Technical research assistant for video/motion capture recordings of sign language

Technical research assistant for video/motion capture recordings of sign language

Together with four other universities, SignLab Amsterdam is working on datasets for research into Dutch Sign Language at the Institute for Logic, Language, and Computation (ILLC) and the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR). An important goal is to introduce the digital scientific NGT lexicon Global Signbank further expandable with video and motion capture recordings of gestures in NGT. We are looking for one or two technical research assistants who want to participate in making and processing these recordings.

What are you going to do?

Together with other people in the team you add new gestures to the online NGT lexicon in Global Signbank. You make setups to record NGT users in the team gesturing single gestures and example sentences. You not only use traditional video cameras for the recordings, but also depth cameras and motion capture equipment. You process these recordings with video and 3D editing software to archive them in the online lexicon in Global Signbank. This online lexicon is used for scientific research on NGT.

Tasks and responsibilities:

  • Build and maintain setups to make recordings
  • Create video and motion capture recordings of gestures and example sentences in NGT
  • Process recordings with video and 3D editing software (e.g. Adobe Premiere, Blender, Maya, Unreal Engine)
  • Facilitating research into NGT based on the data obtained
  • Participate in communication about the project, both in an academic and social setting

What do we ask of you?

  • You have experience with professional video recording equipment and video editing software (for example Adobe Premiere). Preferably you also have experience with motion capture equipment (the recordings will be made with a Vicon/FaceWare system) and with 3D modeling/animation software and game engines (e.g. Blender, Maya, Unreal Engine)
  • You can read and write Dutch well
  • You have computer experienceprogramma’s als Microsoft Word, Excel en Powerpoint (of Apple Pages, Numbers en Keynote)
  • You can work accurately and independently
  • You enjoy working together within a team of deaf and hearing employees
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NGT skills, interest in linguistic research into the grammar of NGT and affinity with the deaf community are a plus. Experience with motion capture equipment (e.g. Vicon, FaceWare) and with 3D modeling/animation software and game engines (e.g. Blender, Maya, Unreal Engine) are a plus. English reading skills and programming skills are also a plus, but not strictly necessary. Experience with annotation software such as ELAN is also a plus.

What do we offer you?

We offer temporary employment until December 31, 2024 with a probationary period of two months, preferably from October 15, 2023. The employment is for 8 to 38 hours per week, in consultation.

Your salary, depending on relevant experience at the start of employment, is: €3,072 to €4,103 gross per month (scale 8), based on 38 hours per week, excluding 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% year-end bonus. The Collective Labor Agreement Dutch Universities applies.

What else do we offer you?

  • An inspiring and educational function in which you can use advanced technical equipment for video and motion capture recordings
  • An enthusiastic and warm team of deaf and hearing employees
  • An inspiring academic and international work environment in the heart of Amsterdam

Over ons

The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the widest range of study programmes. An intellectual hub with 42,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 PhD candidates. Connected by a culture of curiosity. Read more.

It Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) is an interdisciplinary research institute of the Faculties of FGw and FNWI that aims to bring together insights from various disciplines related to information and information processing, such as linguistics, mathematics, computer science, artificial intelligence, music and philosophy.

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It Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR) is a broad research institute that covers research within all major sub-disciplines of the humanities.

Sign Lab Amsterdam is an interdisciplinary research lab connecting theoretical linguistics and practical applications for sign language users and learners. SignLab is an inspiring working environment for the deaf: it is an enthusiastic and sign language-skilled team of both deaf and hearing employees who together investigate the grammar and use of NGT and other sign languages.

Do you want to know more about our organization? You can read more about this here work at the University of Amsterdam.

To ask?

For questions about the position or the department, you can (also for a Zoom appointment) contact:


If you recognize yourself in the profile and are interested in the position, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the link below. We are happy to receive one pdf file your motivation letter and your CV (to be uploaded in the mandatory field ‘CV’). You can also record your cover letter as a video in NGT. In that case, add a link to your video to the PDF with your CV (for example on Youtube or Vimeo). Optionally, you can also add one or more links to video or motion capture projects you’ve worked on in your resume.

The response period closes on September 8, 2023. Unfortunately, we cannot process applications that we receive after the response period, that are not sent via the link below, or that are incomplete.

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The interviews will take place in September 2023.

As an employer, the UvA maintains an equal opportunities policy. We value diversity and are fully committed to being a place where everyone feels at home. We cherish the inquiring mind and perseverance and leave room to ask questions. Curiosity and creativity are our prevailing culture.

We propose acquisition not appreciated


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