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PostDoc position in Music Cognition at UvA/ILLC and Leiden

Function typesPostdoc positions
Scientific fieldsBehaviour and Society, Language and Culture
Hours38.0 hours per week
Salarymaximum € 3530
Job number 12-251

Job description

The successful candidate will:

  • conduct original research in line with both the general research project and the Postdoc-project described above;
  • present intermediate research results at (international) conferences;
  • submit research results for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals;
  • assist in teaching activities in the domain of music cognition;
  • participate in the programme's research activities and and their organization, including reading and discussions groups, seminars, conferences, workshops, and joint publications;
  • collaborate with the researchers in the other teams of the programme;
  • apply for external funding related to the priority program.  


We are looking for someone who:

  • has completed a doctoral degree in a relevant field, such as cognitive science, music cognition, linguistics, or psychology. PhD~students who are close to defending their dissertation are also welcome to apply;
  • has a keen interest in cognitive science, music cognition, and linguistics;
  • has publications in peer-reviewed journals or with established academic publishers;
  • has a curious, enterprising, and creative mind as well as excellent analytical and organizational skills;
  • has an excellent command of both spoken and written English, as well as outstanding writing and presentation skills;
  • has the ability to work both independently and as part of a team, as well as the ambition to pursue an academic career in an internationally oriented scientific context. Experience with external fundraising is an advantage.

Conditions of employment

We offer a dynamic, enthusiastic, inspiring and supportive working environment. In addition to thorough research training, the graduate schools of both universities offer a variety of courses aimed at training of professional and personal skills. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by various national research schools.

You can choose an appointment for three years at 1.0fte or for four years at 0.75fte. The Postdoc project must result in the publication of a minimum of three articles. The appointment will be under the terms of the CAO (collective labour agreement) of the Dutch Universities. The gross monthly salary based on full-time employment ranges from € 2977,- in the first year up to a maximum of € 3530,- gross per month, depending on experience and qualifications. Benefits include a pension build-up, an annual holiday premium of 8% and an end-of-year premium of 8.3%. Non-Dutch nationals may be eligible for a substantial tax break (30% ruling).


Leiden University

Leiden is a typical university city, hosting the oldest university in the Netherlands (1575). The University permeates the local surroundings; University premises are scattered throughout the city, and the students who live and study in Leiden give the city its relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere.

Leiden University is one of Europe's foremost research universities. This prominent position gives our graduates a leading edge in applying for academic posts and for functions outside academia.


Additional information


In various domains of cognitive science, a new paradigm holds that humans and non-human animals are born with a small set of hard-wired cognitive abilities that are task-specific, language-independent, and non-species-specific. These core knowledge systemsare innate cognitive skills that have the capacity for building mental representations of objects, persons, spatial relationships, numerosity, and social interaction. In addition to core knowledge systems, humans possess species-specific, uniquely human abilities such as language and music.

The 'core knowledge' paradigm challenges scholars in the humanities to ask the question how nurture and culture build on nature. This project examines the way in which innate, non specifically human, core knowledge systems for object representation, number, and geometry constrain cultural expressions in music, language, and the visual arts. In this research program, four domains of the humanities will be investigated from the point of view of core knowledge:

- subproject 1music cognition        
                (1PhD student, 1 Postdoc, teamleader: Prof.dr H. Honing)

- subproject 2language and number              
                (1PhD student, 1 Postdoc, teamleader: Prof.dr S. Barbiers)

- subproject 3visual arts and geometry
                (1PhD student, 1 Postdoc, teamleaders: M. Delbeke & Prof.dr C. van Eck)

- subproject 4poetry, rhythm, and meter (1PhD student, 1 Postdoc)

                (1PhD student, 1 Postdoc, teamleader: Prof.dr M. van Oostendorp)

Postdoc project: What is shared (and what is unique) in music and language

As a part of the subproject on music cognition, the Postdoc project will investigate the nature of the relationship between music and language. The candidate will attempt to integrate insights from theoretical linguistics and developmental-experimental studies, and combine these with recent insights from the field of music cognition.


The Postdoc will participate in and contribute to a research team comprising a total of 4 PhD students and 4 Postdocs in four teams corresponding to the subprojects outlined above. The entire project is coordinated by Prof.dr Johan Rooryck at LeidenUniversity. The Postdoc will work in two locations: LUCL at LeidenUniversity, which is the home base of the research team, and Prof.dr. Henkjan Honing's Music Cognition Group (MCG) at the Universityof Amsterdam. The project will start on 1 February 2013. For more information, please see the full description of the project at

Research at LUCL and the Music Cognition Group (MCG) at the University of Amsterdam

Leiden University has a longstanding tradition in research in the world's languages and features unique linguistic expertise. LUCL combines current theoretical insights and modern experimental methods in its research profile area 'Language Diversity in the World'. For more information, see:

The Music Cognition Group (MCG) is part of the Department of Musicology, the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC), and the Cognitive Science Center Amsterdam (CSCA) of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). For more information, see

For further information on these projects please contact: Prof.dr Henkjan Honing or Prof.dr. Johan Rooryck ; or with respect to practical matters Ms Gea Hakker, .     

Please send your application only to .

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