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Research Assistant
Development of Cross-Modal associations


Vacancy number: 23.01.17
Application deadline: 26 FEB 2017


You will assist the Principle Investigator to implement and conduct experiments within an interdisciplinary team of psychologists, linguists and anthropologists that  investigates how speakers of different languages associate sounds to space. Previous research has shown that languages differ in their metaphors for sound, specifically pitch. While English and Dutch speakers use high and low to refer to pitch, Turkish and Farsi speakers use thin and thick. These different ways of talking about pitch also seem to influence the way people think about sounds too. Interestingly infants seem to be sensitive to both types of cross-modal associations, even before they learn language. This project investigates the developmental trajectory of these sorts of cross-modal associations in adults speaking different languages and children of different ages. You are expected to be an active member of this international research group, by participating in lab meetings and colloquia.

Work environment

The Faculty of Arts consists of ten departments in the areas of language and culture, history, history of arts, linguistics and communication and information studies, which together cater for about 2,400 students and collaborate closely in teaching and research.
Research at the Faculty of Arts is embedded in two research institutes: the Institute for Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies (HLCS) and the Centre for Language Studies (CLS).
This position will be hosted within the Centre for Language Studies, specifically the Meaning, Culture, and Cognition research group. Currently, the group comprises a multidisciplinary team of linguists (who conduct fieldwork, primarily in non-Indo-European languages), and psychologists (studying, amongst other things, olfactory language and cognition in synaesthetes and wine-experts).

What we expect

You should:

  • hold a Bachelors or Masters degree in Psychology, Linguistics, or another relevant Social Science discipline;
  • have a strong academic record as evidenced by curriculum vitae;
  • have an excellent command of spoken and written Dutch and English;
  • have experience designing and conducting experiments;
  • have experience coding and analysing data;
  • have excellent organisational skills;
  • have excellent communication skills;
  • be able to work people from different backgrounds and in a team.

Experience in working with children is highly desirable, as well as an excellent command of Turkish or Farsi.

What we have to offer

  • employment: 0.6 – 0.8 FTE;
  • a maximum gross monthly salary of € 2,877 based on a 38-hour working week (salary scale 7);
  • in addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • temporary position for a period of 9 months. You must be able to begin work by 1 April 2017;
  • you will be appointed as an Education/Research Officer Level 4 (Onderwijs-/ Onderzoeksmedewerker 4) in the Dutch university job-ranking system (UFO).

Are you interested?

Your application should include and be limited to the following documents in English and in PDF-format (attn. of Drs. L.J.P.M. van Mosseveld): a short motivation letter demonstrating your fit to the job profile, curriculum vitae, a writing sample in English (20 pages max), and two letters of recommendation. The selection interviews are scheduled on 7 March 2017.

Applications should be submitted through the apply button on this website. Other applications will not be considered.

For more information about the vacancy, please get in touch with Ilja Croijmans.

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