PhD Position in Language

University of Zurich


PhD Position in Language

The NCCR Evolving Language ( invites applications for a PhD position in an interdisciplinary project on the evolution of languages, their structures, and usage patterns over time and space, and under diverse social and population-historical conditions. The successful applicant will work in a project focusing on input features in child-directed speech comparing neurotypical and autistic children.

The NCCR is a Swiss National Center of Competence in Research with the goal of creating a new discipline, Evolutionary Language Science, that targets the past and future of language. The center consists of leading scientists from traditionally separated academic domains, which allows us to harvest the diverse expertise from the humanities, social sciences, computational sciences, natural sciences and medicine towards a broadscale interdisciplinary collaboration.

Your responsibilities

Employment is at 80% FTE (including 10 % teaching assistant tasks). The position is a training opportunity and the successful candidate is expected to use the remaining unpaid 20 % for their own further training and skill development.

Your profile

The successful candidates have a background in (general) linguistics, good data science skills (in particular statistical modeling of corpus and database data), and are ready to step out of their disciplinary comfort zones. Specializations in language acquisition research is a plus. Basic knowledge of anthropology, biology, or psychology are welcome additions.

The NCCR Evolving Language places great emphasis on teamwork and multidisciplinary perspectives. Excellent communication and collaboration skills are essential.

What we offer

PhD positions lead to a dissertation and can be financed up to 4 years. We offer an interdisciplinary, collaborative and supportive work environment.

UZH offers excellent opportunities and strong support for career development. Salaries are internationally competitive: Salary ranges, guidelines for employees in SNF-funded projects (PDF)

We take gender balance and diversity seriously in our hiring decisions.

Place of work

The position is primarily located at the Department of Comparative Language Science at the University of Zurich (UZH) with close cooperation with the University of Geneva. The successful applicant will be jointly supervised by Sabine Stoll (University of Zurich) and Marie Schaer (University of Geneva).

Start of employment

We will begin reviewing applications June 1 and keep the positions open until filled. Start of employment will be September 1, 2024 or upon agreement.

Please upload a cover letter that explains your main interests in language science and your motivation to join our interdisciplinary team(s), your CV, the names of two referees (no letters), and one or two samples of your work in a single PDF via Jobs UZH. Please also add a list of the courses you took including grades. The name of the PDF should end in _InputFeatures.pdf.

Further information

Please direct all inquiries to

In your application, please refer to


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