Postdoctoral Researcher: Testing Cross-Linguistic Gesture-Speech Alignment with Motion-Tracking at Donders Centre for Cognition

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 01 Dec 2022

Postdoctoral Researcher: Testing Cross-Linguistic Gesture-Speech Alignment with Motion-Tracking at Donders Centre for Cognition
Postdoctoral Researcher: Testing Cross-Linguistic Gesture-Speech Alignment with Motion-Tracking at Donders Centre for Cognition
Published Deadline Location
yesterday 1 Dec Nijmegen

Job description
We are looking for an experienced postdoctoral researcher who will work on a cross-linguistic investigation of gesture-speech alignment. This position is funded by the 'HearingHands' ERC Starting Grant awarded to Dr Hans Rutger Bosker. HearingHands investigates how the temporal alignment of hand gestures and speech contributes to audiovisual spoken communication across languages, populations and communicative settings. 
You will test both the production and perception of gesture-speech alignment in nine different languages, including free-stress, fixed-stress, and lexical tone languages. The production strand uses motion-tracking of 2D videos in Mediapipe and acoustic analyses in Praat to quantify gesture-speech alignment on a millisecond timescale. The perception strand involves running psychoacoustic tests with audiovisual stimuli manipulated to vary in the synchrony between hands and spoken prosody. Combining production and perception data will reveal how language-specific variability in gesture-speech alignment shapes the language-specific use of gestural timing in speech perception.
Specifications
  • €3974—€5439 per month
  • Nijmegen View on Google Maps

Radboud University


Requirements
  • You hold a PhD in psycholinguistics, biomechanics, motion studies, or a related field, and want to pursue an academic career.
  • You are a highly motivated, independent, critical, and creative researcher with a strong publication record.
  • You are team-oriented, open to provide and receive feedback to/from lab mates, happy to support other research projects with your skills set, and keen to engage in scientific discussions.
  • You have an excellent command of spoken and written English. In addition, you preferably speak multiple languages to support the cross-linguistic aspect of the project.
  • You enjoy reading and writing code and have demonstrable experience in motion-tracking (Mediapipe, OpenPose) and time-series analysis (Python, R, Matlab).
  • You enjoy working with video/audio materials and have demonstrable experience in video-editing (ffmpeg, Adobe Premiere Pro) and speech-editing (Praat).

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: It concerns a temporary employment for 3 years.

  • It concerns an employment for 0.8 FTE.
  • The gross monthly salary amounts to a minimum of €3,974 and a maximum of €5,439 based on a 38-hour working week, depending on previous education and number of years of relevant work experience (salary scale 11 ).
  • 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.
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.
Employer
You will be part of the Speech Perception in Audiovisual Communication (SPEAC) lab of Dr Hans Rutger Bosker at the Donders Centre for Cognition within the Faculty of Social Sciences of Radboud University and part of the Donders Institute. You will collaborate with researchers in the SPEAC lab interested in gesture-speech alignment, prosody, and audiovisual speech perception. Furthermore, there are close links to and collaborations with related research groups, including Dynamos (PI: Wim Pouw), CoSi (PI: Judith Holler), and Sound Learning (PI: James McQueen). The Radboud University houses high performance computing facilities to support ML-guided motion-tracking analyses on large-scale video datasets. HearingHands itself offers a generous budget for conference visits (€1500 per year), organising workshops, setting up new collaborations, and participant testing. 
The Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour is a world-class interfaculty research centre that houses more than 700 researchers devoted to understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of the human mind. Research at the Donders Institute is focused around four themes: 1. Language and communication , 2. Perception, action and decision-making , 3. Development and lifelong plasticity , 4. Natural computing & neurotechnology . Excellent, state-of-the-art research facilities are available for the broad range of neuroscience research that is being conducted at the Donders Institute. The Donders Institute has been assessed by an international evaluation committee as ‘excellent’ and recognised as a ‘very stimulating environment for top researchers, as well as for young talent’. The Donders Institute fosters a collaborative, multidisciplinary, supportive research environment with a diverse international staff. English is the lingua franca at the Institute.

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!
Additional information
For questions about the position, please contact Dr Hans Rutger Bosker, Principal Investigator at  hansrutger.bosker@ru.nl .
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.


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Application procedure
You can apply until 1 December 2022, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Dr Hans Rutger Bosker. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:
  • A letter of motivation of max. 2 pages.
  • Your CV including publication list; language proficiency split for listening, speaking, writing, reading; skills set (e.g. scripting languages, software packages, analysis tools, etc.) with examples/links.
  • A copy of a first-authored publication.

The first round of interview will take place on Thursday 12 January. You would preferably begin employment on 1 March 2023.
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