PhD position in Cognition, Language and Communication

Faculty of Humanities – Research institute Amsterdam Centre for Language and Communication

Publication date
29 August 2018
Level of education
Master's degree
Salary indication
€2,266 to €2,897 gross per month
Closing date
7 October 2018
38 hours per week
Vacancy number

Research at the Faculty of Humanities is carried out by six research schools under the aegis of the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research. The Amsterdam Centre for Language and Communication (ACLC), one of the six research schools, currently has a vacant PhD position in cooperation with the Institute for Logic, Language and Communication. We invite applications from excellent candidates who wish to conduct research on irony in a political context and its logical and linguistic properties.

Project description

Political irony in public discourse (e.g., in political satire) is often misunderstood, and appreciated only by recipients in agreement with the speaker. Irony may be marked in various ways, for instance through prosody and hyperbole, but the role and form of such markers is unclear. Our project comprises three stages, in which we study:

  1. the use of irony markers through computational analysis;
  2. their functions through cognitive modeling, and
  3. their communicative effects through experiments.

Together, these findings enrich theories on language, communication and cognition, and help in assessing the ways in which irony leads to misinformation and polarization. The project is highly interdisciplinary, combining elements from the linguistics literature on irony and prosody with communication-scientific insights into political satire and cognitive-scientific insights into processing.

Your tasks will include:

  • conducting several studies using (1) quantitative, computer-automated text analysis, (2) cognitive modeling, and (3) experimental methods;
  • completion and defense of a PhD thesis within four years;
  • working in an interdisciplinary research team;
  • regular presenting intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
  • publication of peer-reviewed articles;
  • participation in the training program of the research school;
  • performing junior teaching duties in the bachelor program on Cognition, Language and Communication (CLC).


  • MSc/MA (or equivalent) in a relevant field, e.g. linguistics, communication science, psychology, or cognitive science, with excellent grades. A research master is preferred. Substantial knowledge of at least one of the fields that compose our project, as well as the ability to understand approaches/literature from other disciplines, is required;

  • excellent (interdisciplinary) research skills;

  • programming skills in R or Python;

  • excellent academic writing and presentation skills;

  • excellent communication, social and organizational skills;

  • open to working in an interdisciplinary team;

  • high proficiency in English.

Further information

For further information, please contact:


You will be appointed at the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam. The appointment is for 4 years for 38 hours per week (1 fte) under the terms of employment currently valid for the Faculty. In the first instance, a contract will be given for 12 months, with an extension for the following 36 months on the basis of a positive evaluation. The intended starting date of the contract is as soon as possible after acceptance of the job offer. The gross monthly salary will be €2,266 during the first year to €2,897 during the fourth year, based on 38 hours per week, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch universities.

Job application

The UvA is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We value a spirit of enquiry and endurance, provide the space to keep asking questions and cherish a diverse atmosphere of curiosity and creativity. 

Your application should include:

  • a letter of motivation, explaining what knowledge you already have to bring to the project and especially how you will deal with combining knowledge from disciplines you are less familiar with (no more than two pages);
  • a CV;
  • proof of your Master's degree;
  • a list of grades obtained for your Bachelor and Master (or equivalent) programs;
  • names and contact details of two academic referees;
  • a writing sample that you have first-authored, e.g. a published paper or a chapter from your MA thesis.

You may submit your application no later than 7 October 2018 using the link below. Please collect your application into one single pdf file (not zipped) and choose the obliged field ‘CV’. #LI-DNP

No agencies please

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