Universiteit van Amsterdam

Postdoctoral researcher in Semantics: Linguistic Interpretation as Abduction

Deadline: Saturday 24 October 2020
Postdoctoral researcher in Semantics: Linguistic Interpretation as Abduction
Publication date 28 September 2020
Closing date 24 October 2020
Level of education PhD
Hours 38 hours per week
Salary indication €2,790 to €4,402 gross per month
Vacancy number 20-567

Are you a high potential young researcher with a PhD degree in Logic, Linguistics, Philosophy, Computational Linguistics, or a related discipline, and would you be interested to join the Logic and Language programme at our institute to investigate Linguistic Interpretation as Abduction? If so, we invite you to apply for this position.

This postdoc position is part of the NWO Open Competition project 'A Sentence Uttered Makes a World Appear---Natural Language Interpretation as Abductive Model Generation'. The successful applicant will join the group of Reinhard Muskens. The aim of the project is to explore how semantic values are assigned to natural language expressions in a compositional way and how the resulting values, represented as logical expressions, are subsequently enriched by means of abductive reasoning. The latter is studied in a tableaux setting.

What are you going to do?

You will be expected to fulfil the following tasks:

  • collaborate with the other researchers working on the project (the PI and two further postdocs, one of whom is to be hired at a later date);
  • assist with the supervision of PhD candidates and MSc students;
  • regularly present research results at international workshops and conferences, and publish them in conference proceedings and journals;
  • participate in and contribute to the organisation of research activities and events at the institute, such as workshops and colloquia;
  • while this is primarily a research position, you will have the opportunity to contribute to teaching activities.

What do we require?

You have:

  • a PhD degree in Logic, Linguistics, Philosophy, Computational Linguistics, or a related discipline;
  • a strong background in Logic and Natural Language Semantics, as witnessed by publications in relevant conference proceedings or journals;
  • in-depth knowledge of one of the following areas is a plus: 1) Resolution calculi and tableau calculi for first-order and higher-order logics, 2) Theories of abductive inference, 3) Belief Revision;
  • a strong passion for research and the wish to learn new skills through working with or assisting in guiding PhD and MSc students;
  • excellent communication skills in English, both oral and written.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours a week, preferably starting on 1 December 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter. You will be given an initial contract for a probation period of one year. On positive evaluation, your contract will be extended for a further two years.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,790 to €4,402 (scale 10) gross per month, based on a full-time contract of 38 hours a week. This is exclusive 8 % holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Then find out more about working at the Faculty of Science.

About the Faculty of Science and the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation  

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) is an interdisciplinary research institute at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) in which researchers from the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Humanities collaborate. Its central research area is the study of fundamental principles of encoding, transmission and comprehension of information. Research at ILLC is interdisciplinary, and aims at bringing together insights from various disciplines concerned with information and information processing, such as logic, mathematics, computer science, linguistics, natural language processing, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, music cognition, and philosophy. ILLC offers an international research environment with world-class faculty in all of its areas of specialization.


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Please contact:

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 24 October 2020. You may apply online by using the link below.

Applications (in one single .pdf file, using your surname as the file name) should include:

  • a cover letter, including a description of your research interests and accomplishments, as well as an explanation for why you are applying for this position (at most two pages);
  • a detailed curriculum vitae (CV), including your list of publications;
  • links to three selected publications available online, with a short motivation for the selection made (mature drafts of papers or papers currently under submission are also acceptable);
  • a link to your PhD thesis available online (if available already) or an indication of the current status of your PhD thesis;
  • the names, affiliations, and email addresses of three people we can contact for letters of reference for you.

We will invite potential candidates for interviews on 06 November 2020.

No agencies please