Postdoctoral Researcher in the Language of Teenagers
University of Amsterdam Faculty of Humanities

Postdoctoral Researcher in the Language of Teenagers

Faculty/Services:  Faculty of Humanities
Educational level:  Promoted
Function type:  Academic Staff
Closing date:  1 September 2022
Vacancy number:  9861

The Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC), currently has a vacant Postdoc researcher position as part of the broader field Languages and Cultures. Within this field the focus is on developing innovative paradigms for sustainable language and literature education programmes. The ACLC prioritises diversity (taken in a holistic sense, e.g., ethnicity, social and/or linguistic background, gender, sexuality) and is committed to creating an inclusive research environment for everyone. We are seeking a talented researcher who can communicate well with the different ACLC research groups, and develop interdisciplinary projects. The ACLC is one of the five Research Schools within the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research.

What are you going to do

Language acquisition research exhibits a heavy focus on the early stages of language acquisition in children growing up with one or more languages, from birth till around 8 years of age. The bulk of this work studies how children acquire the vocabulary and grammar of their language(s), targeting production and comprehension of single words, or sentences. Of course, language acquisition goes beyond this to include richer and more complex domains, such as learning how to produce a coherent narrative. During the teenage years children acquire more advanced literacy skills: They learn to write (but also read and understand) longer stretches of discourse, expository essays and argumentative texts. There is evidence suggesting that such advanced literacy skills lead to generally stronger developed skills in information organization, both in understanding and speaking. In other words, the teenage years are crucial for the acquisition of more advanced language and literacy skills, but research has shown that one quarter of the secondary education student population is at risk of developing literacy levels that are insufficient to function adequately in societies that require higher levels of literacy. The ACLC aims to contribute to resolving this societal challenge.

We invite candidates to submit a methodologically innovative project proposal that focuses on language development in the teenage years and cognitive processes in more complex types of language use and acquisition, such as developing competence in writing expository essays and argumentative texts, potentially in relation to factors such as meta-linguistic development, sociolinguistic aspects of advanced literacy development, the impact of digital media and blended learning, etc.

You are required to submit a research proposal of 800-1000 words explaining how you would approach the project thematically, conceptually and methodologically, within the timeline of the 2 years appointment as well as its interdisciplinarity (i.e., its connection with preferably two research groups within the ACLC).

Your tasks and responsibilities:

  • Conducting research, presenting research results at (inter)national workshops and conferences;
  • publishing (co)-authored, peer reviewed articles or chapters in (inter)national scholarly; journals or edited volumes;
  • participating in activities of the research school and department;
  • (co-)organising knowledge dissemination activities;
  • possibly contributing to teaching courses.

What do you have to offer

Your experience and profile:

  • A PhD in Neuro- or psycho-linguistics;
  • excellent research skills demonstrated by a track record of publishing in high-ranking journals and/or with leading presses or a demonstrable capacity to develop such a record;
  • a strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research;
  • enthusiasm for communicating academic research to non-academic audiences;
  • excellent command of English.

What can we offer you?

The Postdoc researcher will be appointed at the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Cultures, Roman Languages and Cultures  of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam and will conduct the research within the ACLC. The employment contract will be for one year. Contingent on a positive performance evaluation the contract will be extended with one year. The employment contract is for 30,4-38 hours a week. Preferred starting date is 01 October 2022.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and relevant experience, ranges between € 3,974 to € 5,439. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8,3% year-end allowance. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

What else do we offer

  • Excellent possibilities for further professional development and education, including participation in a dedicated Research Training group;
  • an enthusiastic, inspiring and professional academic team;
  • the opportunity to collaborate with leading researchers at research institutes that - partly as a result of their interdisciplinary approach - are world renowned.

About us

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Humanities provides education and conducts research with a strong international profile in a large number of disciplines in de field of language and culture. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the faculty maintains close ties with many cultural institutes in the capital city. Research and teaching staff focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and are active in several teaching programmes.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

Job application

If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the link below. The deadline for applying for this vacancy is 01 September 2022.

Applications should include the following information (submitted in one pdf):

  • A letter of motivation.
  • A research proposal of 800-1000 words, explaining how you would approach the project thematically, conceptually and methodologically, within the timeline of the 2 years appointment.
  • A full academic CV, including a list of publications.
  • The names and contact details of two references who may be approached by the selection committee.

Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered.

The interviews will be held in the course of the first weeks of September 2022.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

If you encounter Error GBB451, reach out to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application. 

No agencies please

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