Postdoctoral Research Position in Computational/Cognitive Modelling

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics – Language Development Department

The Language Development Department at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands is offering a 3-year postdoctoral position, available for a computational/cognitive modeller, from 1st September 2018.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Language Development Department

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

Full time

Job description
The successful candidate will work with senior members of the department (Prof. Caroline Rowland, Dr. Evan Kidd), and with large existing datasets, with the goal of building explanatory models of individual differences in first language acquisition.  

The datasets are:

  • The Language05 Project: A longitudinal project following 80 British English children from 6 months to 5 years of age, with the goal of building a comprehensive picture of language development from the very beginning through to school readiness. The corpus includes naturalistic day-long recordings and video recorded interactions, behavioural measures, and questionnaire and standardised measures of cognitive, socio-cognitive and language development.
  • The Canberra Longitudinal Child Language Project: A longitudinal project following 120 Australian English children from the ages of 9 month to 5 years, with a focus on mapping individual variation in children’s on-line language processing, input, and their acquisition. The corpus includes measures of on-line processing (EEG, eye-tracking), naturalistic day-long recordings and video recorded interactions, questionnaire and behavioural measures of language.


  • A PhD in computer science, cognitive science, psychology, linguistics, physics, mathematics, philosophy, or a related discipline.
  • Expertise in one or more approaches to modelling human behavioural processes. The type of modelling approach is open; the successful candidate will be expected to bring their own research ideas to the project.
  • Excellent written and spoken English. The language of the Institute is English, so knowledge of Dutch is not required.
  • Experience working with linguistic data is desired but not necessary.

Conditions of employment

  • The position is available from 1st September, 2018, though start date is negotiable.
  • Full-time position (39 hours per week) with a term of appointment of 3 years.
  • 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 between EUR 3.657,34 and EUR 5.523,65 gross per month, based on a full-time employment).
  • All research staff have access to state-of-the art research and training facilities and a generous conference and travel budget.

The employer
The MPI for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, is the only research institute in the world entirely devoted to the study of language. Our goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types. 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.

The MPI 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 Max Planck Society is an equal opportunities employer. For further details please see our website:

Application procedure
Please send the following documents in a single PDF file by Friday 18th May to Nanjo Bogdanowicz at

Applications should include:

  • A 2-page statement of research interests.
  • A CV, which should include a list of publications.
  • Contact details for three referees.
  • Details of your availability for interview in person or via Skype on Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th June 2018. Note that, if invited to interview, you will be provided with further information about the datasets, and will be asked to present a draft research plan.