Job Announcement – Potsdam

Job Announcement

The University of Potsdam, Cognitive Sciences, Department of Linguistics, is seeking to fill the following position in the Cognitive Science:Language and Methods Lab ( preferably by January 1, 2021 (but starting date is flexible).

Academic Staff Member (m/f)
PhD Research Position (Research Associate)

The position is funded by a research grant from the German Research Foundation focused on investigating the mental lexicon using behavioral data and computational modelling. The position is for 26 hours a week (65%). The salary and benefits are determined by the collective bargaining agreement for public employees in Germany (TV-L 13 Ost). This is a temporary position initially limited to a term of 36 months.

The University of Potsdam hosts leading groups in cognitive sciences and linguistics, providing a vibrant interdisciplinary scientific environment ( The lab is associated with the Collaborative Research Center SFB 1287 „Limits of variability in language” (

Potsdam is an attractive historical city and its palaces are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Furthermore, Potsdam is at close commuting distance to Berlin, a culturally vibrant and progressive city. Both cities have a high quality of life at modest living costs.

Project and responsibilities
The goal of this project is to model the cognitive mechanisms underlying the production of utterances. Using behavioral experiments and computational modelling, it will examine the role of usage on these mechanisms and test a novel model of language production in which words in long term memory are linked to one another, the strength of these links depending on (and being further modulated by) usage. The PhD student will take the lead in designing and implementing behavioral experiments, collecting and analyzing the data. S/he will implement several computational models, using, among other tools, naïve discriminative learning. S/he will work under the supervision of Audrey Bürki.

We offer
·        International cooperation and travel support
·        A friendly and open-minded lab research environment
·       Excellent computational resources
·       Research support by student assistants

·        Very good Master in relevant field (Cognitive Sciences, Psycholinguistics, Computer Science, Computational Linguistics, Machine learning, Data Science, etc.)

·        Excellent computational skills (e.g., MATLAB, Python, R)

·        Capacity to work independently

·        Excellent writing, communication, and presentation skills (in English)

·        Strong interest in several aspects of the lab’s research focus, i.e., language production, psycholinguistics, neurocognition of language, applied statistics

·        High motivation and commitment

In addition, the ideal candidate has
·        Knowledge of German

·        Expertise in applied statistics

The University of Potsdam strives to maintain gender balance among its staff. Severely disabled applicants shall receive preference in case of equal qualifications. We expressly invite applications from people with migration backgrounds.

Please send your application (including letter of motivation, CV, at least 2 names of potential referees, copies of academic certificates, sample of your writing) as a single pdf file to Audrey Bürki at until September 30th for full consideration (late applications may be considered until the position is filled). Please direct informal inquiries to .