Postdoctoral Researcher - The Computation and Psycholinguistics Laboratory - Ambiguity

Type of Position: 

Post Doc



Application Deadline: 

Friday, July 31, 2020


Posting Date: July 16, 2019


Department of Psychology
University of Toronto



Area of Research: The Computation and Psycholinguistics Laboratory (CAP Lab) in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto Scarborough invites applications for a full-time postdoctoral fellow to study how semantically ambiguous words are represented and processed. 

Description of duties:

The project primarily focuses on developing computational models of how individuals learn to represent words with different numbers of meanings and different degrees of relatedness among those meanings, as well as how processing mechanisms selectively activate a contextually appropriate meaning.  Although the focus of the project will be on computational modeling, there will also be opportunities for conducting coordinated behavioural, EEG, and/or transcranial stimulation experiments in the CAP lab experimental suite. 

This project will be conducted within the context of the vibrant interdisciplinary research community at the University of Toronto, one of the world's highest ranked institutions in psychology, linguistics, and computer science, and with a number of laboratories and research groups standing at the intersection between these disciplines to study semantic ambiguity.  Among others, these include the research groups of Professor Suzanne Stevenson (Computer Science), Professor Yang Xu (Computer Science / Cognitive Science), and Professor Barend Beekhuizen (Linguistics / Computer Science), all of whom are pursuing research in areas related to the topic of this project.  Where appropriate, collaborations with other relevant research groups will be encouraged. 

Relevant background information regarding the focus for this project is available in the following articles:

Salary: Salary will be in the $45,000-$60,000 range, commensurate with qualifications and experience.  

Required qualifications: The successful candidate must have a PhD in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Linguistics, or a closely related field by the time of appointment, with a focus on computational methods and theory. Candidates with prior training in computational modeling of language are encouraged to apply; candidates with prior training in neural network (connectionist / parallel distributed processing) models of language are particularly encouraged to apply.   

Application instructions

All individuals interested in this position must submit the following application materials to by the closing date:

  1. Curriculum vitae. 
  2. A one-page research statement related outlining research experience and interests related to the project 
  3. A sample of previously published work
  4. Two reference letters (to be emailed directly to by the referees) 

Closing date:    An initial review of applications will occur on August 23, 2019; candidates should submit by this deadline to receive full consideration.  The position will remain open until filled.

Supervisor: Professor Blair Armstrong

Expected start date: The target start date for the position is October 1, 2019, although this is flexible.

Term: The initial appointment will be for a term of one year with the possibility of renewal.

FTE:      Full-time / 100% FTE

The normal hours of work are 40 hours per week for a full-time postdoctoral fellow (pro-rated for those holding a partial appointment) recognizing that the needs of the employee’s research and training and the needs of the supervisor’s research program may require flexibility in the performance of the employee’s duties and hours of work.

The successful candidate will join the vibrant research community at the University of Toronto, one of the world's highest ranked institutes in psychology, linguistics, and computer science, and with a number of laboratories and research groups standing at the intersection between these disciplines.  Several talk series and discussion groups are also available at the intersection of these fields.  Candidates will have the opportunity to engage in a number of international collaborations involving computational, behavioural and neural investigations of semantic ambiguity, and have access to word-class computing facilities, neuroimaging, equipment, behavioural testing suites, and a large multi-lingual participant pool.  

Toronto is consistently ranked among the most livable cities in the world. It is a highly multi-cultural environment both inside and outside the University community, and offers opportunities to enjoy the music, food, and arts of the world.   The city also boasts an extensive network of public parks and trails, including many along the edge of Lake Ontario, as well as an extensive public transportation network and world class public services. 

All qualified candidates will be considered, although preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Employment as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto is covered by the terms of the CUPE 3902 Unit 5 Collective Agreement.

This job is posted in accordance with the CUPE 3902 Unit 5 Collective Agreement.

The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous / Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.


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