News and Events: Open Positions

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Postdoctoral Researcher in Semantics: Linguistic Interpretation as Abduction

Deadline: Sunday 8 May 2022
Faculty/Services: Faculty of Science
Educational level: Promoted
Function type: Academic Staff
Closing date: 8 May 2022
Vacancy number: 8658


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 us at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) in order 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 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);

  • 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

Your experience and profile:

  1. a PhD degree in Logic, Linguistics, Philosophy, Computational Linguistics, or a related discipline;
  2. a strong background in Logic and Natural Language Semantics, as witnessed by publications in relevant conference proceedings or journals;
  3. a strong passion for research and the wish to learn new skills through working with or assisting in guiding PhD and MSc students;
  4. excellent communication skills in English, both oral and written.

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.

Please note that knowledge of the Dutch language is not required for this position, nor is it required for being able to live in Amsterdam. However, members of staff at the ILLC have the opportunity to attend Dutch language classes if they wish.

Our offer

We offer a temporary contract for 38 hours a week, starting as soon as possible. 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 year.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between €2,846 to €4,490 (scale 10). This does not include 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end allowance. The UFO profile Researcher 4 is applicable. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherlands is applicable.

Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park we offer you multiple fringe benefits:

  • 232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime) and extra holidays between Christmas and 1 January;

  • multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;

  • a complete educational program for PhD students;

  • multiple courses on topics such as leadership for academic staff;

  • multiple courses on topics such as time management, handling stress and an online learning platform with 100+ different courses;

  • 7 weeks birth leave (partner leave) with 100% salary;

  • partly paid parental leave;

  • the possibility to set up a workplace at home;

  • a pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;

  • the possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;

  • help with housing for a studio or small apartment when you’re moving from abroad.

Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here.

About us

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 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 in which researchers from the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Humanities collaborate. Research at the ILLC brings together insights from various disciplines concerned with the study of fundamental principles of encoding, transmission, and comprehension of information, such as computer science, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, mathematics, logic, philosophy, and cognitive science. The institute offers a friendly and international research environment with world-class faculty in all of its areas of specialisation. We are based in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, renowned for its historic system of canals, its laid-back cosmopolitan atmosphere, and its excellent connections to the rest of Europe and the world.


Do you have any question about this vacancy? You are very welcome to get in touch:

Job application

Interested? Then we would like to hear from you! Your application should include the following information (in the form ofone single PDF):

  • 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);

  • your CV, including your list of publications and the URL of your professional homepage;

  • links to two selected publications (you have made) 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 currentstatus of your PhD thesis;

  • the names, affiliations, and email addresses of three people we can contact for letters of reference.

Interviews are tentatively planned for the month of May 2022 (either online or in person). Please submit your application no later than 8 May 2022, using the link below. Please use the CV field to upload the PDF document specified above (and do not submit a separate document with a cover letter).

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.

If you encounter Error GBB451, reach out to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application.

Application form:

Please note that this newsitem has been archived, and may contain outdated information or links.