Max Planck Institute Fully-Funded Fellowship: A 4-Year Ph.D. Program


Introduction to the Max Planck Institute Fully-Funded 4-Year Ph.D. Fellowship

Applications are now open for the Max Planck Institute Fully-funded 4-year Ph.D. Fellowship. The Language Development Department of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, is offering a fully-funded four-year PhD fellowship. Part of the job description includes research on the causes and consequences of individual differences in language acquisition in early childhood, with a focus on sociogenomics (behavioural genetics). Take part in a collaborative project with an interdisciplinary group of scholars and Professor Caroline Rowland.

The successful applicant for this position will be responsible for investigating the complex relationship between genetics and language acquisition. This will involve conducting comprehensive research on the topic, using advanced techniques to uncover the underlying biological mechanisms that contribute to this phenomenon. To achieve this goal, the candidate will have access to state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and cutting-edge technology. They will work closely with a team of highly skilled researchers, collaborating on various research projects aimed at advancing our understanding of language development.

Overall, the successful candidate will be a highly motivated and innovative researcher with a passion for advancing our understanding of the biological underpinnings of language acquisition.


  • Essential: A Master’s degree in a relevant discipline (e.g., genetics, psychology, biology, neuroscience, cognitive and behavioural science). Students expecting to receive their Master’s degree by summer 2024 are eligible.
  • Keen interest in the role of genetics and the environment in human development.
  • Some experience in, and aptitude for, complex statistical modelling.
  • Excellent written and spoken English; knowledge of Dutch is advantageous but not required.
  • Desirable: experience in conducting analyses with developmental data and an explicit interest in and commitment to open science.

Fellowship Job Description

The selected candidate will

  • Conduct research on sociogenomics and language development in early childhood.
  • Apply concepts derived from the Familial Control Method to a population of Dutch-acquiring children and their family members.
  • Collaborate with the project team and set up collaborations with members of the Language and Genetics Department.
  • Potentially work on data from existing cohorts, such as the Netherlands Twin Register and the Youth Cohort Study.
  • Contribute to the understanding of individual differences in language learning.

Benefits of the Fellowship

  • The position is expected to begin in September or October 2024; the start date is negotiable, but the candidate should be in place by the end of 2024.
  • Full-time position (39 hours per week) for 4 years.
  • Starting gross monthly salary of approx. €3,008 based on full-time employment (TVöD).
  • 30 holidays per year, honoring both Dutch and German public holidays.
  • Enrollment in a personal pension scheme.
  • Access to state-of-the-art research and training facilities, and a generous conference and travel budget.
  • Educational training programs are provided by the International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences.
  • Doctoral degree conferred by Radboud University, our partner university.

Max Planck Institute Fully-Funded 4-Year Ph.D. Fellowship Application Procedure

  • The deadline for applications is midnight (CET) on Thursday, February 22nd, 2024.
  • Submit your application directly via the recruitment portal link.
  • Interviews will be held in the weeks beginning Monday, March 25th, and Monday, April 1st. Please indicate your availability during these weeks in your cover letter.
  • Informal inquiries should be addressed to Caroline Rowland at caroline.rowland@mpi.nl.

Do not pass up the chance to contribute to state-of-the-art studies on sociogenomics and language development. This fascinating 4-year, fully funded PhD fellowship is accepting applications now!

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