ph.d and postdoc positions at Utrecht University: Causality in di scourse

Sanders, Ted Ted.Sanders at
Fri Apr 20 21:50:16 UTC 2007

The Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS offers three research positions in
the programme “Causality and Subjectivity as Cognitive principles of
discourse representation”.


1 Postdoc position Discourse processing

1 PhD position in Discourse processing

1 PhD position in Text Linguistics, Discourse analysis and Prosody 

(0,8-1,0 fte for all positions)


Programme. The five-year research programme, awarded to prof. dr. Ted
Sanders by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO),
studies human cognition by investigating the mechanisms underlying discourse
coherence. Starting from the challenging idea of a direct link between
linguistic categorization and cognition, causal connectives are
investigated. The project focuses on the analysis, acquisition and
processing of causal relations in discourse. The hypothesis is that the
cognitive principles of causality and subjectivity play a crucial role; they
explain for the organization of the lexicon of connectives in different
languages, as well as for the order in which children acquire connectives
and the way in which experienced language users interpret causal relations.


The program has started in September 2006. The team consists of the program
leader, a postdoc working on the cross-linguistic realization of connectives
and a ph.d.-student working on connective acquisition.

At present, there are three vacancies in the program. The preferred starting
date for all positions is September 2007.

POSITION 1: a postdoc researcher will investigate the cognitive processes
involved in the processing of causal coherence relations.

POSITION 2: a ph.d.-student will investigate the processing and
interpretation of various types of causal connectives. 

POSITION 3: a ph.d.-student will investigate the linguistic categorization
of causal relations with connectives in Dutch and English, in spoken and
written discourse. 

Goals. The postdoc researcher will be involved in the supervision of  ph.d.
position 2, and has a coordinating function in the project, including the
collection, analysis, and interpretation of research data. The
postdoc-project should result in a series of papers in international
journals, in collaboration with the project supervisor. 

The PhD projects involve a research training and aim at a dissertation
within maximally four years. As part of their training, PhD students will
take courses offered by the National Graduate School in Linguistics (LOT).


Qualifications. Applicants for the postdoc project should hold a doctoral
degree (completed by 1 September 2007), as well as demonstrated capacities
as an independent researcher, in the form of publications. The successful
candidate has a background in  psycholinguistics or discourse studies, with
expertise in the on-line study of reading processes, preferably eye-tracking
techniques. Good knowledge of Dutch is an advantage, and excellent mastering
of English is preferable. 

Applicants for the PhD position 2 have graduated in (psycho)linguistics,
language and communication, or discourse studies, or expect to graduate
before 1 September 2007. Candidates are near-native speakers of English.
Further desirable qualifications are: thorough knowledge of Dutch,
experience with experimental and corpus-based methods and enthusiasm for
language processing.

Applicants for the PhD position 3 have graduated in (psycho)linguistics,
language and communication, phonetics or discourse studies, or expect to
graduate before 1 September 2007. Candidates are native speakers of Dutch.
Further desirable qualifications: near-native in English, experience with
prosodic analysis and corpus-based methods and enthusiasm for discourse


Work conditions. For position 1, we offer a 2.5 to 3-year postdoc position,
preferably 0.8-1.0 fte. Salary depends on qualifications and experience, and
amounts to minimally € 2.934,- and maximally € 4.027,- (level 11 Collective
Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities) gross per month, for 1.0

For position 2 and 3, we offer a full-time 1-year PhD position (to be
extended with a maximum of two more years upon positive evaluation) with
gross monthly salary starting at € 1.956,- increasing to maximally € 2.502
in the fourth year (for 1.0 fte).

For further information, contact dr. Ninke Stukker, postdoc-researcher;
telephone +31 30 253 6228, e-mail Ninke.Stukker at, the project
supervisor, Prof. dr. Ted Sanders, e-mail Ted.Sanders at
<mailto:Ted.Sanders at> . For information regarding the
ph.d.-positions, you can also contact the UiL-OTS PhD coordinator dr. Maaike
Schoorlemmer, telephone +31-30-2536183, e-mail
<mailto:Schoorlemmer at> Schoorlemmer at Also consult our
institute's website:  <>

How to apply? We prefer applications by e-mail. E-mail applications should
be sent in pdf or doc format to PenO at and should specify your name
and vacancy number in the message as well as in the subject header. Also,
include a list of attachments in the message, and specify your name in every

Deadline for application is June 4, 2007. Interviews are planned in the week
of August 20.

The positions are only officially open after publication of the full and
official text of the job openings on the following internet sites, expected
on May 5, 2007: Utrecht University
<> ), UiL OTS
( or the program leader’s website
( Candidates
should react on the official text.



Ted Sanders 
Onderwijsinstituut Nederlandse Taal en Cultuur / 
Utrecht institute of Linguistics UiL OTS 
Universiteit Utrecht 
Trans 10 
NL-3512 JK Utrecht 
The Netherlands 
T +31 30 2536080 / 8000 
F +31 30 2536000 
E  <mailto:Ted.Sanders at> Ted.Sanders at 



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