We’re hiring – research assistantship heritage language education

Research Assistantship in Heritage Language Education

Vakgroep Linguistics and Literary Studies

Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte

Vrije Universiteit Brussel


Job description

The Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies in Vrije Universiteit Brussel seeks to appoint a fixed-term research assistant (‘wetenschappelijk medewerker’) for the project entitled “A Digital Collaborative Platform for Minority Language Education in Brussels”.

The project is part of the BeTalky 2021-2022 project call, led by Sven Gatz, minister responsible for the promotion of multilingualism in Brussels. Further background information on the project can be found in the news releases at VUB supports multilingualism in Brussels with BeTalky grant and Brussels initiative aims to preserve the use of non-Belgian languages.

The post is part-time (40%) on a fixed term of 10 months. The post-holder will ideally be in post on 15 September 2021. The post-holder will be employed as a fixed-term ‘wetenschappelijk medewerker’ (salary scale 502).

The post-holder will be responsible for carrying out the project with day-to-day tasks, including coordinating fieldwork arrangements, communicating with the relating institutes of education and stakeholders, contributing to fieldwork data and analysis, literature searching and collecting resources, and implementing the field work data and the selected resources.

Candidates with an interest to pursue a PhD in a topic linked to the project are also welcome to apply, as we can explore possibilities for additional funding for PhD research.

The post-holder will be embedded in the Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies, as part of the Center for Linguistics (CLIN) as well as the Brussels Institute for Applied Linguistics (BIAL), under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Rik Vosters and Dr. Jianwei Xu.



A master’s degree in linguistics, applied linguistics, sociology, gender and diversity studies, social sciences, or a related relevant field, with a demonstrable interest in issues related to the project.


  • Proficient in English, French and/or Dutch, and proficiency in – or experience with – a relevant heritage language in Brussels (e.g. Arabic, Chinese, Romanian, Spanish, etc.) is a plus
  • Strong and effective communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to liaise with a range of stakeholders
  • Ability to work independently and use own initiative
  • Ability to summarize and synthesize complex or large amounts of information and distill the most relevant information
  • Ability to manage time effectively and work to strict deadlines

Experience (desirable, not required)

  • Experience in conducting academic research
  • Experience in or familiarity with heritage language education
  • Affinity with technical tools to set up a project website

How to apply

All applicants are asked to submit the following documents and preferably combine them into one PDF document with the candidate’s name:

  • a full CV
  • a cover letter (approx. 2 pages) which details your skills and experience in meeting (or your potential to meet) the criteria set out above
  • a copy of all relevant diplomas
  • a transcript of records of your MA degree
  • an academic writing sample (e.g. scientific publication, research paper, bachelor thesis/master thesis)

Please send your applications to Prof. Rik Vosters (rik.vosters@vub.be). Informal enquiries can also be directed to Prof. Vosters.

Closing date: 27 June 2021

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process.

Interviews are scheduled to take place (in person or digitally) on July 1st. Please indicate in your application if and when you are available on this date.


This project is supported with a grant from the government of the Brussels Capital Region – Minister van de Brusselse Hoofdstedelijke Regering Sven Gatz, belast met de promotie van meertaligheid