Doctoral Scholarship in Historical Linguistics of English
University of Antwerp Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Department: Department of Linguistics

Regime Full-time

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The University of Antwerp is a dynamic, forward-thinking, European university. We offer an innovative academic education to more than 20 000 students, conduct pioneering scientific research and play an important service-providing role in society. We are one of the largest, most international and most innovative employers in the region. With more than 6000 employees from 100 different countries, we are helping to build tomorrow's world every day. Through top scientific research, we push back boundaries and set a course for the future – a future that you can help to shape.

The Department of Linguistics in the Faculty of Arts is looking for a full-time (100%) doctoral scholarship holder in the field of historical linguistics (of English)


  • You will work actively on the preparation of a PhD thesis in the field of historical linguistics of English. The project you will work on is entitled ‘Complexity in complementation: understanding long-term change in verb complementation in terms of inter- and intra-individual variation’. The project is an international collaboration between the University of Antwerp (Prof. Dr. Peter Petré) and the University of Leiden (Dr. Lauren Fonteyn). It consists of an innovative data-oriented examination of stable variation in the English complementation system from about 1700 to the early 20th century (e.g. I remember a detective coming in vs. that a detective came in). The focus is on cognitive mechanisms motivating complementation choices that are different between individuals and therefore cannot easily be averaged over, yet may feed into long-term communal change. More information can be found here.
  • You will (co-)publish scientific articles related to the research project.
  • You will carry out a number of teaching and research supporting tasks.


  • You hold an MA in Linguistics, MA in English Language and Literature, or equivalent, or you will have obtained it by the time you start work.
  • You can demonstrate excellent study results.
  • Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies.
  • You act with attention to quality, integrity, creativity and cooperation.
  • You are familiar with usage-based linguistic theory and/or corpus research;
  • Familiarity with one or more of the following is an assetStudents in the final year of their degree can also apply;
    • Late Modern English language
    • statistical analysis;
    • representation learning algorithms (e.g., artificial neural networks, K-means clustering, ...)
  • Foreign candidates are encouraged to apply;

What we offer

  • We offer a doctoral scholarship for a period of one years. Following a positive evaluation, the scholarship can be renewed once for another three-year period.
  • The planned start date is 1 October 2021 or as soon as possible after that date.
  • Your monthly scholarship amount is calculated according to the scholarship amounts for doctoral scholarship holders on the pay scales for Contract Research Staff (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • You will do most of your work at the university’s City Campus (Stadscampus) in a dynamic and stimulating working environment.
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here.

 Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to and including 12 July 2021 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on the 'Apply' button, complete the online application form and be sure to include the following attachments: a motivation letter, your CV, as well as a sample of your academic writing (preferably your MA thesis, or another research paper).
  • The selection committee will review all of the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. As soon as a decision has been made, we will inform you about the next steps in the selection procedure. Please take note of the interview date of 2 September 2021.
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to If you have any questions about the job itself, please contact Prof. Dr. Peter Petré, who is the project supervisor (; 0032 3 265 40 12).

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.

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