PhD position in Cognitive Control and Language Learning


Applications are invited for a full-time PhD research position in the Speech Acquisition and Perception Group (SAP), led by Nuria Sebastian Galles, at the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona). The position is covered by a European Research Council Advanced grant on Mechanisms of cognitive control and language learning (project number 323961).


The project will explore the relationship between mechanisms of attention and cognitive control, and language acquisition, approaching the issue through two different strategies. First, we will analyse how possessing better mechanisms of attention and cognitive control contributes to tuning the language processing system to the environmental language(s). The second approach takes the opposite perspective, exploring how specific language exposure (namely, bilingualism) sculpts mechanisms of cognitive control. The project will focus on the way the phoneme inventory and the early vocabulary of the native language are put into place.

Candidate requirements

As a PhD student you will take part in one of the projects of the grant. The PhD will be supervised by Nuria Sebastian Galles.

- Motivation about cognitive and brain development.
- Background in cognitive neuroscience, neuroscience, and/or cognitive psychology
- Previous experience in research with infants and EEG/ERPs analysis will be appreciated - Programming skills: MATLAB
- Good English language skills (Spanish not necessary, though appreciated)


We offer onsite laboratory facilities ( and a highly interdisciplinary and active research environment at the Center for Brain and Cognition (with four ongoing ERC grants). The position will be funded and renewable on yearly basis for up to four years.

Starting date: September 2013.

Gross Salary: up to 19.000 Eur/Year

How to apply

Applications should include:

- a C.V. including detailed undergraduate and graduate educational qualifications* and a list of publications (or relevant outputs)
- the names of two referees who would be willing to write letters of recommendation
- a short cover letter describing research interests

* necessary to verify eligibility as phD candidate (more information: Information about the research group: and about the research center:

For informal enquiries about the position and applications, please contact Applications will be accepted until June, 30th or until the position is filled.

Please, mention that you are applying to the PhD position in the email subject