digitally enrich and analyze data according to the project objectives.
- Present results at national and international conferences.
- Publish results in international peer-reviewed journals.
- Participate in the collective scientific activities of the Speech Tech Lab.
- Limited teaching and student supervision tasks, e.g in the MSc programme “Voice Technology”.

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 34,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge.

Campus Fryslân is the ambitious eleventh and newest faculty of the University of Groningen, located in Leeuwarden. Campus Fryslân is an interdisciplinary faculty that works closely together with regional, national and international partners on worldwide (sustainability) challenges and local solutions. The sustainable development goals of the United Nations thus serve as an important guideline.

We offer challenging Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD degree programs. The research institute covers six research domains: Global and Local Governance, Governance and Innovation, Sustainable Entrepreneurship in a Circular Economy, Language, Technology and Culture, Knowledge Infrastructures and Sustainable Health. In the summer of 2019, Campus Fryslân has moved to the new faculty building De Beurs: the first all-electric, monumental educational building in The Netherlands.


University of Groningen


- A Research Master’s or Master’s degree in fields related to the project, such as Linguistics, Computational Linguistics, Data and Information Science, Digital Humanities, Human/Social Geography, or Language and Culture Studies.
- A strong academic record in graduate studies.
- Excellent command of spoken and written English; proficiency in Dutch and Frisian is desirable.
- Foundations in programming and data management (or a willingness to acquire these skills during the PhD period) are desirable.
- Commitment to completing a PhD dissertation within four years.
- Strong analytical skills and a passion for research (research experience is an asset).
- A cooperative attitude and the ability to work independently as well as collaboratively.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 48 months.

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

- A salary of € 2,770 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,539 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.
- A temporary 1.0 FTE appointment for a specified period of four years. The candidate will first be appointed for twelve months. After nine 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. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected.
- A PhD training program is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of the Faculty. As part of the program, the PhD researcher will take part in the Career Perspectives Series, which provides a thorough preparation on the career after the PhD, inside or outside academia. During the course of the doctorate, the PhD researcher will develop research and teaching competencies as well as leadership skills. For this, the PhD researcher will receive a tailor-made programme from the GSCF.
- The PhD candidate can receive training in teaching and may contribute up to a total of 0.2 FTE teaching spread over the first, second and third year of their appointment.
- Excellent work-life balance.
- Willingness to move and reside in The Netherlands.

The intended starting date is 1 October 2024. We allow 3 months from selection in case of VISA applications.


  • PhD; IT
  • Language and culture; Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • max. €3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • V24.0294


University of Groningen

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Broerstraat 5, 9712 CP, Groningen

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