PhD position Computational Approaches to Narrative in Argumentation (1.0 FTE)

Updated: 18 days ago
Deadline: 06 May 2024

PhD position Computational Approaches to Narrative in Argumentation (1.0 FTE) (V24.0203)
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Job description

Applications are invited for a fully-funded 4-year PhD position in the field of Computational Linguistics, focusing on the relationship between narratives and argumentation. This research project will focus on developing computational approaches to understand how narratives influence argumentation. For example, by establishing connections between storytelling and argumentation strategies. The research holds significant theoretical and practical implications, enriching rhetorical theories and providing insights for applications in conversational AI systems and text generation tools in various domains.

The PhD Project
Under the supervision of Dr Khalid Al Khatib, Dr Federico Pianzola, and Prof. Malvina Nissim, you will work on an interdisciplinary project that involves developing computational methods for language analysis as well as conceptual models based on narrative and argumentation theories.

You will be asked to

• complete a dissertation on the computational linguistic modeling of narrative and argumentative texts. The dissertation will take the form of a coherent document which will be based on a series of (co-authored) journal and conference articles, in English
• collect data from various online sources (e.g. news, editorials, political speeches, social media, etc.) and create a corpus complying with rigorous research standards
• apply NLP methods for the analysis of text
• co-organize research meetings within the Center for Language and Cognition
• contribute to the project’s public outreach and social media activities
• participate in the teaching as part of the regular curriculum of Digital Humanities and Information Science.

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has established an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative university offering high-quality teaching and research. Its 34,000 students are encouraged to develop their own individual talents through challenging study- and career paths. The University of Groningen is an international center of knowledge: It belongs to the best research universities in Europe and is allied with prestigious partner universities and networks worldwide.

The Faculty of Arts – which includes the Center for Language and Cognition (CLCG) – is located in the historic heart of the city of Groningen. You will be enrolled in the Graduate School for the Humanities, affiliated with the CLCG. CLCG engages in multidisciplinary linguistic, neuropsychological, and computational research on language and communication. You will work more closely with the Computational Linguistics group (GroNLP), consisting of approximately 45 members (staff and PhD students.) You will also have the opportunity to join one of the National Research Schools, which offer training and funding opportunities for PhD students in the Netherlands.


• Master's degree in a relevant academic field (e.g., computer science, computational linguistics, information science, computational social sciences)
• applicants should hold a master's degree or be in the process of completing it (before September 2024)
• proficiency in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and familiarity with Machine Learning (ML) in Python
• good academic writing skills in English
• the willingness to move and reside in the Netherlands.

Candidates with the following additional experience are particularly encouraged to apply

• knowledge about narrative and argumentation theories
• experience in analyzing narrative and argumentative texts.

Knowledge of Dutch is NOT required.

Conditions of employment

In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, we offer

• a salary of € 2,770 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,539 gross per month in the final year, based on a full-time position
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
• a temporary 1.0 FTE appointment for a specified period of four years. The candidate will first be appointed for twelve months. After six months, an assessment will take place of the candidate’s results and the progress of the PhD project, in order to decide whether employment will be continued. The PhD candidate is expected to conduct 0.4 FTE teaching in total, spread over the second, third, and fourth year of their appointment
• excellent work-life balance.

For more detailed information about working conditions and working for the University of Groningen, please check:

The appointment will commence on 1 September 2024, at the latest. An earlier starting date is possible.


Your application packet (see submission instructions below) should include:

• a motivation letter—max 1.000 words—clearly indicating your interest in the position and highlighting reasons you believe you are a well-qualified candidate
• a brief, up-to-date curriculum vitae that focuses on aspects that are directly relevant to the position
• copy of MSc/MA thesis (if available), copies of MSc/MA diploma (if available) and list of grades
• a writing sample in the form of an academic research thesis or publication in English (not to exceed 20 pages)
• names and contact information of two academic references (Please do not submit letters of reference. If necessary, we will contact the referees ourselves).

You can submit your application until 5 May 11:59pm / before 6 May 2024 Dutch local time (CEST) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Interviews of shortlisted candidates will be held in the week 20 – 24 May 2024.

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

We provide career services for partners of new faculty members moving to Groningen.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.


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