Early Stage Researcher/PhD student position in the Speech Acquisition and Perception Group at UPF

Applications are invited for a full-time Early Stage Researcher/PhD student position in the Speech Acquisition and Perception Group (SAP), led by Núria Sebastián Gallés, at Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona), https://www.upf.edu/web/sap. The position is part of The Multilingual Mind (MultiMind) project, https://www.multilingualmind.eu/wp4-project-descriptions. MultMind is an international, multidisciplinary and multisectorial training network on multilingualism. Multimind is funded by the European Union’s Horizon2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska Curie grant agreement No 765556. https://www.multilingualmind.eu/  Information about the application process is here: https://www.multilingualmind.eu/copy-of-15-early-stage-researchers-


ESR Project (ESR7):

The emergence of language as a social group marker

Main supervisor: N. Sebastian Galles; ESR7 Committee: A. M. Kovacs


Humans are organized in social groups and we take into account who the others are in social interactions. The distinction between in- and out-group members may emerge very early in human ontogeny and can be triggered by language. Some studies in pre-verbal infants show a preference to play with objects, eat food and listen to melodies that were previously endorsed by a member of the same linguistic group compared to an out-group member; moreover, 14 month infants imitate more faithfully an unusual action introduced by a linguistic in-group member compared to a foreign speaker.


  • The primary goal is to investigate how language defines group membership in infancy and early childhood.
  • To address the emergence and early development of in-group selective learning.
  • To assess the impact of dialectal variation in group membership and learning.
  • To investigate the previous questions in the context of multilingual infants.

Planned secondments:

In the 2nd year 6 months at the Center of Cognitive Development at the Central European University in Budapest to learn how to implement some social learning paradigms. The secondment will provide an exceptional opportunity to interact with researchers in one of the leading laboratories in the world in the field of social cognition.


Starting date for the ESR: 1st September 2018 (ideally).


Duration of the research employment: 36 months.


Salary: The successful candidates will receive a 36 month, full-time employment contract as per Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) regulations for early stage researchers. The monthly salary will be confirmed upon offer, paid in the currency of the host country, and with a correction factor applied to the host country. Country correction coefficient for Spain: 97.6%.

The approximate monthly salary before employer and statutory deductions is: e.g. €3,072 (Germany), €3,741 (UK)  … plus an additional mobility allowance of €600/month. Researchers may also qualify for a family allowance of €500/month depending on family situation at the time of recruitment. Please visit the EU MSCA website for further information.​



  • Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs): All researchers recruited in MultiMind must be ESRs and undertake transnational mobility (see below). For all recruitments, the eligibility of the researcher will be determined at the time they start working at the project (September 2018).
    Note: ESRs are defined as researchers who at the time when they start working for MultiMind are in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • Nationality: The ESR can be of any nationality.
  • Transnational mobility: The ESR is required to undertake transnational mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up their appointment. Nationality is therefore not a criterion. Rather the location of the researcher’s residence or main activity during the 3 years prior to their recruitment is determining. The researcher must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the host organisation for MultiMind (Spain) for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the start date (September 2018). Short stays, e.g. holidays, are not taken into account.
    Note: the mobility rule applies to the (first) beneficiary where the researcher is recruited, and not to beneficiaries to which the researcher is sent or seconded. It is also only determined at one point in time: at the time when they start working for MultiMind (1st September 2018).



  • Danish nationals can be eligible for recruitment at a beneficiary located in Denmark if they have resided or carried out their main activity outside of Denmark for more than 24 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the starting date (September 2018).
  • Indian nationals can be eligible for recruitment at a beneficiary located in the UK if they have resided or carried out their main activity outside of the UK for more than 24 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the starting date (September 2018).

Refugees: Researchers with refugee status, as defined by the Geneva Convention, benefit from a less restrictive mobility rule: the refugee procedure (i.e. before refugee status is conferred) will not be counted as a ‘period of residence/activity in the country of the beneficiary. This period will only be counted as of the day that they are recognised as refugees. This is because refugees, by definition, are likely to have made unplanned changes of country, moving abroad rapidly without being able to arrange a research position in advance. They may have had to suspend their education or professional activities while obtaining permission to stay in the country. Therefore their mobility is not required to be as recent.


General selection criteria

  • A Master of Arts (MA) or a Masters of Science (MSc) or equivalent degree in Linguistics, Psychology, Speech &  Language Therapy or similar discipline that provides the doctoral candidate with appropriate background for the MultiMind project.
  • A high mark in the Master programme.
  • A high mark on the Master Thesis.
  • Research experience beyond the Undergraduate and Master programmes.
  • Research methods related to MultiMind.
  • Publications from the Undergraduate or Master Thesis (if any), or from other scientific activities.


Selection criteria for each specific project ESR7

Previous experience: Experience with infant research and speech perception

For further specific information about the project contact Prof. Nuria Sebastian Galles: Nuria.Sebastian@upf.edu


How to Apply:


You must send a project application form and supporting documents to info@multilingualmind.eu The application form and application process is described here: https://www.multilingualmind.eu/copy-of-15-early-stage-researchers-


More information about all open ESR positions is here: https://www.multilingualmind.eu/15-early-stage-researchers-esrs


The initial closing date for the positions will be June 30, 2018, but applications will continue to be considered until suitable candidates have been appointed