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Professor of Cognition, Communication and Argumentation

Universiteit van Amsterdam - Dutch Studies

Faculty/Services: Faculty of Humanities

Educational level: PhD

Function type: Academic Staff

The Department of Dutch Studies (Neerlandistiek) has a vacancy for a full professorship in: Cognition, Communication and Argumentation 1,0 FTE (permanent position).

What are you going to do? 

Context of the chair

The way humans communicate has changed dramatically over the last decades. Our minds and societies have to keep up with the dynamics and consequences of globalization and technological innovations. Our communicative environment is thus under constant development, for instance seen in the type of communication platforms available (online and offline resources); the multimodal nature of communication (integrating textual, visual and/or oral information); and the speed at which information flows. These factors impact the way humans communicate and argue in our societies and affect existing societal power structures. With this professorship, the department of Dutch studies seeks to strengthen and innovate research lines and teaching programmes that address those developments within the domains of cognition, communication and argumentation. This professorship will take an interdisciplinary approach grounded in communication and argumentation theory and cognitive science, with bridges to the Social Sciences and Media Studies. The domains of cognition, communication and argumentation and their interfaces will be studied using state of the art methods and techniques in which the use of corpora, the analysis of big data, and the development of (computational) models play a key role. This professorship will not only lead to innovative scientific research and research-based academic teaching, but will also contribute to societal applications in the context of discussions about argumentative language and communication, and how competing interactions with information play a significant role in everyday life.


The BSc programme Cognition, Language and Communication offers interdisciplinary training within and across the fields of cognitive science, linguistics and communication. You will actively contribute to this programme by developing courses, creating teaching materials, and teaching in the domain of cognition, communication and argumentation. You are an inspiring and leading member of a team that values collaborative and curiosity-driven education, and will ensure others benefit from your experience with multi- and interdisciplinary teaching in fields such as argumentation, communication, cognitive science and their interactions. You will also play an active role in other programmes such as the MA programmes Communication and Information Sciences; Neerlandistiek; Redacteur/Editor; and the Research MA Linguistics and Communication, as well as the BA Nederlandse Taal en Cultuur. You are also expected to take initiative in creating opportunities for interdisciplinary teaching across programmes and faculties. You will teach in Dutch as well as in English. In addition, you are able to apply on- and offline tools and methods to meet a variety of learning objectives, are committed to continuing your development as an educator and are sensitive to the needs of a diverse group of students, teachers and alumni.


Your research will be situated in the research school Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC). Your research aims to find innovative ways of investigating communication and argumentation from a cognitive perspective, using up-to-date methods that enable the analysis of corpora and/or modelling theoretical assumptions.

You will provide international visibility and inspiring leadership within the ACLC by setting up and coordinating a research group in the domain of cognition, communication and argumentation, thus attracting PhD students and initiating or strengthening collaborations with researchers inside and outside the faculty, such as researchers from the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) and the Faculty of Social Sciences. You are actively involved in obtaining external research funding and in supervising PhD students in this field. You are furthermore expected to contribute to research activities that are relevant to current societal debates. 

Leadership and administrative tasks

The department of Dutch Studies has three capacity groups. You will be the chair of the capacity group ‘Taalbeheersing, Argumentatietheorie en Retorica’ (TAR) after appointment. You should have proven ability in leading interdisciplinary teaching and research teams, and proven experience in administrative positions. We are looking for a candidate who can both support and motivate colleagues, creating a nurturing environment that allows other researchers to thrive. You will support the group in terms of human resource management (career development, professionalisation, coordination) and offer mentorship. You are willing and able to take on administrative responsibilities at departmental and/or faculty level (such as head of department, programme director, research school/institute director). 

Your tasks and responsibilities:

  • conducting innovative, interdisciplinary research with international visibility in the field of cognition, communication and argumentation;
  • maintaining and expanding an international and interdisciplinary academic network;
  • contributing to curriculum innovation in several programmes with a special focus on the BSc Cognition, Language and Communication; creating opportunities for teaching at all levels in the domains of cognition, communication and argumentation, also in interdisciplinary collaborations within the Faculty and across faculties;
  • providing research-based teaching in a range of Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes, including supervising theses at the Bachelor’s and Master’s level;
  • actively pursuing and obtaining external funding for research, notably funding from research councils, national as well as European;
  • attracting and supervising PhD students;
  • mentoring junior researchers in the context of a research group within the ACLC;
  • contributing to an inclusive and safe atmosphere where both students and (junior) teachers can learn and develop;
  • taking part in committees and carrying out senior administrative roles at the capacity group, department and/or faculty level. 

What expertise do we require of you? 

Successful candidates for the position are expected to meet the following requirements.


  • hold a PhD in cognitive approaches to communication/argumentation theory or a closely related field;
  • have an excellent international academic embedding and publication record;
  • are an experienced, enthusiastic, and empathetic teacher who can operate at all levels of academic training, and you have experience in developing teaching programmes at Bachelor’s and Master’s levels;
  • have proven excellent management and leadership qualities and are a capable and enthusiastic administrator;
  • can show a track record of applying for/acquiring external research funding;
  • have experience with attracting and supervising PhD candidates and junior researchers;
  • have a broad national and international network with academic and other relevant  institutions;
  • have experience with collaborative projects and are able to establish productive connections with other academic disciplines within as well as outside the department;
  • are able to contribute to knowledge exchange in public as well as academic settings;
  • have a Dutch Basic Teaching Qualification, or a willingness to acquire one within the first two years of your appointment;
  • are fluent in English and you are able to communicate in Dutch at the start of your appointment;
  • if you are not fluent in Dutch, you have a willingness to pass the state examination for Dutch as a Second Language programme II within two years of the employment contract. The Faculty will assist in this process. 

Please also check the document ‘Information about chairs at the Faculty of Humanities’ for more information. 

Our offer 

The appointment will be permanent. The gross salary will normally conform to professorial scale 2, between €6,099 and €8,881 gross per month (€85,117 - €123,943 per annum, including 8% holiday pay and an 8,3% end of year payment) on a full-time basis (38 hours per week) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU). In certain cases, however, different terms of employment may be offered. 

Curious about our organisation and attractive fringe benefits such as a generous holiday arrangement and development opportunities? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

About us 

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity. 

The Faculty of Humanities provides education and conducts research with a strong international profile in a large number of disciplines in the field of language and culture. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the faculty maintains close ties with many cultural institutes in the capital city. Research and teaching staff focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and are active in several teaching programmes. 


Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact (during office hours):

  • for questions about the profile: prof. Judith Rispens, chair of the Department of Dutch Studies and chair of the selection committee;
  • for procedural questions: Brigit van der Pas, secretary of the selection committee.

Job Application 

Do you recognise yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application, addressed to The Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Prof. Marieke de Goede. 

You can apply online via the UvA website. Applications in Dutch or English, including a motivation letter, a detailed CV and a list of publications, should be submitted as a single PDF file.

The response period closes on 19 January 2023. Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered. 

Applications will be received by a selection committee headed by the chair of the Department of Dutch Studies, Prof. Judith Rispens. Following a procedure which may involve a formal leadership assessment and a public trial lecture, the committee will make its final recommendation to the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities. The first interviews will be held around early March 2023. 

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

No agencies please

Location: Amsterdam - Netherlands
Salary: €6,099 to €8,881
£5,243.52 to £7,635.30 converted salary* Professorial Scale 2, Gross per month
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 28th November 2022
Closes: 19th January 2023
Job Ref: 10893
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