PhD / Postdoctoral Position: Acquisition of L1 & L2 Vocabulary, Radboud University

Radboud University
Study in:Netherlands
Deadline: 26 November 2017

PhD / Postdoctoral Position: Acquisition of L1 & L2 Vocabulary (0.8 – 1.0 FTE)

Faculty of Social Sciences
Vacancy number: 24.28.17
Application deadline: 26 November 2017


As a PhD candidate or 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 internal model of learners. The central goal of this PhD/postdoctoral project is to develop a brain-inspired computational model of vocabulary learning which can predict and explain user answers in serious games. To this end, you will build a computational model based on the current literature, improve the model based on self-performed eye-tracking and neuroimaging studies, and integrate an improved version of the model as student/user 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 Master’s degree (PhD candidate position) or PhD (postdoctoral researcher position) in Cognitive Neuroscience or Artificial Intelligence, or another relevant field;
  • 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;
  • broad experience with computational modelling, and (ideally) machine learning, sufficient programming, mathematical, and analytical skills;
  • experience with fMRI, eyetracking, and performing psychological experiments, both in collection and analysing data;
  • interest in multidisciplinary research (artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience, psychology, education, language);
  • 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;
  • in addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • depending on your profile, you will be appointed as a PhD candidate (gross starting salary amounts to €2,222 per month, and will increase to €2,840 in the fourth year, P scale) or Postdoctoral Researcher (maximum gross monthly salary of €4,084, scale 11);
  • 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 PhD Candidate or as a Postdoctoral Researcher, Level 3 in the Dutch university job-ranking system (UFO);
  • you will be able to make use of our Dual Career Service where our Dual Career Officer will assist with family related support, such as child care, and help the partner of the candidate prepare for the local labour market and with finding an occupation.

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

This vacancy was originally published in June 2017. Applicants who were rejected at the time are kindly requested not to apply again.

Apply Now

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: