PhD Candidates in the field of linguistics (specialization: sign languages)

Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics has a vacancy for two

PhD Candidates in the field of linguistics (specialization: sign languages) (2 positions, 1.0 fte)
Vacancy number 17-387

Project Description

The Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL,, the institute of linguistics at the Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University, is hosting a research project entitled From Gesture to Language.
The project will investigate the structure of size and shape expressions in sign languages and co-speech gesture in West Africa and the United States. Goal of the project is to further our understanding of how sign languages relate to gesture.

Key responsibilities

The candidate is supposed to carry out the following tasks:

  • Conducting original research (including fieldwork) on sign languages and gesture;
  • Writing a PhD thesis;
  • Submitting research results for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals;
  • Presenting papers at (international) conferences;
  • Some teaching;
  • Organizing and participating in discussion groups, seminars, workshops within LUCL.

Selection criteria

  • A Master or equivalent degree in a relevant field (completion of the MA thesis before the PhD project starts), including linguistics and Deaf studies;
  • Field work experience or demonstrable affinity with it;
  • Ability to work independently in a multidisciplinary setting;
  • Social and organizational competencies;
  • Proficiency in English and a sign language (or the intention and ability to reach this within a short period).

Research at our Faculty/Institute

The Faculty of Humanities is rich in expertise in fields such as philosophy, religious studies, history, art history, literature, linguistics and area studies covering nearly every region of the world. With its staff of 995, the faculty provides 27 master’s and 25 bachelor’s programmes for over 7,000 students based at locations in Leiden’s historic city centre and in modern buildings in The Hague. For more information

LUCL wishes to create a stimulating intellectual environment in which PhD students can develop into mature researchers. The emphasis of the training programme is on communal learning in a highly interactive context. The final purpose of the PhD programme is to educate linguists who not only are specialists in their chosen field, but also have a grasp of the larger issues in linguistics, including interdisciplinary research. More information on our PhD program

Terms and conditions

Appointment will be according to the terms of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten). The employment will be for a period of four years (first a contract of 18 months with an extension of 30 months after positive evaluation of capabilities and compatibility), starting January 1 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter. The appointment must lead to the completion of a PhD thesis. The gross monthly salary is set on € 2,222.- in the first year, increasing to € 2,840.- gross per month in the final year, based on fulltime employment.

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at


Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups. Deaf candidates are specifically encouraged to apply.


For further information on this project please contact Victoria Nyst, email, or on practical matters Maarit van Gammeren, email
For further information on the project, see


Applicants are kindly requested to submit the following documents (in Dutch or English):
1. A letter stating your motivation for the position;
2. A CV;
3. References: the names and contact details (email addresses) of two persons whom we may contact for further information. One of these should be your MA thesis supervisor;
4. Copies of your academic transcripts;
5. A copy of your MA thesis, and any other publication that is representative for your research qualities.

Please submit these documents in one file containing documents 1 to 5 (PDF or Word file), using your last name as document name (e.g. BROWN.pdf).
Applicants should submit their application (documents as described above) no later than 30 November 2017 by email to, clearly indicating the vacancy number (17-387).

Laatst Gewijzigd: 24-10-2017