Listening and speaking in conversation


Three four-year fully funded PhD positions in the Psychology of Language Department

Doctoral supervisor: Prof. Antje Meyer


Job description

The PhD projects should investigate the cognitive processes and neurobiological basis of speaking and listening in everyday conversation. Questions to be addressed include how interlocutors divide attention between listening and speech planning, how they prime each other and establish common ground, how they adapt to their interlocutor’s speech, how multimodal cues are integrated in face-to-face communication, and how individual differences in linguistic and domain-general skills shape conversations. These questions can be investigated using a wide range of methods including behavioural methods, assessment of individual differences, eye-tracking, EEG, and computational modelling, depending on the nature of the project and the candidate’s interest.


What we expect from you

We seek exceptional students with a talent and inclination for first class research. Candidates should have, or shortly expect to obtain, a high-quality Research Master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant field (e.g. experimental psychology, cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, computer science, linguistics, phonetics). Masters degrees should involve several months of experience and training on a scientific project. Candidates should have a solid background in experimental design and data analysis. Furthermore, they should have excellent command of written and spoken English. The preferred starting date is 1 September 2020.


What we have to offer

The PhD position is fully funded for 4 years (starting gross salary is €2,531 per month). The institute provides fully equipped research facilities, technical support, as well as a conference and travel budget. PhD students participate in the International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, which involves core and individually chosen coursework to complement the PhD research and training in soft skills such as writing and presentation.


Work environment

The MPI in Nijmegen is an internationally recognized, leading research institute, with a stimulating environment and excellent facilities and resources. Work in the Psychology of Language Department focusses on the cognitive processes underlying language use. The department provides opportunities for training in a range of neuropsychological, psychological and phonetic techniques, frequent research and public engagement meetings, and support from an excellent team of researchers in psycholinguistics. The department also benefits from close connection to the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging and the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour at Radboud University. Cross-departmental projects and interdisciplinary work are strongly encouraged. For further details of our research, please see our website:

The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer. Applications from under-represented minorities, women, and people with disabilities are particularly encouraged. Application process Applications should include:

i. One-page statement of why you are interested in this post, why you consider yourself a good match for the post, and what research projects you would like to pursue

ii. One-page summary of your MA dissertation

iii. CV including publication list

iv. Names and email addresses of up to three referees who would be willing to provide letters of recommendation


Applications or enquiries should be made to Ms. Thy Mathu (Secretary to Antje Meyer); Email:

Short-listed candidates will be invited to participate in a skype interview and site visit to the institute.

Evaluation of applications will begin on February 1 2020 and will continue until all posts are filled.