Vacature: assistant professor Language and Communication (VU Amsterdam)

Would you welcome the opportunity to strengthen a team of specialists in Language and Communication, extending the international and Dutch programmes in Communication and Information Studies? In that case, please consider applying for this position.

FTE: 0.8


Within the Department of Language, Literature, and Communication of the Faculty of Humanities (FGW), the Language and Communication chair group plays a vital role by studying the interplay between language, interaction and communication. The Assistant Professor will investigate how the design of texts and images has particular consequences for users of those messages, in their role of, e.g., customer, voter, or patient. Message designs will be analysed and tested so as to gain insight in the way media users appreciate and process information, including via social media such as Twitter and Instagram. Moreover, the candidate’s research may help organizations design appropriate communication strategies and tailor these to relevant media platforms. For instance, how can instructional You Tube videos be used to optimize first aid procedures, or narrative approaches be designed so as to reach audiences with a lower socio-economic position? The Department seeks to hire a candidate who is able to conduct cross-disciplinary research and who has a proven expertise in working with both quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

Your duties

  • teach in the Bachelor programmes Communication and Information Studies (CIS): Media en Journalistiek, and Language and Media, including courses in visual rhetoric and social media
  • teach in the Master programmes CIS: Schrijven en Vertalen (e.g. ‘Narrativiteit’ and ‘Formuleren Plus’), and Taal en Communicatie in Organisaties
  • conduct research in the field of Language and Communication and in crossdisciplinary collaborations
  • acquire external research funding and contribute to valorization


  • completed PhD-thesis in Language and communication or related field (Communication science, Applied linguistics, Cognitive science)
  • proven track record of (independent) research, as demonstrated by publications in international, peer-reviewed journals focused on language and communication
  • proven ability to use and combine different research methodologies
  • demonstrable teaching excellence
  • university teaching qualification (BKO), or being committed to obtain this qualification in the first year of the appointment
  • experience in acquiring external research funding is preferred
  • socially skilled and a team player
  • native proficiency of Dutch is preferred; (near) native proficiency (C2) in both languages of instruction, Dutch and English, is required


A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €3,637 (scale 11) and a maximum €4,978 (scale 11), depending on your education and experience. The job profile is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for 0.8 FTE.

We offer a position for an initial period of 5 years starting as Assistant Professor level 2 (salary scale 11) with as end goal a permanent contract as Assistant Professor level 1 (salary scale 12). Within this period tenure can be achieved if the faculty criteria for promotion to assistant professor level 1 are fulfilled. During the tenure-track, the performance will be evaluated in terms of teaching, publication record, and acquisition of prestigious personal grants or equivalent project funding. After a successful evaluation permanent employment will be granted.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package


The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavour – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

Faculty of Humanities
The Faculty of Humanities links a number of fields of study: Language, Literature and Communication, Art & Culture, History, Antiquities and Philosophy. Our teaching and research focus on current societal and scientific themes: from artificial intelligence to visual culture, from urbanization to the history of slavery, from ‘fake news’ in journalism to communication in organizations. We strive to ensure small group sizes. Innovative education and interdisciplinary research are our hallmarks.

Working at the Faculty of Humanities means making a real contribution to the quality of leading education and research in an inspiring and personal work and study climate. We employ more than 250 staff members, and we are home to around 1,300 students.

About the department
The Department of Language, Literature and Communication is responsible for the bachelor and master programmes in Communication and Information Sciences (CIS; both international and in Dutch). The chair of Language and Communication (accommodating the candidate) is responsible for several specializations in the CIS programmes, including the Bachelor’s programmes Media en Journalistiek (together with the Journalism chair), and Language and Media (together with the English Linguistics chair), and the Master’s programmes Schrijven en Vertalen (together with the English Linguistics chair), and Taal en Communicatie in Organisaties. The chair of Language and Communication comprises researchers of all kinds of discourse analysis, including conversation analysis, experimental text and stylistics research, and corpus analysis. It strives to become internationally leading in both education and research of language and communication.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter until 5 July 2020. The job interviews are planned for 9 July 2020. If possible, please take this into account when applying for the position.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Dr. L. Lagerwerf
Position: Associate Professor Language and Communication


Name: Prof. dr. H.F.M. te Molder
Position: Professor Language and Communication