Academic Job: Research Fellowship in Linguistics (University of Tromsø)

Deadline for applications: November 17, 2017

Post-doctoral Research Fellowship in Linguistics (Cognitive Linguistics: Empirical Approaches to Russian)

Application date: 17. November 2017
Ref.: 2017/5200

One Post-doctoral Research Fellowship within Linguistics (Cognitive Linguistics: Empirical Approaches to Russian) is available in the Department of Language and Culture at the University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway (UiT). The position is affiliated with the CLEAR research group, Cognitive Linguistics: Empirical Approaches to Russian.

UiT is pleased to announce the following postdoc position in Russian Linguistics. Potential applicants are encouraged to write to She will be happy to assist potential applicants with the application process.

The appointment is a fixed term position for a period of three years.

The Post-doctoral Research Fellowship aims to qualify the researcher for work in senior academic positions. A candidate may not be appointed to more than one fixed term position as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the same institution.

For further information about the position (and the project), please contact please contact Professor Laura A. Janda, E-mail: or Head of Department Eystein Dahl, phone +47 77 64 42 90, e-mail:

The position is affiliated with the Department of Language and Culture (ISK). The Department consists of 75 permanent employees, 10 adjunct professors, and approximately 30 PhD fellows. Additionally, the Department has approximately 25 temporary research and teaching positions. The Department’s core activates are research, teaching, and dissemination within linguistics, literature, art history, and media and documentation studies.

The Department has a very active and diverse research profile. It houses one of the world’s most excellent research communities in linguistics, with research groups within cognitive linguistics (CLEAR), Sami language technology (Giellatekno and Divvun), socio-linguistics (LAIDUA), language acquisition (LAVA), and theoretical linguistics (CASTL-FISH). The Department’s research communities within literature, art history, and media and documentation studies are nationally highly competitive, and are organised into research groups such as Health Art Society (HAS), Russian Space, and WARGAME.

ISK offers one-year programme education, Bachelor, and Master programmes within general linguistics, literature, art history, media and documentation studies, English, French, Kven, Finnish, Norwegian, Russian, Sami, Spanish, and German. It also offers PhD education within cultural/literary studies, art history, media and documentation studies, and linguistics.

CLEAR is an active and productive research group, currently consisting of 6 researchers, including two professors, one associate professor, one postdoc, and two PhD students. The group members are involved in a number of research projects both locally and internationally, and many projects have received external funding, e.g. “Exploring Emptiness” (investigating the meanings of prefixes and suffixes in Russian), “Neat Theories, Messy Realities” (investigating traditional definitions of linguistic terms such as allomorphy in the light of corpus data) and “Birds and Beasts” (investigating the evolution of aspectual categories in Russian) projects financed by the Research Council of Norway and the “Time Is Space” project  (investigating how temporal concepts are expressed in Russian) financed by the Centre for Advanced Study of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences, in addition to multiple grants from the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU). For further information about the group’s work and activities, see the website of the CLEAR research group: The CLEAR group also collaborates with the Sami language technology research group at UiT (Giellatekno and Divvun).

The appointed Post-doctoral Research Fellow must have her/his daily workplace at the UiT, campus Tromsø.

The position’s field of research/research project and other duties
This position focuses on a theoretical model of language that is central to Cognitive Linguistics, namely Construction Grammar. Construction Grammar makes two fundamental claims that have redefined language: 1) the construction (a form-meaning pairing, at any level of complexity), is the relevant unit of linguistic analysis, and b) a language is an aggregate network of constructions, also known as a “constructicon”. Goldberg (Constructions at Work 2006) additionally observed that grammatical constructions can be grouped as “families” that share syntactic, semantic, and lexical properties. These bold claims have not yet been fully realized in terms of linguistic analysis: attempts to describe the entire constructicons of specific languages have only recently been launched, and the identification of family networks within a given constructicon is in its infancy.

In 2016, CLEAR joined forces with colleagues in Russia, Sweden, and five other countries to build constructicons for six languages (English, Brazilian Portuguese, German, Japanese, Swedish, and Russian), cf. Constructicography. Constructicon development across languages forthcoming with John Benjamins. Work on the Russian Constructicon (an open-source, free and public electronic resource) is actively ongoing, with multiple weekly meetings connecting colleagues at UiT and the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and student researchers in both Tromsø and Moscow. This work is partially supported by SIU grant “Constructing a Russian Constructicon” awarded to CLEAR member Tore Nesset. The current version of the Russian Constructicon can be accessed here:

Goldberg’s observation regarding “families” of constructions is certainly correct, yet at the same time it is apparent how little we know about such families and their behavior. Investigation of the families of constructions is essential because these networks ultimately structure the Constructicon. This position will focus on families of constructions, related by semantics, syntax, morphology and lexicon, and how they can be represented in the Constructicon.

