M1 or M2

Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique


Bâtiment Jaurès
29 rue d'Ulm
75005 Paris, FRANCE

Language acquisition across cultures
Length of internship
minimum 2 months

Would you like to complete your internship in a prestigious institution - Ecole Normale Supérieure Ulm - and a dynamic and innovative environment? Come and join our LAAC (Language Acquisition Across Cultures) team.


Description of the Lab:

The Cognitive Sciences and Psycholinguistics Lab (LSCP) is a joint research unit of the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales), the Ecole Normale Supérieure, and the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique). Our laboratory is located in Paris in the Department of Cognitive Studies (DEC) of the Ecole Normale Supérieure. The aim of the research at LSCP is to understand the psychological mechanisms underlying the acquisition and functioning of typical human cognitive functions, such as language, social cognition, and consciousness.


Description of the team:

The aim of our LAAC (Language Acquisition Across Cultures) team is to shed light on the mechanisms and processes involved in early language acquisition in a variety of cultures and language communities. To this end, we use an interdisciplinary approach (ranging from computational modelling to laboratory experiments and advanced data analysis) in the context of open, collaborative and publicly engaged science.


Internship description:

Most research on early language acquisition has documented input and learning cues in only a handful of cultures. One of the goals of our team is to stimulate the collection of such data from a wider range of cultures, using a recording device that the child wears for full days -- a technique called long-form recordings. However, we are concerned about the fact that these data contain sensitive information. In addition, these data may be considered to represent not only the child wearing the device but also their family, and the wider community. The implications in terms of potential positive and negative effects (immediately and in the future) for individuals and communities have not yet been fully laid out. The overarching goal of this internship is to consider previous failure and success stories to provide guidelines for how to approach this new technique. For example, HeLa cells represent a failure in that the family of Henrietta Lacks never directly benefited economically (until recently) from those developments; the Human Genome Project did not originally consider power dynamics and potential benefits for local populations; face recognition software was not initially developed to appropriately deal with racial biases; etc.


Internship’s objectives:

  • Carry out a scoping review to identify key terms and strategies for an emergent technique to optimize positive, and avoid negative, outcomes
  • Carry out other research activities as relevant to the goals (e.g. surveys)
  • Join an interdisciplinary team
  • Learn about open and cumulative science (a response to the replication crisis)
  • Experience life in the Lab
  • Exposure to research methods in experimental psychology, language sciences, and machine learning


Job location:

LSCP - 29, rue d’Ulm - 75005 Paris; teleworking possible (and may be necessary in the context of COVID19). 


Required profil:

We are looking for full-time interns, minimum 2 months, with the following profile:

  • Organised, autonomous, rigorous;
  • Bachelor's or Master's degree in (bio)ethics, policy, health or other relevant qualification



Submit a motivation letter and a CV to laac.lscp@gmail.com.