Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen 4 PhD Fellowships 2018, Germany

Publish Date: Oct 16, 2017

Deadline: Nov 30, 2017

Call for Applications

In the interdisciplinary Research Training Group (RTG) 1808

“Ambiguity – Production and Perception”

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen offers up to 4 PhD Positions

(TV-L E13, 65%) temporary employment at the earliest possible date, subject to the extension of the funding period by the DFG (a decision will be made by the end of 2017). The maximum period of employment is three years. As the University of Tübingen intends to increase the proportion of female employees in research and teaching, women are particularly encouraged to apply. The PhD Students will be employed through the central administration of the University of Tübingen. Members of the research training group will be required to take their residence in Tübingen.

Application deadline: Thursday, November 30, 2017.

Participating Disciplines:

English Literary Studies, English Linguistics, German Literary Studies, German Linguistics (including Psycholinguistics), Legal Studies, Classical Philology, Cognitive Modelling; Philosophy,

Psychology, General Rhetoric, Romance Linguistics, Protestant Theology (New Testament). 

Doctoral students will enjoy excellent conditions in an interdisciplinary environment and will participate in a systematically structured curriculum, comprising project-oriented guidance in small teams as well as activities of the entire Research Training Group, including a practice-based programme. A visiting researcher programme will enhance international cooperation and scholarly exchange.


Ambiguity, defined as an expression or utterance that has two or more meanings, is a characteristic feature of language and communication. It is as relevant to the most ordinary situ­a­tions of everyday life as it is to the most complex text productions. Accordingly, ambiguity has been a central topic of investigation in linguistics and in other disciplines concerned with the interpretation of language. These different approaches, however, have never been syste­matically brought to­gether. In order to understand why communication may be successful in spite of or even be­cause of ambiguity, why ambiguity may also cause its failure and what effects it has, the isolated approaches will have to be overcome.

It is the aim of the proposed Research Training Group (RTG) to show that by a col­laborative approach of language-oriented disciplines new insights may be gained into the production and perception of ambiguity, i.e. when it comes into being and when it is resolved. The pursuit of this aim is based on the conviction that ambiguity is an excellent paradigm for developing new ways of col­laboration between the various language-oriented disciplines.

The research programme links investigations into the language system as a field of linguistic research with investigations into the areas of discourse focused upon by the other discipli­nes. This will lead to innovative approaches: From a linguistic perspective, the challenge will be to represent (strategic) ambiguity in a broad range of texts, and from the perspective of the other disciplines, it will mean taking into account the role of grammatical structures for the interpretation of ambiguity. The programme rests on the assumption that both the production and the perception of ambiguity, as well as its strategic and non-strategic occurrence, can only be understood by exploring how these factors interact when ambiguity is generated and resolved. This may concern the speaker-hearer-interaction as well as long-term develop­ments such as the strategic reinterpretation of canonical texts.

Doctoral students are expected to contribute to the interdisciplinary activities of the RTG, in particular contributing to further developing the TInCAP database of ambiguity phenomena.

Application proceedings:

Applications (in German or English) including informative documents, a cover letter, a research proposal (maximum 5 pages), signed CV, copies of earned university degrees and transcripts of individual grades as well as one letter of recommendation and the names and email addresses of two further referees (university professors) are to be sent in digital form (one pdf document) by November 30, 2017, under the reference RTG “Ambiguity: Production and Perception” to the speaker of the RTG, Professor Matthias Bauer: m.bauer@uni-tuebingen.de.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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