PostDoc ERC Statistics

Two-year ERC-funded Postdoctoral position (100% TV-L 13); statistician / mathematician / computer scientist

Application deadline: July 21, 2022

The postdoctoral position will be funded as part of the ERC Grant IDDISC "Individualized Interaction in Discourse" of Prof. Vera Demberg, at Saarland University.
The goal of the position is to develop better statistical methods for modelling individual differences found in language processing datasets and further developing methods for automatically assigning individuals to latent groups.

The job will involve comparing alternative statistical methods for discovering latent groups in data with properties
such as typical psycholinguistic data (in terms of repeated measures design) and specifically properties that reflect data collection with many subjects and few observations per subject. An initial approach could consist of performing simulation experiments, see (e.g. Barr et al., 2013). Alternative statistical analysis methods to be analysed in the experiment are linear mixed effects models with analysis of the random effects structure, latent class analysis (McCutcheon, 1987), and Bayesian mixed effects model with different
priors. The simulations will allow us to compare across a range of runs with different initializations and with different parameters, how likely the different model types are to recover the structure that underlies the data. Data observations from
the experiments collected in other parts of the project will be used as a basis for constructing realistic data simulations.
A further goal consists of exploring ways of setting up the statistical model to assess the stability in individual biases across time.

The candidate should have a PhD degree in statistics, mathematics, computer science or a related area, and should have a strong publication record. The successful applicant must have excellent spoken and written
proficiency in English.

The position is for 2 years initially. The preferred start date is summer 2022 and can be negotiated. It will be paid according to 100% TV-L E13, see also
The position is open until filled, but we will start to review applications from May 1st. The job does not come with any teaching obligation. You can however choose to participate in teaching activities.

Applicants are requested to submit their application, including a cover letter that specifies why you would like to work on this topic and what qualifies you for it, an academic CV, a list of academic publications, your PhD thesis (or a current draft), copies of academic degree certificates and names of two potential references.

Saarland University is one of the leading centres for computer science and computational linguistics in Europe, and offers a dynamic and stimulating research environment. The group is affiliated with both the Department of Computer Science and with the  Department of Language Science and Technology.
Both departments are part of the Saarland Informatics Campus, which brings together 800 researchers and 2000 students from 81 countries. We collaborate closely with the university's Department of Computer Science, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI).

Our researchers and students come from all over the world, and our primary working language is English.

Saarland University is an equal opportunity employer. Applications of women are strongly encouraged; applications of disabled persons will be given preferential treatment to those of other candidates with equal qualifications.

Applications should be sent via email directly to Prof. Vera Demberg (vera(at)