Job opportunity: PhD Position in Sign Language Linguistics, The University of Amsterdam

Job announcements


Are you passionate about Sign Language Linguistics? Are you proficient in at least one sign language yourself? Do you have experience collecting, annotating, and analyzing sign language data? And do you have a solid background in formal syntax and semantics? We are seeking a PhD candidate to investigate syntactic and semantic properties of questions across a broad range of sign languages through fieldwork and collaboration with an international network of sign language linguists.

What are you going to do

In this project you are expected to:

  • collect data from informants and corpora on the syntactic and semantic properties of questions across sign languages;
  • help establish a network of sign language linguists to collaborate with, to ensure the parallel collection of data from a broad range of sign languages;
  • develop a formal syntactic and semantic account of the empirical findings;
  • publish in high level international journals;
  • present at leading international conferences and workshops;
  • co-supervise master and bachelor students;
  • contribute your expertise to joint research projects;
  • contribute to the teaching activities of the institute.

What do we require

  • a Master’s degree in Linguistics, preferably with a specialization in Sign Language Linguistics;
  • proficiency in at least one sign language (not necessarily Sign Language of the Netherlands);
  • expertise in fieldwork methods, experimental methods, and/or corpus-based research in linguistics;
  • solid background in syntax and semantics, specifically semantic theories of questions;
  • excellent team working skills.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of four years, preferably starting on 1 March 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of four years). This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and Master students.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,434 to €3,111 (scale P) gross per month, based on a fulltime contract (38 hours a week). This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) is applicable.

About us

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) is an interdisciplinary research institute at the UvA in which researchers from the Faculty of Science (FNWI)  and the Faculty of Humanities (FGM) collaborate. Its central research area is the study of fundamental principles of encoding, transmission and comprehension of information. Research at ILLC is interdisciplinary, and aims at bringing together insights from various disciplines concerned with information and information processing, including linguistics, cognitive science, philosophy, computer science and artificial intelligence. ILLC offers an international research environment with world-class faculty in all of its areas of specialization.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the UvA.


If you have any questions about the position, please contact (during office hours):

Job application

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 10 January 2022. You can apply online by using the link below.

Applications in .pdf should include:

  • a motivation letter;
  • your CV;
  • a transcript of courses taken during your Bachelor and Master programmes, with grades and an explanation of the grade system if you graduated from a programme outside the Netherlands;
  • one or two writing samples;
  • contact details of two-three people who could be asked for recommendation letters.

We will invite potential candidates for interviews in January 2022.

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