Postdoctoral fellowship in Phonetics, Aarhus University, Denmark

    Postdoctoral fellowship in Phonetics, Aarhus University, Denmark

    The postdoctoral fellowship position is affiliated with the research project ‘“It’s not what you said, it’s how you said it”: an empirical approach to human voice as the outward expression of inner character’“, in the Department of English within the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University, Denmark

    Postdoctoral Position in the Phonetic Aspects of Voice Quality

    Deadline to Apply

    Apr 06, 2021 23:59 (GMT +1)


    Postdoctoral fellowship

    No. of Position(s)


    Research area



    According to standard norms


    Department of English
    Aarhus C, Denmark

    Contract period

    2 Years


    Michaela Hejná
    Associate professor
    School of Communication and Culture – English

    Arts Administrative Centre – Arts HR
    Phone: +4587162298


    Applicants must have a PhD degree or must document equivalent qualifications within the field of phonetics

    Applicants must be able to document, relevant to the position:

    • an internationally oriented research profile within phonetics as documented by a PhD dissertation and/or research publications
    • experience in the self-directed management of research projects
    • experience with acoustic analyses
    • experience with quantitative statistical analyses
    • excellent communication and interpersonal skills, in order to engage productively both within the research team and with external organisations and institutions


    Furthermore, it will be considered an advantage if applicants can document

    • an outstanding and innovative doctoral dissertation in an area related to and relevant for the project
    • a track record of research publications of a high international standard, as commensurate with the length of the applicant’s academic career
    • experience with articulatory research
    • experience with attitudinal research
    • experience with vocal variation research
    • experience with interdisciplinary research
    • experience of participation in national and international research networks
    • time spent abroad working at one or more internationally recognised research institutions.

    How to Apply?

    Please upload this material electronically along with your application, above mentioned Apply Online button

    Documents required

    The application must outline the applicant’s motivation for applying for the position, attaching

    • A curriculum vitae
    • A complete list of published works
    • Copies of degree certificates and examples of academic production (mandatory, but no more than five examples).

    Responsibilities/Job Description

    We are looking for an applicant who can start the project by the appointed date. As a member of a highly interdisciplinary team, we are very much looking for a colleague who is open to new ideas. This relates to research questions, but also new methodological approaches not necessarily frequently used in the fields of phonetics and linguistics.

    The successful applicant will be expected to design the studies to answer the research questions described above, in close collaboration with the project team. Your main research-related tasks will consist of carrying out data collection and data analysis, and preparing publishable manuscripts.

    The project will be associated with monthly talks on the human voice. You will be expected to participate in these.

    At the end of the project, a workshop on being interdisciplinary in research and teaching is going to take place at Aarhus University. You will be expected to co-organise the event with the rest of the team.

    The project will be carried out in Denmark. You will be expected to be an active member of the physical environment of the Department of English at Aarhus University.

    About Project

    This project expands our knowledge of how the human voice can signal positive and negative characteristics of its owner. While work in sociolinguistics and phonetics has documented some of the signalling potentials of vocal variation (e.g. attractiveness, honesty), the studies available do not, as a rule, bring the analytical tools or findings of multiple disciplines together. For instance, clinical research into voice usually does not consult sociolinguistic research, and vice versa, although both perspectives need to be considered for our understanding of what functions vocal variation has and whether these are social or biological (or a combination of the two). Similarly, evolutionary research into voice is typically not informed by sociolinguistic findings or vice versa. Our understanding of the signalling potentials of the human voice will thus always be suboptimal unless a highly interdisciplinary approach is employed.

    The research component of the project will revolve around two broader areas. Area 1 focuses on positive and negative trait assessment of vocal variation. In particular, the team will look into the vocal traits of villains and heroes, the vocal elements of creepiness, and vocal variation and crisis (e.g. how do figures of authority change their voice when relating negative/positive news?). Area 2, which is where the successful applicant will play a role, examines sociobiologically conditioned vocal variation – with a focus on smoking and alcohol. There are four research questions the postdoc fellow will be working on:

    • RQ1 How does regular heavy alcohol consumption affect one’s voice quality?
    • RQ2 What traits do listeners associate with the voice quality found in regular heavy alcohol consumers, if any?
    • RQ3 What traits do listeners associate with the voice quality found in heavy smoker voices, if any?
    • RQ4 Do traits associated with heavy smoker voices, and the appeal of those voices with popular culture audiences, change across time?

    International applicants

    International applicants are encouraged to read about the attractive working conditions and other benefits of working at Aarhus University and in Denmark, including healthcare, paid holidays and, if relevant, maternity/paternity leave, childcare and schooling. Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including a relocation service and career counselling for expat partners. You can also find more information on the taxation aspects of international researchers’ employment by AU.


    Other Postdoctoral Positions

    Post expires at 8:59am on Wednesday April 7th, 2021 (GMT+9)