PhD Candidate, ‘Multilingualism at the work place: the use of Dutch and German in the Meuse-Rhine Euregion’, 1.00 fte. Deadline: 1 September 2016

Applicants are invited for a 4-year PhD position within ITEM: the Institute for Transnational and Euregional Cross Border Cooperation and Mobility (ITEM).

Reference number: AT2016.99

Research project

ITEM is an initiative developed by the interfaculty Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development (MACIMIDE), in cooperation with the province of Limburg and the municipality of Maastricht as part of the “Limburg Knowledge/Axis” cooperation. The aim of this PhD project is to examine good and bad practices in intercultural communication at the multilingual workplace in cross border mobility between Limburg and North-Rhine Westphalia. In this type of mobility, individuals and groups can choose in their interactions at the workplace between (i) the national language of the other which is German or Dutch, (ii) code mixing between Dutch and German (iii) English as a lingua franca, (iv) dialect that is spoken throughout this Euregion and (v) a lingua receptive which is a mode of multilingual communication in which speakers employ a language (variety) different from their partner(s) but still are able to understand each other. The proposed PhD project will observe daily linguistic practices at work places, using classic sociolinguistic and ethnographic methods with audio- and self-recordings and qualitative semi-structured interviews. In addition, the project will explore how the findings can be incorporated in a large-scale quantitative survey conducted by Statistics Netherlands (SN) to assess the impact of (un)successful language interactions on social participation and trust.


A sociolinguist, (linguistic) anthropologist, or linguist with an MSc degree and with affinity for doing qualitative fieldwork with a strong interest in multilingualism, multilingual and intercultural communication. The successful candidate is proficient in both spoken and written Dutch and German and has a desire to know more about the dialect spoken in Meuse-Rhine Euregion.

Maastricht University 

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 16,000 students and 4,000 employees. Reflecting the university’s strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Humanities and Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS) has about 250 staff members, and over 1,800 students. More than 75% of the students are non-Dutch (almost 100 different nationalities). All programmes are offered in English and some are also offered in Dutch. FASoS offers two 3-year Bachelor’s programmes: Arts and Culture and European Studies. It also offers six different 1-year Master’s programmes and two 2-year research Master’s programmes.
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is housed in several recently renovated 18th-century buildings in the historic city centre of Maastricht.

Its Graduate School takes in around 10 PhD students each year. Research is organised around four programmes:
1. Politics and Culture in Europe.
2. Maastricht University Science, Technology and Society Studies.
3. Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development.
4. Arts, Media and Culture.

Our Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences offers the opportunity to pursue a PhD in the interdisciplinary field of arts and social sciences. You receive a coherent program of introductory courses, intensive supervision and frequent discussion with the senior researchers inside and outside the Faculty. The Programme can be characterized by its international and interdisciplinary nature and the emphasis on cultural and societal issues of the modern world.

What we have to offer 
We offer a dynamic and challenging job in an internationally-oriented organisation where young people receive an advanced education and scholars conduct exciting research. The PhD candidate will have the unique opportunity to carry out research within the research programme of Arts, Media and Culture and contribute to the development and outreach of ITEM. She / he will be part of an international network of top universities and renowned scholars within the field.

We offer a 4 year full-time appointment as PhD student.
The first year will be a probation period, after a positive assessment the position will be extended with another 3 years.
Your workload will be the normal workload for the position of PhD students. Currently this implies 80% research activities and 20% teaching activities.

Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels for PhD students starting with a salary of € 2.174,- with a yearly growth to € 2.779- gross a month (based on a full-time appointment.)

Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.

You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Maastricht. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings) you will be eligible for an allowance for moving costs. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings) you might be eligible for an allowance for alternative housing.
Other secondary conditions include e.g. a pension scheme and partially paid parental leave.

You will be provided with shared office space and a PC.

Starting date: preferably 1 December 2016 (or as soon as possible thereafter).


Any inquiries about the position or the project may be addressed to:
Prof. L. Cornips (

For more information about the Institute for Transnational and Euregional Cross Border Cooperation and Mobility, see:

For more information about the Maastricht Center for Citizenship, Migration and Development, see:

Maastricht University’s Terms of Employment are laid down in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local university provisions apply as well. For more information please see the website: / employees / A-Z.


Interested candidates are invited to supply us with:
1. A letter of motivation stating the candidate’s qualifications and reasons for interest in the position.
2. Their CV.
3. A grade transcript of previous education at Master level.
4. A research proposal of max. 5 pages, outlining a proposed direction and methodology for the project (based on the short description).
5. The contact information of two references (including e-mail; phone number, mailing address, and relationship to the applicant).

The deadline for submitting your application is 1 September 2016. Selected candidates will be invited for an interview in the second half of September of 2016.

Please send your application electronically to the Secretariat of the Faculty Office: