PhD Studentship on Reframing in Mediation (Switzerland)

The Institute of Argumentation, Linguistics and Semiotics (IALS) of USI Università della Svizzera italiana invites applications for a PhD position (100%, 3 years). The PhD candidate will develop his or her dissertation within the project: “The inferential dynamics of reframing within dispute mediators’ argumentation”, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. This dissertation will be supervised by Prof. Sara Greco.

The research project
The selected candidate will develop his or her dissertation in the framework of a research project directed by Prof. Sara Greco; this project proposes a novel interpretation of reframing as an argumentative competence of dispute mediators. The PhD candidate will be equally expected to substantially contribute to activities related to this research project, both at the scientific and at the organizational level. The project “The inferential dynamics of reframing within dispute mediators’ argumentation” is part of a broader stream of research concerning argumentation in dispute mediation that is carried out at the IALS. Within this project, regular interaction with professional mediators in Switzerland will be required.

Place of work
Lugano. Availability to travel to other parts of Switzerland and abroad (for purposes of collaboration and research) is required.

The IALS institute represents a lively research environment for a PhD student who specializes in argumentation. Interaction with several researchers specializing on argumentation in different contexts, as well as interdisciplinary interactions with colleagues inside and outside the Faculty is an asset for a PhD candidate who wants to work on argumentation in a specific communication field such as conflict resolution. The candidate will also take part in the activities of the Laboratory for the study of Argumentation in the Contexts of the Public Sphere (LACoPS).

• A Master (or equivalent title) in argumentation, communication, language sciences, social sciences, psychology, conflict studies, or related disciplines.
• High personal interest in the analysis of discourse and argumentation. Proven attitude for a fine-grained analysis of communicative interaction. Inclination towards the study of argumentation, discourse analysis, and the linguistic specificities of the discourse of conflict resolution.
• Interest for dispute mediation and other conflict resolution practices; nuanced understanding of the human and social value of conflict resolution.
• Fluency in English is necessary. Fluency in French is also strictly required, as the PhD candidate will conduct his or her research in collaboration with a board of experts, including academics and mediators, who are largely based in the French part of Switzerland. Knowledge of Italian will be considered an added value; in any case, it is expected that the selected candidate will learn to communicate in Italian during the PhD.
• Motivation to engage in the elaboration of a PhD dissertation. Ability to work in team and autonomy in scheduling research steps. Interest for teaching and availability to collaborate with colleagues (engage in scientific dialogue, listen and think critically) are required. The ability to establish good working relations with professional mediators will be considered an important asset.

Job description
The PhD candidate will participate in all phases of the research project. He or she will have the task of setting up a collection of data for his or her dissertation, while at the same time pursuing the goals of the project. Data collection will require interaction with professional mediators in Switzerland.

The PhD candidate will write a dissertation related to the research topic of the project. He or she will collaborate in the organization of scientific and dissemination activities related to the project. It is expected that he or she will regularly collaborate with researchers at the IALS as well as other scholars who are in the scientific board of the project.

The PhD candidate is also asked to present papers at scientific conferences, and produce publications for scientific journals.

Contract terms
The project is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the PhD student will be receiving a salary according to the SNF policies.

Starting date
1st March 2017 (at the earliest). However, the position will be kept open until a suitable candidate has been found.

Applications must include: a motivation letter, a complete CV, copies of university titles, an electronic version of a research work (Master thesis or other scientific publication). The latter must be accompanied by a short summary in English (1 page maximum). A support letter written by the Master thesis supervisor (or another Professor who knows the candidate well) is equally welcome.

Applications must be sent to Prof. Sara Greco in electronic format (sara.greco AT For any further information about this position, please contact her.

Deadline for applications
The deadline for applications is February 10, 2017; but applications will be received until the position is filled.