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2 Postdoc positions in Cognitive Neuroscience at Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Netherlands 2022

The Netherlands

Two Postdoc positions are available for doctoral degree candidates in cognitive neuroscience, cognitive science, computer science, linguistics, psychology at The Language Development Department, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Netherlands 2022


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General Info

Position: Postdoc
No. of Positions: 2
Research Field: , , , ,
Deadline to Apply: Expired
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: Subject to Norms
Salary: EUR 4,187.45 and EUR 4,911.44 gross per month

Language Development Department

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, the Netherlands


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Qualification Details


  • A PhD in cognitive neuroscience, cognitive science, computer science, linguistics, psychology or a related discipline.
  • A track record of research on language development, including experience disseminating research through conference presentations and publications.
  • Excellent written and spoken English. The language of the institute is English, so knowledge of Dutch is not required.
  • Experience managing confidential information provided by participants, dealing with ethical and administrative issues, and efficiently managing and cataloguing data.


  • Experience supervising and/or teaching undergraduate or postgraduate students.
  • An explicit interest in, and commitment to, Open Science.


Responsibilities/Job Description

The Language Development Department at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands is offering two postdoctoral researcher positions, available from summer/autumn 2022.

Post 1: Cross-cultural and/or cross-linguistic language acquisition

The successful candidate will be expected to develop, and lead, one or more research projects on cross-cultural and/or cross-linguistic language acquisition. There are no other constraints on the chosen topic, except that the project must fit into the Department’s Language across the world theme (see below, and here, for details).  The researcher may also be required to supervise PhD and masters’ students. This is a five year fixed term position.

Post 2: Open topic

The successful candidate will be expected to develop, and lead, a research project that fits within ONE of the department’s three research themes (see below, and here, for details).  They may also be required to supervise PhD and masters’ students. This is a three year fixed term position.Research at the Language Development Department

Language is a uniquely human, complex communication system learnt in an apparently effortless fashion during the first few years of a child’s life.  The Language Development Department hosts a team of more than 20 researchers, students and research support staff, whose goal is to discover how children achieve it, addressing the central question: How do children’s learning mechanisms use information in different environments to build mature linguistic knowledge? Work at the department fits into one or more of the following three themes:

• Language over development

In this theme, we track how language knowledge and use changes as children age. We use multiple measures from the same children studied at different ages to test theories of language acquisition for their ability to predict developmental change over time.

• Language across the world

Cross-linguistic work is at the heart of this theme. We test theories of language and communicative development for their ability to explain acquisition across different languages being learned in different cultural and multicultural environments.

• Language in the brain

In this theme our researchers test theories and models of how the mechanisms within the brain learn language. We use a range of methodological, and multi-methodological research designs, including computational modelling, corpus analysis, and behavioural and neurocognitive lab-based experiments.

How to Apply?

Application Method: Online Application
Ref. No.: https://www.mpi.nl/career-education/vacancies/vacancy/two-postdoctoral-researcher-positions

Application Procedure

  • A (maximum 2-page) application letter which should a) explain how you fit the essential and desirable requirements above, and b) include a short description of the research project(s) you wish to develop.
  • A CV, which should include a list of publications.
  • Contact details for three referees (referees will not be contacted unless you are invited to interview).
  • Details of your availability for interview in the weeks beginning 23rd May and 30th May. The interview process will be in two parts. First there will be an interview with three members of the department. After interview, selected candidates will be invited to give a short (30 minute) research talk to the whole department. Both will be via zoom.


About the Department/Section/Group

For more details about the Language Development department, including the resources and facilities avalable for research, please click here.The Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Psycholinguistics conducts interdisciplinary research into the psychological, social and biological foundations of language. Scientists at the Institute study a variety of topics including how children and adults acquire language, the role of genetic factors, how speaking and listening happen in real time, how the brain processes language for communication, and how language connects to cognition and culture. The Institute's approach to the science of language and communication is unique, addressing these fundamental issues at multiple levels, from molecules and cells to circuits and brains, all the way through to the behaviour of individuals and populations. We are situated on the campus of the Radboud University and have close collaborative links with the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour and the Centre for Language Studies at Radboud University.  We also work closely with other child development researchers as part of the Baby and Child Research Centre.

The Institute is part of the Max Planck Society, an independent non-governmental association of German-funded research institutes dedicated to fundamental research in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and the humanities.

The MPI for Psycholinguistics recognises the positive value of diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination. We are committed to redressing systemic problems with diversity in science, and therefore welcome applications from individuals from minority groups and from groups that are otherwise under-represented.

About the Employer:

Note or Other details

  • The position is available from summer/autumn 2022. Start date is negotiable.
  • Full-time position (39 hours per week) with a term of appointment of 5 years (post 1) or 3 years (post 2). Part-time and job share applications are also welcome.
  • The salary is according to the German TVöD (Tarifvertrag für den öffentlichen Dienst) and is classified in salary group E13. Depending on the experience of the applicant, the salary is between EUR 4,187.45 and EUR 4,911.44 gross per month plus a holiday bonus of 8% of the gross salary. This equates to EUR 54,269 – EUR 63,652 per year, including holiday bonus.
  • The researchers will have access to state-of-the art research and training facilities and a generous conference and travel budget. The department’s Dutch-speaking research support staff will be available to carry out local participant testing, if that is required.

The deadline for applications is midnight (CEST) on Friday 29th April, 2022. Please submit your application directly via this link on our recruitment portal.

Candidates are free to submit the same application for both posts. Please indicate in your application letter that you would like to be considered for both posts.

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Contact details

To discuss these positions informally before applying, please contact Caroline Rowland ([email protected])

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