Basel: 2 PhD candidate positions

University: 2 PhD candidate positions in SNF-Project Shared Reading in the Digital Age


2 PhD candidate positions in SNF-Project Shared Reading in the Digital Age

Scholarly context

This project will combine methods from computational linguistics, experimental and naturalistic reading research, and psychometrics (i.e., scale development) to address a pertinent societal issue from a fresh perspective. It will provide in- depth insights into how digital and face-to-face shared reading interventions can contribute to well-being and the promotion of reading, and through collaboration with practitioners in the field of reading promotion, this project's findings will have immediate societal impact (Further project details).

Academic scope of the PhD project

The core aims of these PhD projects are to investigate the mechanisms – absorption, co-reading, social interactions and well-being – by which shared reading can impact reading promotion. You will either collaborate closely with The Reader, a reading promotion charity in Liverpool where the shared reading intervention originated or with Sharing Stories Verein in Basel where the intervention is used with Swiss-German readers. Part of the work will involve scale development in collaboration with your direct colleagues and in addition we will develop an integrative analytical framework based in cognitive linguistics/stylistics on the one hand and sociocultural analytics, such as conversation analysis and interactional sociolinguistics, on the other, which will be used to keep track of the mechanism and function of social interaction and co-presence in the shared reading sessions.

As the core study of this project is data-driven, the PhD candidates can give further direction to the project based on what they find in the data that sparks their personal interest. This will ensure that the PhD candidates can obtain a sense of ownership of the project.

Your position

  • Collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data from reading groups in the UK (PhD position 1: English) or Switzerland (PhD position 2: Swiss-German)
  • Comparing your results to those of the other members of the group, who will collect and analyze data from online reading groups
  • Writing up empirical research papers on the topic of shared reading
  • Presenting your work at conferences

Your profile

  • You are fluent in English (able to collect and analyze English data) (PhD position 1 and 2)
  • You are fluent in Swiss-German (PhD position 2)
  • You have a background in either empirical literary studies, ethnography, anthropology, psychology or literary studies with a strong interest in broadening your methodological skillset.
  • You have an affinity with literature and reading
  • You are highly motivated to conduct interdisciplinary research within an internationally and disciplinarily diverse environment
  • You work well in a group, show initiative and like to learn new methods
  • Experience with running experiments, especially in the area of empirical literary studies or digital humanities is ideal, but not required

We offer you

  • We are a group of international, interdisciplinary researchers that work closely together with each other and with a larger network of researchers in the field of empirical literary studies
  • We strongly believe in Open Science and thus make our work as transparent as possible and share all of the tools, data and resources created in our project with other researchers
  • We work according to a code of conduct in which respect, diversity, inclusion, and open communication are central
  • The salary and the conditions of employment will be those of the SNF and the University of Basel
  • Work place is Basel (Switzerland)

Application / Contact

For further information about the Digital Humanities Lab, please go to our website:
For further information about the project: Further project details
For further questions about the position please contact Prof. Dr. Moniek Kuijpers (moniek.kuijpers(at) 

We are looking forward to receiving your application by 15.12.2022 via the online portal of the University of Basel (see button below). Please include the following documents: Current CV, Motivation letter to explain why you are suited for which position and how you would put your own spin on the project, Summary of your master thesis or a sample of other relevant papers.

Applications that are not sent via the online portal or that are sent after the deadline will not be considered.


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Weitere Hinweise

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