PhD position in the project 'Time in Translation: a semantics of the Perfect' (1.0 FTE)

ongeveer een maand geleden


Domplein, Utrecht, Utrecht
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 40 uur
€ 2191 - € 2801 per maand

Utrecht University's Faculty of Humanities is looking for a PhD position in the project 'Time in Translation: a semantics of the Perfect'. Are you interested? Then please read the full profile and apply.


You will be participating in the project 'Time in Translation: a semantics of the Perfect'.

This project is funded by NWO, by way of a Vrije Competitie project awarded to Prof. dr. Henriëtte de Swart and Dr. Bert Le Bruyn at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. The project aims to develop the meaning of the present perfect. We will collect data from five languages (Dutch, English, German, French, Spanish) in parallel corpora, and analyse perfect use in relation to other verbal tense forms both at the sentence and at the discourse level. Translation experiments will be used to check the space of variation in choosing one form over another.

In this project, two PhD positions and a postdoc position will be available. One PhD position has already been filled, and the postdoc position will start later, so we are currently searching to hire a PhD candidate for the following subproject: 'Perfect use in discourse: from conversation to literary texts'.

The PhD will focus on the discourse role of the perfect in conversation and literary texts, and will be responsible for developing an analysis of non-narrative tense use. Data collection and translation experiments will be carried out in close collaboration with the other PhD and the postdoc. The interaction, collaboration and sharing of data with the other researchers in the project is therefore expected. The PhD candidates and the postdoctoral researcher will of course have the opportunity to fill in the details of these projects or expand them, based on their expertise, the data they gather and their own research ideas, in consultation with the two project leaders.

Tasks for the PhD candidate will include:

  • completion and defence of a PhD thesis within four years;
  • carrying out corpus research and translation experiments, in agreement with the supervisors and division of labour within the team;
  • regular presentation of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
  • publication of at least two peer-reviewed articles;
  • co-organization of workshops and conferences;
  • participation in all training programmes and expert meetings scheduled for the project;
  • participation in selected training programmes scheduled for the Research Institute, Graduate School and the National Research School;
  • teaching.


  • A (soon to be completed) (research) Master’s degree in Linguistics, with a focus on semantics and pragmatics; prior experience with corpus research and/or experiments welcome;
  • Excellent English oral proficiency, academic writing and presentation skills;
  • Fluency in at least two languages of the project besides English (Dutch, German, French, Spanish);
  • An outstanding record of work in the Master's degree;
  • Ability to meet deadlines and work both as an independent researcher and as part of a team;
  • Ability to work in an international, interdisciplinary team;
  • Excellent organizational, social and communication skills.


The PhD position can be offered at 1.0 FTE, starting 1 October 2017, initially for a period of 18 months. Upon good performance and a positive evaluation, the contract will be extended for the remaining 30 months period (4 years in total). The gross monthly salary starts at €2,191 in the first year, and ends at €2,801 in the fourth year, on a full-time basis.

Utrecht University offers a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% per year, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and flexible employment conditions. Conditions are based on the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities. More information: working at Utrecht University.

Additional information

If you are interested, please contact the project director, Prof. dr. Henriëtte de Swart ( or the research coordinator at UiL OTS (Maaike Schoorlemmer) for more information.
More information: a short description of the project Time in Translation.


A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

The Faculty of Humanities has approximately seven thousand students and nine hundred staff members. With its research and education, the Faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and committed colleagues and the excellent amenities in the historical city centre of Utrecht, where the Faculty is housed, contribute to an inspiring working environment.

Researchers at UiL OTS are distributed across six research groups, focusing on the following range of linguistic subdomains: Language, Logic and Information (to which the current project belongs), Language Variation, Linguistic Theory and Language Acquisition, Language Processing and Language Pathology, Language and Education, Language and Communication. It comprises approximately 20 full professors, a dozen postdocs and roughly 40 PhD students.

The Department of Language, Literature and Communication offers BA and MA programmes in literary studies, linguistics, communication studies, translation, as well as Dutch, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and (uniquely in the Netherlands) Celtic languages.


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