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The Chair of Digital Forensic Linguistics of the Faculty of Philology is looking for a 

Postdoc (m,f,x) for 3 years with 39,83 hours per week, TVL E13

The scientific research focus of the professorship includes the theoretical and computational linguistic analysis of conversations in social media. We develop artificial intelligence-based methods to crystallize linguistic characteristics of interactions in social media. We apply this basic linguistic research to detect, for example, disinformation and insults in the plethora of new digital texts that emerge daily.

In general, forensic linguistics deals with legal aspects of language. Digital forensic linguistics shifts this field of research into the digital space, where it investigates potentially harmful speech acts. One example of application is negative communication practices such as manipulation and misinformation, hate speech or plagiarism. 

The project EmDiCom "Semantics and Pragmatics of Emojis in Digital Communication" will develop a formal, hybrid semantics for emojis as a prime example of visual communication within the newly established DFG priority program ViCom (“Visual Communication. Theoretical, Empirical, and Applied Perspectives”). The project is carried out in cooperation between Jun.-Prof. Dr. Tatjana Scheffler (Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany) and Prof. Dr. Patrick Grosz (University of Oslo, Norway).

extent: full-time
duration: temporary
beginning: 01.09.2022
application dateline:
05.07.2022

Your tasks:

  • independent research on the semantics and pragmatics of emojis in the research project "Semantics and Pragmatics of Emojis in Digital Communication" (EmDiCom)
  • participation in the interdisciplinary DFG priority program "Visual Communication" (e.g. participation in network meetings)
  • planning and conducting linguistic online experiments (acceptability studies, reading time measurements)
  • collaboration on publications and presentations at international conferences
  • supervision of research assistants
  • organization of scientific events (workshops)

Your profile:

  • An above-average linguistics PhD is required
  • Focus on formal semantics/ pragmatics and experience in experimental linguistics
  • Willingness to travel to the project partner in Oslo for research visits is expected (up to 6 months in total)
  • Knowledge of tools for creating and conducting online experiments is an advantage
  • Prior experience working with digital corpora is desirable
  • Very good English skills are required, knowledge of German or Norwegian is an advantage

Our offerings:

  • challenging and varied tasks with a high degree of personal responsibility
  • a qualified induction support from and cooperation with competent colleagues
  • team-oriented cooperation in a committed, international and appreciative team
  • Possibilities of location-flexible work
  • international cooperation with the "Super Linguistics" group of the University of Oslo and within the framework of the priority program "Visual Communication"

Additional information:

Applicants should submit a short cover letter with motivation for the position, a complete CV, two sample publications and the names of two potential reviewers in a single PDF file. Interviews are expected to take place via Zoom on July 28 and 29.

If the position is funded by third-party funds the employee has no teaching obligation.

The Ruhr-Universität Bochum is one of Germany’s leading research universities, addressing the whole range of academic disciplines. A highly dynamic setting enables researchers and students to work across the traditional boundaries of academic subjects and faculties. To create knowledge networks within and beyond the university is RUB’s declared aim.


The Ruhr-Universität Bochum stands for diversity and equal opportunities. For this reason, we favour a working environment composed of heterogeneous teams, and seek to promote the careers of individuals who are underrepresented in our respective professional areas. The Ruhr-Universität Bochum expressly requests job applications from women. In areas in which they are underrepresented they will be given preference in the case of equivalent qualifications with male candidates. Applications from individuals with disabilities are most welcome.

Contact details for your application:

Frau Jun.-Prof. Dr. Scheffler, Phone: +49234 32 21471

Travel expenses for interviews cannot be refunded.

For information on the collection of personal data in the application process see: https://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/en/information-collection-personal-data-application-process.

We look forward to receiving your application, quoting the keyword "EmDiCom", with the specification ANR: 705 until 05/07/2022, send by e-mail to the following address: malvina.witzki@rub.de

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