Two post-doc positions available in our lab

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We are searching for two outstanding post-doctoral researchers to join our lab. Both positions offer competitive NIH-level post-doctoral salaries for up to 3 years, an annual travel budget, and moving expenses. The lab has a good record at job placement, with three of the four most recent post-docs now holding tenure-track positions in linguistics or psychology.
  • Project 1: Inference and learning during speech perception and adaptation
  • Project 2: Web-based self-administered speech therapy

Although we mention preferred specializations below, applicants from any fields in the cognitive and language sciences are welcome. While candidates will join an active project, candidates are welcome/encouraged to also develop their own independent research program.  In case of doubt, please contact Florian Jaeger at fjaeger@bcs.rochester.edu, rather than to self-select not to apply.

Interested candidates should contact HLP lab manager Olga Nikolayeva (onikolay@u.rochester.edu) along with:

  • a CV
  • a brief statement of primary research interests

(no full research statement necessary, but if there is one we’d be happy to read it). Recommendations will be elicited after initial review of applications, but applicants are welcome to include them in the initial application.

Project 1: Inference and learning during speech perception and adaptation 

Preferred start date: as early as now, as late as 09/2016. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis starting 3/1.

About the position

We are particularly interested in researchers with a strong computational background (ideally, including Bayesian inference, sampling, etc. though that is not necessary). Expertise in phonetics or speech perception are preferred, but expertise in the relevant inference processes in another perceptual domain (combined with the willingness to acquire expertise in speech) might make for a great fit, too.

The core of our research project is behavioral and computational, but expertise in fMRI and, specifically, MVPA and related methods are an additional plus, as there is the potential to collaborate across labs on the neural foundations of speech adaptation (w/ Raj Raizada). The most important thing though is the drive to dig beyond the surface with an interest in understanding the nature of the implicit adaptive processes (and the structure of the representations that support them) that allow robust language understanding (… whether in speech perception or higher levels of language processing).

About the project

The project includes research on lack of invariance, learning in non-stationary environments, inference under uncertainty, causal attribution, and the relation between linguistics and social perception. Our main goals are:
  1. to investigate the organization of the implicit probabilistic beliefs that underlie speech perception, such as implicit knowledge about the covariance of socio-indexical features (such as gender, age, dialects, etc.) and phonetic properties.
  2. to understand how these beliefs are acquired, adapted, and employed in inferences during online language understanding, including drawing on previous experience with talkers and the ability to generalize to similar talkers.

For an overview, of our research program and goals, see Kleinschmidt and Jaeger (2015-PsychRev).

Project 2: Web-based self-administered speech therapy

Preferred start date: as early as 05/2016, as late as 05/2017. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis starting 4/1/2016.

About the position

We are particularly interested in researchers with an interest in extending and testing theories about language learning and adaptation (incl L2 learning) to a clinical setting. Candidates with a background in speech perception or production are preferred, ideally from a cognitive science perspective. Clinical experience is a plus, but not required (an interest to extend in that direction is required).

This project is a collaboration between HLP Lab and Dr. Helen Meng‘s lab at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Dr. Meng’s lab focuses on human-computer interaction. Candidates should have a strong interest in being part in this type of cross-disciplinary international research team (including research visits to Hong Kong).

About the project

We explore the use of a web-based system for second language pronunciation teaching and learning, developed by Dr. Meng’s lab, for speech therapy. You can see the Enunciate system in action. This project has two phases. In the first phase, we will explore the effectiveness of the interface for second language pronunciation training. We will investigate also what types of training samples will elicit the best learning results. In the second phase, we will extend the system to allow patients with pure speech disorders (e.g., dysarthria) to self-administer pronunciation therapy from the comfort of their home.

About the team / HLP Lab

HLP lab is part of the Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Center of Language Sciences. The team currently consists of one post-doctoral fellow and four graduate students (plus other lab members working on other questions). Related projects include work on accent and dialect adaptation (incl. a large project involving researchers in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK), pedagogical use of adaptation in the class room, and L2/Ln learning/teaching (in collaboration with researchers in Hong Kong; see also Pajak et al., 2016-LangLearn). We also investigate similar processes in speech production and in language processing at higher levels of representations (see Fine et al., 2013-PLoS One; Fine and Jaeger, 2016-JEP:LMC; Jaeger & Snider, 2013-Cognition; Yildirim et al., 2015-JML) and language production (e.g., Buz et al., 2015-JML; Seyfarth et al., 2016-JASA; Weatherholtz et al., 2014-LVC). Most recent papers are available via https://www.researchgate.net/profile/T_Florian_Jaeger/contribution.
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