PhD positions in Creativity, Translation and Technology (3.0 FTE)

University of Groningen
October 23, 2023
Offerd Salary:€ 2,770
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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PhD positions in Creativity, Translation and Technology (3.0 FTE)


Job description

Applications are invited for three fully funded, four-year PhD positions within the research project “Uncovering the creative process: from Inception to Reception of translated content using machine translation” (INCREC), financed by an ERC Consolidator Grant and coordinated by the Principal Investigator (PI), dr. Ana Guerberof Arenas.

The new machine translation paradigms have drastically changed society's perception of technology and the act of translation. The recent advances in large language models and generative AI has highlighted the need to understand how the creative mind works when translating and the differences experienced when working with technology.

INCREC aims to understand the creative process of translation of literary and audiovisual content and its reception by users with various techniques to enhance MT use, thus improving the translator's working environment and job sustainability, as well as the user experience. To better understand this complex process, INCREC triangulates data from eye-tracking, retrospective think-aloud interviews, translated material, diaries and questionnaires from professional translators and users.

The project will hire three PhD students, who will work together with the PI, a postdoc and a research assistant. Each will also focus on one work package dealing with 1) literary translation, 2) audiovisual translation 3) literary content reception the postdoc will deal with audiovisual reception. The PhDs will work principally in the Netherlands (Groningen) but will spend some time in another country for field work.

The INCREC project counts with the support of the commercial sector through AppTek, a MT provider, and OOONA, a toolkit provider for subtitling.

The PhD Project In collaboration with the other team members, you will work together and also in your individual work packages. The project is very interdisciplinary, combining several methods and instruments for the analysis of creativity in its intersection with technology. You will use a mixed method approach to analyse the impact that technology has on creative content and how creativity influences the reception of stories. You will learn skills related to eye- tracking, retrospective think aloud protocols, statistics, machine learning, surveys as well as coding for qualitative analysis.

You will be asked to:

  • complete a dissertation on creativity, translation and technology. The dissertation may take the form of a book or a series of (co-authored) journal articles in English
  • familiarise yourself with the translation tools and research instruments (including CAT tools and eye-tracking)
  • recruit and qualify participants for your experimental research
  • collect data from translators, subtitlers, readers and viewers independently as well as together with the principal investigator and other team members with the proposed instruments
  • analyse data quantitatively (statistics) and qualitatively (coding for interviews)
  • create a framework of macro and micro creative process together with your PI and other team members
  • co-organize research meetings within the Centre for Language and Cognition and the Network of Interdisciplinary Translation Studies in the Netherlands and Belgium
  • contribute to the project's public outreach and social media activities.
  • Organisation The University of Groningen, founded in 1614, is an international research university in the north of The Netherlands. Our staff create and share knowledge through outstanding research and education. The Faculty of Arts – which includes the Centre for Language and Cognition (CLCG) – is located in the historic heart of the city of Groningen.

    You will be enrolled in the Graduate School for the Humanities, affiliated with the CLCG, a research institute of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. CLCG engages in multidisciplinary linguistic, neuropsychological, and computational research on language and communication. You will work more closely with the Computational Linguistics group, consisting of 14 academic staff and about 15 PhD students. You will also have the opportunity to join one of the National Research Schools, which offer training and funding opportunities for PhD students in the Netherlands.

  • a Research Master's or Master's degree in any area related to the project (e.g. Translation Studies, Digital Humanities, Linguistics, Literary Studies, Information Science, Computer Science, Cognitive Science/Psychology)
  • experience as a literary or audiovisual translator is a distinct advantage
  • ample experience with CAT tools
  • experience with quantitative/qualitative methods (see above)
  • an independent, proactive work ethic
  • a flexible, mobile and internationally oriented mentality
  • excellent academic writing skills in English
  • knowledge of Dutch, Spanish and/or Catalan is an advantage. Other language combinations will be considered for the post
  • experience using an eye-tracking device is a distinct advantage.
  • Organisation Conditions of employment

    In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, the University of Groningen offers you:

  • a salary of € 2,770 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,539 gross per month in the final year, based on a full-time position
  • a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
  • an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
  • a temporary 1.0 FTE appointment for a specified period of four years. The candidate will first be appointed for twelve months. After six months, an assessment will take place of the candidate's results and the progress of the PhD project, in order to decide whether employment will be continued
  • excellent work-life balance.
  • The appointment will commence in March-April 2024. We allow 3 months from selection in case of VISA applications.


    Applications should be made in English and contain the following materials:

  • short statement (c. 1,000 words), explaining your motivation for applying. Clearly indicate in the title if you are interested in literary or audiovisual translation
  • curriculum vitae
  • copies of MA diploma and list of grades
  • copy of MA thesis
  • if available, a copy of an article, book chapter or other academic text that you feel represents your work best
  • contact details of two academic referees (no letters of recommendation are needed for the application process).
  • Please send in your application as two PDF files (one for the MA thesis, and one for all other documents). You may apply for this position until 22nd October 11:59pm / before 23rd October 2023 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

    Interviews with selected candidates will be held between 20 - 24 November 2023.

    The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage: https: // www. strategy/diversity-and-inclusion/

    Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): https: // www. and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers: https: //

    We provide career services for partners of new faculty members moving to Groningen.

    Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


    For information you can contact:

  • Dr Ana Guerberof Arenas, for information about the project, a.guerberof.arenas
  • Merel Lobo at Centre for Language and Cognition (for questions regarding the submission procedure), m.s.lobo
  • Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.

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