PhD Student - Department of (Spanish) Linguistics




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As a UGent PhD fellow, you will enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, possibility of flexible working hours, 38 days of paid leave, bicycle commuting reimbursement, eco-vouchers, reimbursement of commuting expenses by public transport etc. You will be allocated office space and a laptop, and receive funding for research activities like attending conferences abroad and organizing workshops and conferences. You will start on a salary of approximately 2.100 EUR/month.


The Department of (Spanish) Linguistics at Ghent University seeks to recruit a PhD student to work on a project entitled “Apologizing strategies in Spanish: a corpus-based approach”. The research will be carried out within the research group on Linguistic Meaning and Structure (GLIMS) that conducts corpus-based research in the field of cognitive-functional linguistics.

Short summary of the research project.
This projects fits within the vast body on politeness research, but focuses on one specific politeness strategy in Spanish, namely the speech act of apologizing. Although a large number of studies have already been dedicated to the study of politeness and speech acts in the English-speaking world, it is only until recently that it has emerged in the field of Hispanic studies. The attraction towards this category should not be surprising, since the act of apologizing constitutes a complex speech act that involves an ample gamut of both language-internal and language-external features. In order to account for this multidimensional nature of apologizing, the phenomenon will be studied from complementary perspectives, taking into account different dimensions of linguistic variation, including (1) a (micro)diachronic dimension, (2) a sociolinguistic dimension in contemporary Spanish and (3) a contrastive dimension.

This set of near-synonyms will be described from several perspectives and at several analytical levels: pragmatic, semantic, morphosyntactic, and even prosodic ones. 

Your tasks

  • Collecting and analyzing data.
  • Writing a dissertation based on the research project.
  • Preparing individual and joint publications for national and international scientific journals.
  • Presenting your research at national and international conferences.
  • Assisting occasionally in the teaching activities at the department.

This position after approximately four years of successful research results in a PhD title in Linguistics. We offer a full-time position for 4 years with yearly evaluations, in an exciting, dynamic and international research environment.

Starting date: November 1st, 2021.


  • Master’s degree in (Spanish) Linguistics obtained with good grades before the start of the project.
  • Fluent in Spanish and English; additional knowledge of (one or more) other languages is a plus.
  • Good academic skills in English.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • You take initiative in searching for new research ideas and are not afraid to be critical about your own work.
  • You are highly motivated, hardworking, flexible, able to face complex issues and you have an appropriate problem-solving attitude.
  • You are able to take on responsibilities, work independently on your research but also as part of a team.

Cómo solicitar 

Applications can be submitted either in Spanish or English. To apply please send your full application before September 10th, 2021 to Prof Dr. Marlies Jansegers –, which includes the following documents as pdfs and with appropriate file names (i.e. FAMILYNAME_FILETYPE):

  • Your application letter (max. two pages) that indicates why you wish to pursue a PhD, and why in Spanish Linguistics at Ghent University.
  • Your curriculum vitae, including the contact details of two persons we may contact for a reference.
  • A personal piece of (scientific) writing in the form of a student paper or publication (e.g. Master thesis or paper).
  • A copy of your Master’s diploma.

After an initial screening, interviews will take place (online if needed) at the end of September 2021.


For more information about this vacancy contact: Marlies Jansegers,


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