Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)
Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)

Researcher (SKO 1109) in Language and Cognitive Science

Deadline: 15.02.2021

Universitetet i Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest ranked educational and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. With its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.

The Department embraces four disciplines: Philosophy, Classical Languages (Greek and Latin), History of Ideas and Art History. The Department is also responsible for the introductory philosophy courses, obligatory for all students attending study programmes at the University of Oslo. The Department has about 110 employees.

Vision shapes language: Referential communication in blind, sighted and newly-sighted individuals, Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas

Job description

A one year Researcher position (SKO 1109) is available at the Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, University of Oslo.

The Researcher position is funded by the Norwegian Research Council and is associated with the project ‘Vision shapes language: Referential communication in blind, sighted and newly-sighted individuals’ (Project No. 275505). The candidate is expected to present a research proposal to contribute to the main research project.

The aim of this research project is to investigate the contribution of visual processes to verbal communication; in particular, the act of referring to the physical world around us. In order to investigate this question, the referential abilities of blind and sighted individuals will be studied separately as well as comparatively. The project will also investigate the referential abilities of a third and unique population, the Prakash children of India: newly-sighted children who were born blind and gained vision after they acquired language. Since language acquisition takes place either with or without vision, studying the communicative development of newly-sighted children will give us an extraordinary opportunity: to isolate the contribution of visual processes to the development of referential communication.

More about the position

The Researcher will join the project in the fourth and last year. Applicants are expected to submit a project plan for the position, with the aim of developing a model of referential communication and common ground on the basis of the behavioral studies conducted in the project. This work will build on the ongoing collaboration between the two Co-PIs in the project, Dr. Paula Rubio-Fernández from the University of Oslo and Dr. Julian Jara-Ettinger from Yale University. Rubio- Fernández and Jara-Ettinger have started to investigate the role of visual processes in referential communication by building speaker and listener models in the probabilistic programming framework used by Jara-Ettinger and colleagues.

The position is available for a period of 1 year, starting 1st May 2021, without teaching or administrative requirements. In connection with this position, the PI in the project will apply for a Mobility Grant for the Researcher to visit Julian Jara-Ettinger’s lab at the Psychology Department in Yale University to continue working in collaboration with the two co-PIs, while honing their computational skills.

The successful candidate is expected to become part of the research environment/network of the department and contribute to its development.

Qualification requirements

  • PhD in Psychology, Cognitive Science or Linguistics, with a specialization in language development and/or experimental pragmatics.
  • Expertise in computational modelling and programming.
  • Experience with probabilistic models of cognitive development and communication / pragmatics.
  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English
  • The candidate's research project must be closely connected to the main project

Recent graduates are invited to apply provided their doctoral dissertation has been submitted for evaluation before the application deadline. Graduates with previous postdoctoral experience are also welcome to apply.

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Paula Rubio-Fernández regarding their research experience and eligibility for the position.

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

  • The project’s scientific merit, research-related relevance and innovation.
  • The applicant’s programming skills and level of experience with computational modelling.
  • The applicant’s estimated academic and personal ability to carry out the project within the allotted time frame.
  • Good co-operative skills, and the ability to successfully join in academic collaboration within and across disciplines.

We offer

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Application letter describing the applicant’s qualifications and motivation for the position.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • List of publications
  • Project description (2-4 pages) on how to develop a model of referential communication and common ground on the basis of the behavioral studies conducted in the project. Please see "more about the position". The project description must present a feasible progress plan. It is expected that the applicant will be able to complete the project during the period of appointment.

Diplomas, certificates, doctoral thesis and other academic works may be requested later.

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, jobbnorge.no. Applicants with education from a foreign university must attach an explanation of their university’s grading system.

The short-listed candidates will be invited for an interview.

Formal regulations

See Rules for the use of research posts at UiO.

Following the Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) § 25, Chapter 2, information about the applicant may be used in the public list of applicants even if the applicant opts out from the entry in the public application list.

The University of Oslo has an Acquisition of Rights Agreement for the purpose of securing rights to intellectual property created by its employees, including research results.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.


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