Postdoc in Acquisition of L1 & L2 Vocabulary Radboud University, Faculty of Social Sciences

Postdoc: Acquisition of L1 & L2 Vocabulary (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)


Faculty of Social Sciences 

Maximum salary: € 4,757 gross/month 

Vacancy number: 24.28.17 

Application deadline: 21 June 2017



As a postdoctoral researcher you will work on the project ‘How can model-based learning facilitate the acquisition of L1 and L2 vocabulary?’ This project is part of a research programme entitled ‘A brain-inspired model-based approach to first and second language vocabulary acquisition in primary education’, which is funded by the Dutch Programme Council for Educational Research (PROO) of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). 

In ‘model-based’ learning, learning is explicitly adapted to the learners’ internal model. In this project, the central question is what aspects of model-based learning can facilitate the acquisition of vocabulary in the native language (L1) and second language (L2). You will develop a computational model of vocabulary learning, improve the model based on eye-tracking and fMRI, and integrate the model as a student model in a recently developed serious game called MindSort. In this game, the model will be used to interpret learner responses and generate appropriate feedback. In the parallel PhD project, the game will be used as a tool to examine the model-based learning mechanisms in primary school children and to test the model in practice.


Work environment


The project is a collaboration of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour and the Behavioural Sciences Institute. Our researchers collaborate across the boundaries of psychology, neuroscience, educational science, and communication science. Using a multidisciplinary approach, we offer excellent lab and neuroimaging facilities, postdoctoral supervision and courses and technical support. The project will be embedded in the research programme of the Donders Institute’s Centre for Cognition. The Donders Institute is part of the Faculty of Social Sciences, one of the largest faculties at Radboud University in Nijmegen. We are an equal opportunity employer, committed to building a culturally diverse intellectual community, and as such encourage applications from women and minorities.


What we expect from you

  • a passion for studying and improving learning and teaching methods, in this case in the field of vocabulary learning. Affiliation with (serious) games is a plus;

  • a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience or Artificial Intelligence, or another relevant field;

  • broad experience in neuroimaging, preferably fMRI, and computational modelling, outstanding methodological and analytical qualities, and experience with collecting and analysing data;

  • interest in multidisciplinary research (psychology, education, language, artificial intelligence);

  • excellent oral and writing skills (in Dutch and English);

  • organisational talent, strong collaboration skills, accompanied by independence and perseverance.


What we have to offer

  • employment: 0.8 - 1.0 FTE;
  • a maximum gross monthly salary of € 4,757 based on a 38-hour working week (salary scale 11);
  • in addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • duration of the contract: 4 years;
  • you will be appointed 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;
  • as part of the contract, you will participate in teaching for approximately 10% of your work time;
  • you will be classified as a Postdoctoral Researcher 3 in the Dutch university job-ranking system (UFO).


Are you interested in our excellent employment conditions?


Other Information


You will be part of the Donders Graduate School for Cognitive Neuroscience, and/or the Behavioural Science PhD programme,


Would you like to know more?


Further information on: Donders Institue for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour 
Further information on: Behavioural Science Institute


For more information about this vacancy, please contact: 
Prof. dr. Harold Bekkering
Telephone: +31 24 361 32 26


Dr. Frank Leoné
Telephone: +31 24 361 61 26


Are you interested?


You should upload your application (attn. of Prof. dr. Harold Bekkering) exclusively using the button 'Apply' below. Your application should include (and be limited to) the following attachment(s):

  • Letter of motivation 
  • CV 

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