Post-doctoral Research Fellowship in Linguistics (Language Acquisition, Variation & Attrition)

Application date: 1. August 2018 2018/1729

One Post-doctoral Research Fellowship within Linguistics (Language Acquisition, Variation & Attrition) is available in the Department of Language and Culture at the University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway (UiT). The position is affiliated with the LAVA and AcqVA research groups (Language Acquisition, Variation & Attrition).

The appointment is a fixed term position for a period of three years.

The Post-doctoral Research Fellowship aims to qualify the researcher for work in senior academic positions. A candidate may not be appointed to more than one fixed-term position as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the same institution.

For further information about the position, please contact Professor Marit Westergaard, Tel: +47 77 64 42 56, e-mail: or Professor Merete Anderssen, Tel: + 47 77 64 42 54, e-mail:


The position is affiliated with the Department of Language and Culture (ISK). The Department has 75 permanent employees, 10 adjunct professors, and approximately 30 PhD fellows. Additionally, the Department has approximately 25 temporary research and teaching positions. The Department’s core activities are research, teaching, and dissemination within linguistics, literature, art history, and media and documentation studies.

The Department has a very active and diverse research profile. It houses one of the world’s most excellent research communities in linguistics, with research groups within cognitive linguistics (CLEAR), Sami language technology (Giellatekno and Divvun), sociolinguistics (LAIDUA), language acquisition (LAVA), and theoretical linguistics (CASTL-FISH). The Department’s research communities within literature, art history, and media and documentation studies are nationally highly competitive, and are organised into research groups such as Health Art Society (HAS), Russian Space, WARGAME and ALMPUB

ISK offers one-year programme education, Bachelor, and Master programmes within general linguistics, literature, art history, media and documentation studies, English, Kven, Finnish, Norwegian, Russian, Sami, Spanish, and German. It also offers PhD education within cultural/literary studies, art history, media and documentation studies, and linguistics.

LAVA is an exceptionally active and productive research group, currently consisting of 21 active researchers, including seven professors/associate professors, four Professor II positions (20%), a lab manager, four researchers/postdoctoral fellows, two MSCA postdocs, and three PhD students. From the fall of 2018, one more MSCA postdoc and one PhD student will join the group. The group members are involved in a number of research projects both locally and internationally, e.g. the MiMS and SALT projects financed by the RCN. For further information about the group’s work and activities, see the website of the LAVA research group here: The LAVA research community in Tromsø is also involved in a joint research group with NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, AcqVA (

The appointed Post-doctoral Research Fellow must have her/his daily workplace at UiT, campus Tromsø.

The position’s field of research/research project and other duties

For a number of years, the acquisition research group at UiT has worked on monolingual language acquisition, focusing on linguistic phenomena where there is variation in the input, e.g. word order variation expressing fine distinctions in syntax and information structure. Currently, the group has shifted its main focus to variation in a bilingual/multilingual perspective, i.e. bilingual acquisition (2L1), second and third language acquisition (L2 and L3), as well as heritage languages (e.g. Norwegian in the USA or Russian in Norway). Recent and current research projects in the LAVA group study language combinations such as Norwegian-English, Norwegian-Russian, German-Russian, Norwegian-North Sami, Latvian-Russian, Spanish-English-Portuguese, as well as L3 acquisition focusing on English. There is also increasing interest in investigations of two closely related varieties, e.g. Spanish-Catalan or two Norwegian dialects. The advertised Post-doctoral position opens up for research projects on the same or other relevant language or dialect combinations.

The work of the LAVA/AcqVA reserach groups has a theoretical foundation and the focus is on the mental grammars of various populations of speakers. The object of study is microvariation and the importance of factors such as complexity, frequency or economy in the acquisition process and in heritage language situations. The research methodology includes both corpora of spontaneous production as well as different types of experimental work (production experiments, eyetracking, etc.).

Applicants for the advertised Post-doctoral position should propose a research project that will strengthen and complement the research profile of the LAVA/AcqVA research groups. The project proposal should be 5-8 pages.

Qualification requirements

  • A PhD in Linguistics or another relevant field.
  • Experience with experimental methods in language acquisition, variation and/or attrition.
  • Excellent command of spoken and written English.

The applicant must provide a research proposal (5-8 pages) with a progress plan for the project’s main activities and outcomes. It is a prerequisite that the applicant will be able to complete the project within the period of employment.

In the assessment, the main emphasis will be attached to the academic production and the project proposal.

Personal suitability will be considered.

Working conditions

The working hours are reserved for research, research related activities and research administration.

The successful candidate must be willing to engage him/herself in the ongoing development of their discipline and the university as a whole.

The remuneration for this position is in accordance with the State salary scale code 1352.

A compulsory contribution of 2% to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted.


The application must be submitted electronically via the application form available on and shall include:

  • letter of application
  • project description (5-8 pages)
  • CV (containing a complete overview of education, supervised professional training and professional work)
  • diplomas and references
  • list of academic work containing the following information:
    • author(s), the work’s title
    • for articles: the journal’s name and volume, the first and last page of the article, year of publication
    • for publications: publisher, printer, year of publication, number of pages
  • up to ten publications that are central to the applicant’s academic production. The applicant’s PhD thesis should be submitted as one of these publications.

Additionally, the applicant should provide a description of his/her academic production, indicating which publications are the most relevant in relation to the announced position. The remaining publications should be described briefly in order to demonstrate the depth of the production. The descriptions should be attached to the application.


The applicants will be assessed by an expert committee. It is the committee’s mandate to assess the applicants’ qualifications based on their submitted publications and the job announcement.

The best qualified applicants will be selected for interviews. The interview will focus on the applicant’s motivation and personal suitability for the position. The applicants may be required to give a trial lecture.

Other information

UiT The Arctic University of Norway wishes to increase the proportion of women in research positions. In the event that two or more applicants are found to be approximately equally qualified, female applicants will be given priority.

For further information, applicants should consult the supplementary regulations for appointment to postdoktor (postdoctoal Research Fellow), stipendiat (PhD) and vitenskapelige assistent (Research Assistant) positions at the UiTand the

Questions concerning the organisation of the working environment, such as the physical state of the place of employment, health service, possibility for flexible working hours, part time, etc. may be directed to the telephone reference in this announcement.

UiT’s HR policy objectives emphasises diversity and encourages all qualified applicants to apply regardless of gender, functional ability and national or ethnic background.

UiT is an IW (Inclusive Workplace) enterprise and will make the necessary adaptations in order to facilitate for employees with reduced functional ability.

Personal data given in an application or CV will be processed in accordance with the Personal Data Act. In accordance with Section 25 subsection 2 of the Freedom of Information Act, the applicant may request not to be registered on the public list of applicants. However, the University may nevertheless decide to publish the applicant’s name. The applicant will receive advance notification in the event of such publication.