PhD Candidate “Multilingualism at the work place: the use of Dutch and German in the Meuse-Rhine Euregion” 1.00 fte

ITEM is an initiative developed by the interfaculty Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development (MACIMIDE), in cooperation with the province of Limburg and the municipality of Maastricht as part of the “Limburg Knowledge/Axis” cooperation. The aim of this PhD project is to examine good and bad practices in intercultural communication at the multilingual workplace in cross-border mobility between Limburg and North-Rhine Westphalia. In this type of mobility, individuals and groups can choose in their interactions at the workplace between (i) the national language of the other which is German or Dutch, (ii) code-mixing between Dutch and German (iii) English as a lingua franca, (iv) dialect that is spoken throughout this Euregion and (v) a lingua receptive which is a mode of multilingual communication in which speakers employ a language (variety) different from their partner(s) but still are able to understand each other.

The proposed PhD project will observe daily linguistic practices at work places, using classic sociolinguistic and ethnographic methods with audio- and self-recordings and qualitative semi-structured interviews. In addition, the project will explore how the findings can be incorporated in a large-scale quantitative survey conducted by Statistics Netherlands (SN) to assess the impact of (un)successful language interactions on social participation and trust.

We are looking for

A sociolinguist, (linguistic) anthropologist, or linguist with an MSc degree and with affinity for doing qualitative fieldwork with a strong interest in multilingualism, multilingual and intercultural communication. The successful candidate is proficient in both spoken and written Dutch and German and has a desire to know more about the dialect spoken in Meuse-Rhine Euregion.


We offer a dynamic and challenging job in an internationally-oriented organisation where young people receive an advanced education and scholars conduct exciting research. The PhD candidate will have the unique opportunity to carry out research within the research programme of Arts, Media and Culture and contribute to the development and outreach of ITEM. She / he will be part of an international network of top universities and renowned scholars within the field.

We offer a 4 year full-time appointment as PhD student.

The first year will be a probation period, after a positive assessment the position will be extended with another 3 years.

Your workload will be the normal workload for the position of PhD students. Currently this implies 80% research activities and 20% teaching activities.

Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels for PhD students starting with a salary of € 2.174,- with a yearly growth to € 2.779- gross a month (based on a full-time appointment.)
Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.

You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Maastricht. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings) you will be eligible for an allowance for moving costs. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings) you might be eligible for an allowance for alternative housing.

Other secondary conditions include e.g. a pension scheme and partially paid parental leave.
You will be provided with shared office space and a PC.

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