Postdoctoral Fellowship Department of General Linguistics

Stellenbosch University

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Position type:

Part time


R220 000 per annum

31 Aug 2021
31 Oct 2021

Full details:

Reference number: 2021/08/31/6693

Stellenbosch University

Department of General Linguistics

Postdoctoral Fellowship


Project title: Communicative Development Inventories for South Africa's official languages


The grant holders of the above project invite applications from suitably qualified doctorate graduates for a postdoctoral fellowship based at Stellenbosch University. The fellowship is available for one (1) year (with a possibility to extend for another year; to be confirmed) and only to one individual who has obtained their doctorate degree within the past five (5) years and whose doctoral research was directly related to childhood speech, language and/or gesture development in one of the following disciplines: (applied) linguistics, speech-language therapy, African languages, another language-related discipline, or developmental psychology.


Scope of research:

The goal of the project is to develop infant and toddler versions of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Developmental Inventories (CDIs) for the eleven official languages of South Africa. The candidate will be required to work primarily with online surveys (maintaining the online survey and updating where required) and conduct statistical analyses of language data as well as participate in the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative  child language data.


Value of the scholarship:

Cost to company of R220 000 per annum.


Job description:  

  1. Commencement: 1 January 2022 or sooner.
  2. Full-time position.
  3. In-person and electronic data collection from caregivers of young children.
  4. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of child language data.
  5. Conducting of statistical analyses using R, STATA or SPSS. 
  6. Data cleaning and data management.
  7. Preparing research publications.
  8. Assist in organising workshops, conferences, team meetings, and field trips.
  9. Assist in writing grant applications. 


Applicant requirements: Applicants must – 

  1. be available to start the fellowship on 1 January 2022 or sooner.
  2. hold a PhD and must have graduated within the past five (5) years.
  3. be experienced in in-person and/or electronic data collection from caregivers of young children; in the qualitative and/or quantitative analysis of child language data; and/or in another relevant aspect of research on the development of language and/or gesture in infants or toddlers.
  4. have a background in statistics and be experienced in conducting statistical analyses independently using R, STATA or SPSS. 
  5. be experienced using both parametric and non-parametric statistical methods.
  6. be able to provide consultation on statistical techniques which fit the research goals.
  7. be able to write up analysed data for publication
  8. have experience with data cleaning and data management. 
  9. have good computer skills – advance knowledge of Excel is essential.
  10. be able to articulately communicate academic findings to disseminate research results.

Good proficiency in an African language is a recommendation.


Application procedure

Applicants should apply via email to Prof. Frenette Southwood ( with POSTDOC SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION (in capital letters) in the subject line of the message, providing the following documentation: 

a)    A cover letter describing their research interests and indicating how these align with the project outlined above; and

b)    A comprehensive curriculum vitae (CV), including a list of publications, and the names and contact details of at least two referees.



For more information about the scholarship, please email Prof. Southwood ( with POSTDOC SCHOLARSHIP ENQUIRY (in capital letters) in the subject line of the message.


Closing Date for Applications:

31 October 2021 


Please note: Postdoctoral fellows are not appointed as staff but registered as postdoctoral fellows and are therefore not eligible for employee benefits. Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

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