Job opportunity: Phd position affiliated with the project ‘Language use in the Norwegian Deaf community’

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A position as a PhD fellow is available in the Section for Signed Language and Interpreting at the Department of Language and Literature, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, in Trondheim, Norway. The position is linked to a linguistics and language documentation project entitled “Language use in the Norwegian Deaf community: reflections of a signed language ecology” funded by the Research Council of Norway (

The main goal of the project is to investigate empirically the systematic and constantly evolving communication practices within Norwegian Sign Language interactions. Secondary objectives of the project include:

the development of a linguistic corpus and lexical database,
investigation of the multilingual repertoires by deaf people in Norway,
investigation of indexicality and referential cohesion in Norwegian Sign Language, and
investigation of depiction across the lexicon and grammar.
The PhD fellow’s project and doctoral dissertation will focus on some relevant topic related to the project and should engage and help to expand the language resources built by the project (namely, the linguistic corpus and lexical database).

Main duties and responsibilities
The PhD fellow will:
Conduct the research as outlined in the submitted project description, which must be within the scope of the project’s main goal.
Support completion of the larger project by contributing to corpus creation, data annotation and analysis.
Present project results at conferences, as well as share results through popular channels.
Participate in a formal PhD program at the faculty (see below).
The PhD fellow will be supervised by Associate Professor Lindsay N. Ferrara. In addition, the fellow will join the existing research milieu and network in the Program for Signed Language and Interpreting and contribute to its development, which will include close collaboration with the project’s team of national and international partners.

Qualification requirements
The candidate must have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) or equivalent education, with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. The candidate should demonstrate a strong academic background in (signed language) linguistics or a field related to deaf communities and their signed languages (for example, signed language interpreting, deaf studies, deaf education).

Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.

Other required qualifications include:
High fluency in a signed language.
A proficient level of English reading and writing (and when relevant, spoken) skills.
Additional, preferred qualifications:

High degree of fluency in Norwegian Sign Language.
Proficient reading and writing (and when relevant, spoken) skills in Norwegian, Swedish, and/or Danish.
Experience with qualitative or quantitative research methods.

About the application
The application can be written in English or Norwegian, and it should include:

A letter of motivation.
An independent research proposal for a PhD project (between 6 and 10 pages) related to the overall aims of the research project, Language use in the Norwegian Deaf community: reflections of a signed language ecology, mentioned above. The proposed project should engage and help to expand the language resources built by the project (namely, the linguistic corpus and lexical database).
CV with information about education and previous relevant work experience, as well as a full list of publications (if applicable). Please attach relevant diplomas and certificates.
Any relevant publications, including the Master’s thesis (maximum 5).
Name and contact information of at least two academic references.
If it is difficult to identify the contributions from individuals in a joint piece of work, applicants should enclose a short descriptive summary of what he/she contributed to the work.

Short-listed candidates may be invited for an interview at NTNU.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on:

The scientific merit of the proposed PhD-project, research-related relevance and innovation,
The applicant’s estimated academic and personal ability to complete the project within the time frame,
The applicant’s experience working with deaf communities and communicating in a signed language
The applicant’s ability to complete research training, and
Good collaboration skills and an ability to join international and interdisciplinary academic communities.
Applicants who have recently graduated with excellent results may be given preference.

Applicants who have recently graduated with excellent results may be given preference. NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment – DORA.

Please submit your application electronically via Applications submitted elsewhere, or after the deadline, will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI):

Applicants invited for interview must submit certified copies of transcripts and reference letters.

Please contact Principle Investigator, Associate Professor Lindsay Ferrara at with any questions related the position or to receive a copy of the full description of the main project.

The application including attachments should be sent electronically through:

Please refer to the application number HF 20-002 when applying.

Application deadline: 01.04.2020

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Written by Johanna