MSCA Doctoral candidate/PhD researcher

1.0 FTE
Gross monthly salary
€ 2,541 - € 3,247
Required background
Research University Degree
Organizational unit
Faculty of Arts
Application deadline
Applications are invited for a three-year, full-time PhD position at the Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University, Nijmegen (the Netherlands).

Project title: Towards an automatic characterization of micro-level structures in discourse from social networks 

[Reference number: HYBRIDS-DC1]

The PhD project is embedded in the HYBRIDS Doctoral Network granted under the Horizon Europe Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and co-funded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) HE funding guarantee. The Network involves universities, research centres, non-profit organisations and companies from 7 European countries. 

The main scientific objective of HYBRIDS is to provide researchers with the knowledge necessary to design strategies and tools to respond to disinformation on the basis of a deep analysis of public discourse. The Doctoral project at RU focuses more specifically on the linguistic characteristics of discourse observed in social media and their rhetorical functions. The objectives in this PhD project are (1) to address the particularities of the discourse analysis and their automatization for short pieces of content (for example tweets or Reddit posts) and (2) to design a strategy to identify (micro)-units of discourse in short messages and their rhetorical relationships (e.g., opposition, causality, elaboration, etc.).

Expected outcomes of the project are (1) a hybrid methodology for the analysis and characterization of the peculiarities of short pieces of public discourse (from social networks) by making use of semantic-based NLP tasks such as identification of rhetorical structure, argument mining, paraphrasing, topic classification, and inference; (2) development of a system to identify and analyse (micro)-units of discourse in short messages based on their particularities; (3) to evaluate and validate the methodology and the system developed in practical use cases. (4) A use case on immigration.

As a candidate in the HYBRIDS Doctoral Network you will participate in secondments with other academic and non-academic partners in the Network and will be involved in Network-wide training activities. You will be enrolled as a PhD student in the Graduate School for the Humanities at RU.


  • A Master's degree from a research university in the field of Corpus Linguistics, Computational Linguistics, Linguistics, Artificial Intelligence, or any other relevant discipline.
  • Excellent command of English, together with good academic writing and presentation skills.
  • Familiar with current linguistic descriptive theory.
  • Experience with computational approaches to linguistic analysis, text mining and/or NLP.
  • Programming skills: scripting languages such as R or Python.
  • Able to work independently and flexibly, taking initiative where required.
  • Able to communicate and collaborate effectively in a team setting.
Eligibility criteria:
  • At the time of recruitment, the researcher must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the recruitment date. Time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention or compulsory national service are not taken into account.
  • The candidate must be at the date of recruitment a doctoral candidate (i.e. not already in possession of doctoral degree). Researchers who have successfully defended their doctoral thesis but who have not yet formally been awarded the doctoral degree will not be considered eligible.
  • The candidate must agree to work exclusively for the action.

We are

The Centre for Language Studies is a research institute of the Faculty of Arts dedicated to the understanding of language and the way we use it. Over the years, it has become part of CLS's profile to be an outstanding research institute that contributes to science by sharing its research output, including all kinds of datasets, corpora and innovative tools. We seek collaboration with academic and societal partners to contribute to society, for instance by means of professional publications, outreach events and innovative applications. Here you will work in a team-driven environment. We like to collaborate, inform each other about achievements, challenges and drawbacks in our projects, and learn from each other where we can.

At Radboud University we aim to contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive world which is why we especially seek applications from candidates who bring diverse perspectives, background and skills that will be assets to our study programmes and research profiles.

Radboud University

We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!

We offer

  • It concerns an employment for 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross salary amounts €2,541 to €3,247 per month based on a 38-hour working week (salary scale P). In addition you will receive a mobility allowance of €600 per month and, where applicable, a family allowance of €660 per month and a special needs allowance.
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • It concerns a temporary employment for 3 years.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.

Additional employment conditions

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Would you like more information?

For questions about the position, please contact Nelleke Oostdijk, Associate professor CLS at nelleke.oostdijk [at]

Practical information and applying

You can apply until 26 April 2023. Application through the HYBRIDS website: You must fill in an online application form and are asked to upload the following documents:
  • Europass CV (template available in the following link), including the names and contact details of two academic references, in English, highlighting the merits that are established as evaluation criteria.
  • Scans of Bachelor's and Master's transcripts, with certified translation in English (if the degree qualification is not in English); If you have not yet completed your master's, you must submit a provisional academic transcript.
  • A motivation letter in English, highlighting the consistency between your profile and the chosen DC position/s for which you are applying and describing why you wish to be a HYBRIDS Doctoral Candidate to carry out a PhD (max. 700 words).
  • A scanned copy of your ID card, resident's card or passport currently in force.
  • Proof of excellent command of English (e.g., IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge or equivalent). This is not required in case you are a native English speaker (i.e., English is your mother tongue).
You would preferably begin employment on 1 July 2023.
Apply on external website Application deadline

We would like to recruit our new colleague ourselves. Acquisition in response to this vacancy will not be appreciated.

Dr Oostdijk, N.H.J. (Nelleke)

Associate professor CLS

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