Ours is a Learner’s Constructicon of Russian, and all entries in our constructicon are provided with Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) levels to guide learners and instructors. Our Russian Constructicon specifically addresses resources that are lacking for pedagogy, namely the constructions that are not captured in traditional dictionaries (which focus on the word level) or in phraseological dictionaries (which focus on idiosyncratic items that tend to be infrequent and of little use to learners). This post-doctoral fellowship will explore this new direction in language research and the development of research-based teaching in the CLEAR group, and realize the potential synergy between the Oahpa! learning platform developed by the Giellatekno group and the Constructicon. The ultimate goals will include further development of Russian Oahpa! to reflect Russian constructions, and research on research-based instruction that this facilitates.

Applicants for the advertised Post-doctoral position should propose a research project that will strengthen and complement the research profile of the CLEAR group in connection with the development of the Constructicon and Oahpa!. The project proposal should be 5-10 pages.

Qualification requirements
The position as Post-doctoral Research Fellow requires a Norwegian doctoral degree in Russian Linguistics or another relevant field or a corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognised as equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree. Native or near-native proficiency in Russian is a requirement, as well as academic proficiency in English. Priority will be given to candidates with background and/or publications in cognitive linguistics.

The applicant must provide a project proposal with a progress plan for the project’s main activities. It is a prerequisite that the applicant will be able to complete the project within the period of employment.

In the assessment, the main emphasis will be attached to the submitted works and the project proposal for the qualifying work. Emphasis shall also be attached to experience from popularization/dissemination and academic policy and administrative activity.
Personal suitability will be emphasised.

Working conditions
The working hours are reserved for research, research related activities and research administration.

The successful candidate must be willing to engage him/herself in the ongoing development of their discipline and the university as a whole.

The remuneration for this position is in accordance with the State salary scale code 1352.
A compulsory contribution of 2% to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted.

The application must be submitted electronically via the application form available on and shall include:
•       letter of application
•       project description
•       CV (containing a complete overview of education, supervised professional training and professional work)
•       diplomas and references
•       list of works and description of these
o       the list of works shall contain the following information:
author(s), the work’s title
for articles: the journal’s name and volume, the first and last page of the article, year of publication
for publications: publisher, printer, year of publication, number of pages
•       up to ten works that are central to the applicant’s academic production. The applicant’s PhD thesis should be submitted as one of these works.
Additionally, the applicant should provide a description of his/her academic production, indicating which works are the most relevant in relation to the announced position, and therefore should be emphasised in the assessment. The remaining listed works should be described briefly in order to demonstrate the depth of the production. The descriptions should be attached to the application.

The applicants will be assessed by an expert committee. It is the committee’s mandate to assess the applicants’ qualifications based on their submitted works and the job announcement.

The best qualified applicants will be selected for interviews. The interview shall among other things aim to clarify the applicant’s personal suitability for the position. The applicants may be required to give a trial lecture.

Other information
UiT The University of Norway wishes to increase the proportion of women in research positions.

In the event that two or more applicants are found to be approximately equally qualified, female applicants will be given priority.

For further information, applicants should consult the supplementary regulations for appointment to postdoktor (postdoctoal Research Fellow), stipendiat (PhD) and vitenskapelige assistent (Research Assistant) positions at the UiT and the

Questions concerning the organisation of the working environment, such as the physical state of the place of employment, health service, possibility for flexible working hours, part time, etc. may be directed to the telephone reference in this announcement.

UiT’s HR policy objectives emphasises diversity, and encourages all qualified applicants to apply regardless of gender, functional ability and national or ethnic background.

UiT is an IW (Inclusive Workplace) enterprise, and will make the necessary adaptations in order to facilitate for employees with reduced functional ability.

Personal data given in an application or CV will be processed in accordance with the Act relating to the processing of personal data (the Personal Data Act). In accordance with Section 25 subsection 2 of the Freedom of Information Act, the applicant may request not to be registered on the public list of applicants. However, the University may nevertheless decide to publish the applicant’s name. The applicant will receive advance notification in the event of such publication.