We are looking for a full-time postdoctoral researcher to join the newly founded Minerva Group ‘Language Evolution and Adaptation in Diverse Situations’ (LEADS), led by Dr. Limor Raviv, at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. The ‘Language Evolution and Adaptation in Diverse Situations’ (LEADS) group is embedded in the Language & Genetics department of the MPI for Psycholinguistics.
The successful applicant will develop a novel deep learning model that is strongly grounded in existing experimental paradigms, creating a direct link between state-of-the-art artificial neural networks and real behavioural data. They will use this informed model to investigate how social and cognitive pressures (e.g., population size, network structure, memory capacity, simplicity bias) shape the emergence of novel languages in populations of interacting AIs, and will compare the communicative patterns obtained from these AI populations to those obtained from real groups of interacting human participants. The successful applicant will focus on the computational side of this project by developing the deep learning model, though experience/familiarity with experimental methods is an advantage.
- The position is available from September 2021, though later starts in 2021 are possible.
What we expect from you
- Candidates should have, or shortly expect to obtain, a PhD in a relevant field (e.g. computer science, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computational psychology, computational linguistics).
- Proven experience with deep learning models: working with artificial neural networks, such as CNN, RNN/LSTM/transformer, and/or reinforcement learning.
- An interest in language evolution, language learning and/or communication (existing experience in these domain is an advantage).
Desirable (traits that would give you an advantage)
- Experience in empirical research (e.g., experimental design, recruitment, participant testing, quantitative data analysis, report writing).
- Experience with statistical models (e.g., mixed-effects regressions, Bayesian analyses).
- Experience in supervising and/or teaching PhD students.
Conditions of employment
- Full-time position (39 hours per week) with a term of appointment of maximally 3 years.
- 30 holiday days per year (on the basis of fulltime employment), as well as Dutch and German institute holidays.
- The salary is according to the German TVöD (Tarifvertrag für den öffentlichen Dienst) and is classified in salary group E13 (depending on the experience of the applicant between € 4.113,41 and € 4.445,99 gross per month, based on a full time employment).
Work environment / employer
The MPI for Psycholinguistics conducts interdisciplinary research into the psychological, social and biological foundations of language. Scientists at the Institute study a variety of topics including how children and adults acquire language, the role of genetic factors, how speaking and listening happen in real time, how the brain processes language for communication, and how language connects to cognition and culture. The Institute’s approach to the science of language and communication is unique, addressing these fundamental issues at multiple levels, from molecules and cells to circuits and brains, all the way through to the behaviour of individuals and populations.
We are situated on the campus of the Radboud University in Nijmegen, and have close collaborative links with the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour and the Centre for Language Studies at Radboud University. Staff and students at the MPI have access to state-of-the art research facilities (including audio-visual equipment, EEG, fMRI, eye tracking, virtual reality labs, molecular biology labs and a child development lab).
The Institute is part of the Max Planck Society, an independent non-governmental association of German-funded research institutes dedicated to fundamental research in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and the humanities.
The MPI for Psycholinguistics recognizes the positive value of diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination. We are committed to redressing systemic problems with diversity in science, and therefore welcome applications from individuals from minority groups and from groups that are otherwise underrepresented.
How to Apply
Applications should include:
- One-page statement of why you are interested in this post, why you consider yourself a good match for the post, your qualifications, and what your research interests are.
- Example(s) of relevant published work.
- CV including publication list.
- Names and email addresses of three referees who would be willing to provide letters of recommendation (upon request).
- Details of your availability for interview via Zoom between May 27th and June 10th 2021.
The deadline for applications is May 17th, 2021.
For questions and informal enquiries, contact Dr. Limor Raviv (email@example.com).