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PhD candidate in the field of linguistics (specialization: forensic phonetics)

Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics has a vacancy for a PhD candidate in the field of linguistics (specialization: forensic phonetics) (1.0 FTE).

11 maanden geleden


Begijnhof, Leiden, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


The Speaker in Speech is an NWO VIDI project (2017-2022) hosted by the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics. This project investigates the relationship between speaker information and linguistic information in the acoustic speech signal. Project goals are to further our understanding of how speakers show variation within their own speech and how they differ from others, as conditioned by linguistic structure, and to thus advance the state of the art in forensic speech science. The main research questions are (i) how does the speaker specificity of speech sounds (i.e. indexical information) depend on linguistically-determined aspects of the spoken message, and (ii) how can speech features be optimally combined to characterize speakers. The research project benefits from a close cooperation with the Netherlands Forensic Institute.

The PhD student is expected to:

  • Conduct acoustic-phonetic research on how consonants and high-frequency syllables carry speaker characteristics in Dutch spontaneous speech;
  • Submit manuscripts for publication in (inter)national peer-reviewed journals;
  • Present research output at (inter)national conferences;
  • Write a PhD thesis on forensic phonetics;
  • Contribute to the development of annotation and measurement databases;
  • Contribute to teaching and/or to advising/supervising BA and MA students affiliated with the project;
  • Spend 1-3 months at a foreign lab for research/training;
  • Participate in reading/ discussions groups within LUCL, and workshops within and outside of LUCL.


  • A completed Master (or equivalent) degree in a relevant field; a specialization in phonetics would be an advantage;
  • Affinity with the topic of the research project;
  • Demonstrable experience with speech analysis software as well as phonetic research skills, such as scripting, speech annotation, and speech analysis;
  • Familiar with statistical and/or computational methods (e.g., using SPSS and/or R);
  • Excellent command of Dutch and English, with good scientific writing skills;
  • Good social and organizational skills;
  • Able to work both independently and as part of a team;
  • You have an understanding of ethical principles of research, and the ability to work accordingly.


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 April 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.

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 https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Additional information

Enquiries with regard to the project can be made to Dr. Willemijn F. L. Heeren, email w.f.l.heeren@hum.leidenuniv.nl.
For practical matters, please contact Maarit van Gammeren, email m.s.k.van.gammeren@hum.leidenuniv.nl.
Further information about the project can be found at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/research/research-projects/humanities/the-speaker-in-speech.

Applications should be submitted no later than January 14, 2018, by email to vacatureslucl@hum.leidenuniv.nl, and should include:

  • A cover letter;
  • A CV;
  • Names and contact details of two referees;
  • A copy of your MA thesis, possibly complemented with another publication representative of your writing and research qualities.

Include the listed items, in this order, in ONE single PDF or ZIP file named ‘FAMILY NAME–Given name–vacancy title/number’.
Interviews for this position will be held 1 and 2 February 2018.


Leiden is a typical university city, hosting the oldest university in the Netherlands (1575). The University permeates the local surroundings; University premises are scattered throughout the city, and the students who live and study in Leiden give the city its relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere.

Leiden University is one of Europe's foremost research universities. This prominent position gives our graduates a leading edge in applying for academic posts and for functions outside academia. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at.

Faculty of Humanities

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.

Leiden University has a longstanding tradition in research in the world’s languages and features unique linguistic expertise. LUCL combines current theoretical insights and modern experimental methods in its research profile area “Language Diversity in the World”. For more information, see https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/humanities/leiden-university-centre-for-linguistics/.

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 programme www.hum.leiden.edu/lucl/phd-programme/phd-training-framework.html.