PhD Positions in Language

University of Zürich

Schweiz

Department of Comparative Language Science

PhD Positions in Language

The NCCR Evolving Language invites applications for early-career research positions (Postdoctoral Researcher and/or PhD student) in a variety of interdisciplinary projects on the evolution of languages, their structures, and usage patterns over time and space and under diverse social and population-historical conditions.


The NCCR is a Swiss National Center of Competence in Research with the goal of creating a new discipline, Evolutionary Language Science, that targets the past and future of language. The center consists of leading scientists from traditionally separated academic domains, which allows us to harvest the diverse expertise from the humanities, social sciences, computational sciences, natural sciences and medicine towards a broadscale interdisciplinary collaboration.

Your responsibilities

Employment is at 80 % FTE and includes within this about 10% teaching assistant tasks (PhD Students) or 20 % teaching (Postdocs). The positions are training opportunities and the successful candidates are expected to use the remaining 20% for their own further training and skill development.

Your profile

The successful candidates have a background in (general) linguistics, good data science skills (in particular statistical modeling of corpus and database data), and are ready to step out of their disciplinary comfort zones. Specializations can encompass either comparative (historical or typological) linguistics and/or language acquisition research. Basic knowledge of anthropology, biology, or psychology are welcome additions.

The NCCR Evolving Language places great emphasis on teamwork and multidisciplinary perspectives. Excellent communication and collaboration skills are essential.

What we offer

PhD positions lead to a dissertation and can be financed up to 4 years. Postdoc positions are usually shorter, by agreement.

UZH offers excellent opportunities and strong support for career development. Salaries are internationally competitive: Salary ranges, guidelines for employees in SNSF-funded projects

We take gender balance and diversity seriously in our hiring decisions.

Place of work

Pending budgetary approval, the positions are primarily located at the Department of Comparative Language Science at the University of Zurich (UZH), but the NCCR supports exchange with other departments in its network.

Start of employment

We will begin reviewing applications mid January and keep the positions open until filled. Start of employment will be June 1, 2024 or upon agreement.

Please upload a cover letter that explains your main interests in language science and your motivation to join our interdisciplinary team(s), your CV, and one or two samples of your work in a single PDF. The name of the PDF should end in _LSC.pdf.


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