Zurich (CH): Two PhD student positions

University: Two PhD student positions available – neural oscillations during language planning

Department of Comparative Language Science

Two PhD student positions available – neural oscillations during language planning 60 %

With the launch of a new NCCR Evolving Language (http://www.snf.ch/SiteCollectionDocuments/nfs/Faktenblatt_NCCR_evolvinglanguage_en.pdf), which involves nearly 40 different research groups from a large variety of disciplines across Switzerland, we seek to fill two fully funded PhD student positions for a four-year project starting in May 2020.

Our goal is to understand how hierarchical syntactic structures are generated during speaking in the brain. The tools that we use in the Work Package "Structure Planning" to this end are neural oscillatory power analyses and eye tracking.

Your responsibilities

PhD student 1 will investigate the planning and production of syntactic structures of varying complexity in EEG and eye tracking experiments on German and French. PhD student 2 will use intracranial EEG data to study the neural underpinnings of syntactic planning processes in French narrative speech, integrating methods from computational linguistics (e.g. corpus-based information theoretic measures) and machine learning (e.g. bringing together EEG signals and speech patterns).

The PhD students will be based at the University of Zurich (Prof. Martin Meyer, Prof. Balthasar Bickel, Dr. Sebastian Sauppe) and will closely collaborate with the Auditory, Speech and Language Neuroscience group (Prof. Anne-Lise Giraud) and the Brain and Language Lab (Prof. Narly Golestani) at the University of Geneva. The working language in the project is English.

Your profile

PhD student 1:
The ideal candidate holds an MA/MSc in psychology, linguistics, cognitive science or a related field, has a basic knowledge of syntax and linguistics, and has an interest in the experimental study of language processing and production. Knowledge of German is essential; knowledge of French is an advantage, otherwise willingness to acquire a working knowledge of the language quickly is essential. The ideal candidate also possesses prior experience with one or more of the following: experimental studies, EEG and/or eye tracking, programming (R, Python, MATLAB), statistical data analysis.

PhD student 2:
The ideal candidate holds an MA/MSc in (computational) linguistics, cognitive science, psychology, computer science or a related field, has a basic knowledge of syntax and linguistics, and has an interest in the experimental study of language processing and production. The ideal candidate also possesses experience with programming (R, Python), machine learning techniques and computational linguistics tools; experience with EEG is an advantage. Fluent French in speaking and writing is an essential requirement.

What we offer

We offer varied and interesting work in an inspiring and socially relevant environment. The NCCR places great emphasis on gender diversity and we particularly encourage women to apply.
For further information contact Martin Meyer or Sebastian Sauppe.

Place of work Zurich

Start of employment

Apart from their CVs, applicants should submit

  • A sample of their writing (e.g., excerpt from their master's thesis),
  • Names of 2-3 persons willing to provide a letter of reference, and
  • A cover letter explaining their expertise and interest in the topic and the project and indicating which PhD student position is being applied for.

Applications should be sent as a single PDF to  structure-planning-phd(at)ivs.uzh.ch, with subject header "Structure Planning PhD".

Applications will be reviewed starting March 30. The position remains open until filled.

Further information

Martin Meyer  martin.meyer(at)uzh.ch  or Sebastian Sauppe  sebastian.sauppe(at)uzh.ch

Apply now  https://ohws.prospective.ch/public/v1/redirect/dd1794a1-cba5-41ca-b04d-3d34dae48d88/ats/

Die Ausschreibung ist auch im Internet unter https://jobs.uzh.ch/offene-stellen/two-phd-student-positions-available-neural-oscillations-during-language-planning/dd1794a1-cba5-41ca-b04d-3d34dae48d88 abrufbar.

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