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PhD Candidate for Argument Quality (vacature)

Institute: Radboud University Nijmegen

Closing date: 19-09-2012

(bron: o.a. Euraxess (jobs); meer info via Radboud Universiteit)

It is generally agreed that for communication to have a strong and stable effect that is predictive of people’s subsequent behaviour, audiences have to be persuaded by strong arguments. Despite several calls to address this issue, it is unclear what the active ingredients of strong arguments are. The aim of this project is to identify the different characteristics of strong and weak arguments in empirical studies and the tools that may help to detect strong arguments. You will analyse the characteristics of arguments that have been identified as strong or weak in previous research and will develop methods to identify strong arguments for new messages.

This project will be carried out within the scope of the CLS research programme Language in Society, more specifically, that of Persuasive Communication (Communication and Information Sciences).
You will be expected to conduct corpus analyses, interviews and quantitative empirical studies, and to present the results in professional and academic peer-reviewed papers and at conferences, culminating in a PhD dissertation.

You should:
- hold a Research Master’s degree in Language and Communication Sciences or Communication Science, or have equivalent qualifications. Those who hold a Research Master's degree in a related field such as philosophy or linguistics/psycholinguistics are also welcome to apply;
- have proven academic excellence, as evidenced by grade transcripts and your curriculum vitae; 
- have a strong commitment to communication and language research, specifically concerning persuasion and argumentation; 
- have knowledge of and experience in experimental research;
- have an excellent command of written and spoken Dutch and English;
- have excellent organizational and social skills;
- have the ability to work in a professional team and the wish to pursue an academic career.

Nr of positions available : 1

Research Fields
Language sciences

Career Stage
Early stage researcher or 0-4 yrs (Post graduate) 
Experienced researcher or 4-10 yrs (Post-Doc) 
More Experienced researcher or >10 yrs (Senior) 

Research Profile
Not defined

- you will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated; 
- if the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2,5 years (on the basis of a 38-hour working week);
- you will be classified as a PhD student (promovendus) in the Dutch university job-ranking system (UFO).
- the starting salary will amount to €2,042 gross per month on a full-time basis; the salary will increase to €2,612 gross per month on a full-time basis in the fourth year (salary scale P);
A detailed project description may be obtained from dr. Jos Hornikx (

0 - None

Required Education Level
Degree: University Graduate
Degree Field: Language sciences

Required Research Experiences
Main Research Field: Language sciences
Years of Research Experience: 1

Required Languages
Language: English
Language Level: Good