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PhD Studentship in Experimental Syntax/Typology

The University of Edinburgh

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Edinburgh
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £15,000 annual stipend per year
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 12th October 2018
Closes: 7th December 2018

We invite applications by 7th December 2018 for a three-year PhD studentship in experimental approaches to language typology, starting in September 2019 or shortly thereafter.

You will learn about and use a range of experimental techniques to study the relationship between properties of the human cognitive system and features of natural language syntax. This PhD work forms an integral part of a major ERC-funded project “Syntax shaped by cognition: Transforming theories of syntactic systems through laboratory experiments” (Principal Investigator: Dr Jennifer Culbertson). This project seeks to further our understanding of why syntactic and morphological systems look the way they do and whether modality- and domain-general features of our cognitive systems are at play. This studentship will involve exploring the modality and domain-specificity of constraints on, or preference for a set of syntactic and morphosyntactic phenomena.

The successful applicant will play a key role in designing appropriate experimental studies, gathering and analyzing data, and disseminating results at conferences and via publication. Prior training in a language science discipline (e.g. linguistics, psychology, cognitive science or similar) is essential. Experience with running laboratory experiments, and conducting statistical analyses of experimental data is highly desirable. Prior experience with sign languages is desirable, but not required.


  • The studentship is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences.
  • The award provides for tuition fees plus an annual stipend of £15,000 per year over three years.
  • Additional funding for e.g. conference travel is also available.


  • The successful applicant will have an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline and will ideally have, or will be studying for, a Masters degree (or equivalent).
  • Existing doctoral researchers are not eligible for this award.
  • Overseas applicants are welcome and encouraged to apply.

Application Procedure

Complete the studentship application form available on our website and submit with the required supporting documentation by 7th December 2018.

Interviews (by Skype if necessary) will take place in mid-January 2019.

Further information

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