Doctoraatsbursaal in digitale en meertalige communicatie

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
December 02, 2022
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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Doctoraatsbursaal in digitale en meertalige communicatie

(ref. BAP-2022-751)

Last modification : Thursday, October 13, 2022

The MIDI Research Group (“Multimodality, Interaction & Discourse”) at KU Leuven, Department of Linguistics is looking for 1 full-time PhD collaborator for a new research project about the role of linguistic content on the perception of and emotional responses to online consumer feedback. The PhD candidate will collaborate with Prof dr. Nicolas Ruytenbeek, assistant professor in digital and multilingual communication at KU Leuven (campus Antwerp). The MIDI research group (Multimodality, Interaction & Discourse) unites researchers with an interest in the study of language in interaction, with a specific focus on the social, cognitive and multimodal dimension of language use. The research group applies different methodological approaches across paradigms such as Pragmatics, Cognitive & Interactional (Socio)Linguistics and Conversation Analysis. KU Leuven is consistently ranked within the top European Universities (see https:// www. For this function, the candidate will be based on the Antwerp campus of the KU Leuven.

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In the current era of digitalization, online public platforms enable (and, sometimes, explicitly request) hotel guests to share their feedback about their stay with the hotel and other consumers in the form of online reviews. Large amounts of online hotel reviews have already been written (for example, more than 25 million on, and their influence is unquestionable: Consumers' purchase decisions are known to be influenced to a large extent by other customers' reviews. While such reviews are written in many different languages, research on (im)politeness in reviews in general, and on cross- linguistic variation in the form of reviews in particular, is only at its infancy. The present research project addresses the link between (im)politeness and review realization from a comparative perspective, i.e., between different languages-cultures such as French and English/Dutch. To do this, a combination of corpus analyses and experimental studies will be used. The candidate will carry out a detailed literature study on the topic of (im)politeness in online consumer feedback and prepare an original PhD dissertation under Prof. dr. Ruytenbeek's supervision.

  • Applicants should possess a Master's degree in (applied) linguistics, cognitive science or related areas (or obtain one before the start of the grant);
  • Preferably, candidates have a background in one or more of the following domains: pragmatics, discourse analysis, business communication;
  • Experience with corpus linguistic techniques and statistics, is considered a plus;
  • The analysis will be conducted on English (or Dutch) and French texts and the results of the analysis will be written and presented orally in English. A good mastery of English and of (written) French is therefore required;
  • Further assets are a creative mind and a collaborative and collegial attitude.
  • Offer

    We offer a 1-year fulltime grant as a PhD researcher. This grant is intended to enable promising young researchers to develop their thesis project and apply for follow-up funding while maximising their chances of success. Prof. Ruytenbeek will therefore provide all necessary support to prepare for and submit an FWO PhD fellowship, which – if granted – would allow the candidate to continue their PhD for an additional 4 years (see https: // www. fundamental-research/). The candidate will be part of a dynamic team of senior and junior researchers, providing ample opportunities for collaboration, discussion and encouraging guidance. For example, the MIDI lab sessions (twice a month) are an opportunity for the applicant to present their work and receive feedback from senior researchers.

    The salary will be in accordance with the university salary scales for PhD students. The starting date will be mutually agreed upon, but preferably around 1st January 2022.


    For more information please contact Prof. dr. Nicolas Ruytenbeek, mail:

    KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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