PhD Fellowship in Early Language Development

Oslo, Østlandet (NO)
Oct 20, 2020
End of advertisement period
Nov 01, 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

Job description
One fully-funded 3-year Doctoral Research Fellowship (SKO 1017), financed by a FRIPRO grant from the Research Council of Norway, is available at the Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan (MultiLing) at the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies, University of Oslo. The fellowship is part of one of MultiLing’s research projects, which is entitled "The role of parental speech on infant language development: Insights from Norwegian language".

MultiLing is a Center of Excellence funded by the Research Council of Norway (2013-2023). MultiLing aims to generate scientific knowledge on multilingualism across the lifespan, related to three themes: Theme 1 Multilingual competence, Theme 2 Multilingual practices, and Theme 3 Multilingualism, ideologies and language policies (for more information, see

The project examines, in a longitudinal design, the role of infant-directed speech in language development of Norwegian 6- to 18-month-old infants. The successful candidate will contribute to participant recruitment and data collection. In addition, the candidate will perform acoustic analyses of parental speech addressed to infants at 6, 9, 12 and 15 months and will examine how the acoustic features of parental speech predict infants’ performance in eye-tracking linguistic tasks administered at 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 months of age.

The project is led by Dr. Natalia Kartushina, in collaboration with Professor Julien Mayor (Section of Health, Development and Personality Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo) and Dr. Alejandrina Cristia (CNRS, Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris). The PhD Fellow will work at MultiLing (Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies, UiO) in collaboration with the Babyling Lab based at the Section of Health, Developmental and Personality Psychology (UiO).

More about the position
The appointment is a full time three-year position. It is expected that the PhD fellow will join the project in early 2021. Within two months of the starting date, the candidate should, in collaboration with the PI, develop a full project description of their doctoral project, including a detailed progress plan for the project (see Research proposal template).

The research fellow will take part in the Department’s PhD program and is expected to complete the project within the fellowship period.  All PhD candidates who submit their doctoral dissertation for assessment, along with a written recommendation from their supervisor, within 3 years or 3 ½ years after the start of their PhD position will be offered, respectively, a 12 or 6-month Completion Grant.

The successful candidate must participate in the research training program organized by the Faculty of Humanities (cf. regulations and supplementary provisions for the faculty’s researcher education) and must engage in the designated research activities on a full-time basis. The purpose of the Doctoral Research Fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a doctoral dissertation (monograph or article-based) to be defended at a public defense for the doctoral degree. The successful candidates will be automatically accepted for the research-training program (PhD program) at the Faculty of Humanities, UiO. Read more about the doctoral degree.

Qualification requirements and personal qualities

  • applicants must hold a Master’s degree (120 ECTS) or equivalent in psychology, linguistics or related fields. The Master's degree must have been obtained and the final evaluation must be available by the application deadline.  
  • Knowledge of quantitative statistical methods
  • Solid theoretical and methodological background in experimental psychology, psycholinguistics, cognitive psychology or related fields
  • Ambitions for high-quality research within the project, as evidenced by the required cover letter, explaining the motivation for applying and how own qualifications are suitable for the announced position
  • Enthusiasm for the topic
  • Experience with software such as R, SPSS, Python or Matlab
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English

To be eligible for admission to the doctoral programmes at the University of Oslo, applicants must, as a minimum, have completed a five-year graduation course (Master’s degree or equivalent), including a Master’s thesis of at least 30 ECTS. In special cases, the Faculty may grant admission on the basis of a one-year Master course following an assessment of the study programme’s scope and quality.

The following qualifications will be an advantage:

  • Experience in language development research
  • Ability to work in collaborative groups and independently
  • Experience with eye-tracking
  • Publications, conference participation and experience as research assistant, especially within the field of language development
  • Open Science practice
  • Knowledge of Norwegian (or a Scandinavian language) is a big advantage
  • Experience with acoustic analysis of speech (e.g., with Praat)
  • Computational skills

In the assessment of the applications, emphasis will be placed on:

  • The scientific merit and relevance of the candidate’s statement of research
  • The applicant’s international experience and network
  • The applicant’s academic and personal qualifications to carry out the project within the allotted time frame
  • Good cooperative skills, and the ability to successfully join in academic collaboration within and across disciplines
  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position

We offer

  • Salary NOK 479 600 – 523 200 per annum depending on qualifications in a position as PhD Research fellow, (position code 1017)
  • The possibility to attend conferences, courses and workshops
  • A professionally stimulating working environment
  • Membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply
The application must include

  • Cover letter (statement of motivation, summarizing scientific work and research interest)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activity, including a complete list of publications, if any)
  • Transcript of records of your Master's degree. Applicants with education from a foreign university are advised to attach an explanation of their university's grading system.
  • A statement of research outlining the candidate's previous achievements and future goals for their research and how they fit the present project
  • List of reference persons: 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number)

Please note that all documents must be in English or a Scandinavian language.

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “apply for this job”.

The short-listed candidates will be called in for an interview at the University of Oslo or we will arrange for a digital interview. It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to complete the project in the course of the period of employment.