LINGUIST List 32.3635

Thu Nov 18 2021

Support: Psycholinguistics: PhD, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 18-Nov-2021
From: Esli Struys <>
Subject: Psycholinguistics: PhD, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
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Department: Linguistics and Literary Studies
Web Address:

Level: PhD

Institution/Organization: Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Psycholinguistics


The Center for Linguistics (CLIN) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) has an opening for a PhD fellowship for a total period of four years, starting January - February 2022.
The position is part of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)-funded research project entitled “Eye-Catching - Investigating the link between salience, attention and awareness in the acquisition of grammatical morphology in a second language”.

The project will analyze the eye movements of L2 learners when they encounter new grammatical forms (articles, suffixes) of different type and degrees of salience while reading texts in a semi-artificial language called Englishti. Through a series of five experiments that together consider both discrete and interactional effects of various types of salience in combination with learner- and context- specific variables, this project expects to develop a more robust understanding of the nature and role of salience in second language acquisition and how this can be applied to real-world language learning.

Job description:
The candidate will be a member of the Center of Linguistics (CLIN) at the VUB.
The candidate will prepare a PhD in Linguistics. Activities that the candidate will perform include:
- develop and implement (i) theoretical concepts in line with the focus of the research project and (ii) appropriate methodological procedures for investigating these concepts.
- design and conduct multiple psycholinguistic experiments (e.g. by means of eye-tracking).
- interpret the results of the analyses and report on the project in conference
presentations, academic publications and in outreach activities for a wider public.
- by the end of the four-year term, submit and defend a PhD dissertation based on the project.

Requirements and profile:
- Master degree in Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Language & Literature, Psycholinguistics, Psychology, or in Language Learning and Teaching, with a master thesis on a topic relevant to the project.
- Excellent record of BA and MA-level studies.
- Excellent command of English. Knowledge of Dutch is an asset.
- Excellent and demonstrated analytic skills.
- Ability to work with common software packages (including MS Office).
- Knowledge of inferential statistics and statistical software (e.g. SPSS, R) is an asset, as
are programming skills in E-Prime or Experiment Builder.
- Excellent and demonstrated self-management skills.
- Ability and willingness to work in a team.
- Willingness to live in or near Brussels and to travel abroad (for short-term research
stays and to attend international academic conferences).

Terms of employment:
- The contract will initially be for one year, three times renewable, with a total of four years.
- The candidate receives a doctoral grant (starting at approx. EUR 2100 net per month) and full medical insurance.
- The position requires residence in Belgium, preferably in or near Brussels.
- Applicants from outside the EU are responsible for obtaining the necessary visa or permits, with the assistance of the International Office of the VUB.

Contact Information:
        Alex Housen

Page Updated: 18-Nov-2021