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Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)
Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)

Doctoral Research Fellowships ENROL

Deadline: 30.05.2022

Universitetet i Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest ranked educational and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. With its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.


The Department of Public and International Law is part the University of Oslo Faculty of Law. Our researchers cover a great number of fields in public and international law and thereby related fields, such as constitutional law, administrative law, public international law, criminal law and procedure, civil procedure, environmental law, labour law, legal history, legal theory, refugee & asylum law, social law, tax law, women’s law and European law.

2 PhD positions relating to the research on the European Union's rule of law crisis (ENROL)

The Department of Public and International Law of the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo (UiO) invites applications for two 4-year research fellowships as PhD candidates (SKO 1017) in law, with tentative starting date in September 2022.

As Doctoral research fellows, you will write your dissertation within the research project Enforcing the Rule of Law (ENROL), financed by the Norwegian Research Council and the University of Oslo. ENROL is a multidisciplinary research project studying the European Union’s (EU) handling of its rule of law crisis in the wake of democratic backsliding in some of its member states (with a specific focus on Poland). It consists of a team of scholars at the University of Oslo, with a background in law, political science and philosophy, and is co-ordinated by professors Daniel Naurin (ARENA, Centre for European Studies) and Christophe Hillion (Department of Public and International Law and Centre for European Law, UiO). For further information about the project, see here.

More about the positions

ENROL seeks two well-qualified and highly motivated PhD candidates to write their doctoral theses on a legal topic directly related to the project.

ENROL includes four work packages. Legal research will be conducted mainly in three of the four work packages, viz. WP1 and WP4, and partly WP2. The two research fellows will contribute primarily to one or more of these three work packages.

WP1 studies the variety of legal tools which the European Union has deployed and that it may still develop, to safeguard the rule of law. The purpose is to establish what devices EU institutions have favoured, and what other mechanisms could be envisaged to secure compliance with rule of law standards associated with EU membership, and to protect the EU legal order from the corrosive effects of actual and potential Member States’ regressions.

WP2 studies the politics and decision-making in the EU institutions (the European Commission, Council, Court of Justice and European Parliament) to understand and explain the EU’s responses (or lack thereof) to the challenges posed by violations of the EU’s basic membership rules relating to the rule of law. After identifying a series of key decision points or “critical junctures,” the goal will be to reconstruct the politics at those points that drove the selection of some EU policy (non)responses over their alternatives.

WP4 aims at developing a normative understanding of the legal and democratic legitimacy of different EU tools to enforce the rule of law. The purpose is to (re)appraise the extent to which EU law provides the means to address Member States’ violations of the rule of law, notably by engaging with arguments invoked by key protagonists to restrain EU action to enforce the rule of law. WP4 will also assess different normative arguments used in the literature and in public discourse to delegitimize EU action to safeguard the rule of law.

The PhD position is an educational position and will lead to a PhD degree from the Faculty of Law. Applicants must be qualified for admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Law. The doctoral dissertation can be written as a monograph or article-based with at least 3 articles and an introduction (kappe) to the thesis as a whole, see here (Norwegian website). Read more about the researcher education here.

As a research fellow, you will be admitted to the PhD program at the Faculty of law at the University of Oslo. You will have your base at the law faculty; you will be expected to be present in Oslo and to participate in ongoing activities at the faculty.

The employment period is preferably four years, with 25 % compulsory teaching duties. Parts of the duties are managed by ENROL and UiO. The main part of the duty will typically be teaching assignments at the Faculty of Law; however, this presupposes that the fellow is able to conduct teaching in subjects where there is a need for more teaching resources at the Faculty. Alternatively, the candidate may apply for a 3-year fellowship without teaching duties.

You will be provided with office space, computer and access to all standard services at the faculty.

Further details about the Department of Public and International Law can be found here.

Qualification requirements and other qualities

The applicant must hold a five year Master’s degree in law or the equivalent. Specialization in EU law through studies or work experience is an advantage.

Applicants should normally have grades that place them among the top 10-15 percent of graduates. This requirement also applies to the master’s thesis. ENROL working language is English. Fluent oral and written communication skills in English are therefore required.

In addition, the following is required:

  • The applicant must be able to work independently and in a structured manner.
  • The applicant must have good collaboration skills.
  • The applicant must have the ambition to contribute to the development of the subject and academic environments
  • The applicant must be motivated to participate in the legal science community nationally, and internationally. Some travel must be expected.

The general requirements for admission to the PhD programme can be found here.

How to apply

The application must contain

  • A cover letter describing the applicant's qualifications and motivation for the position. The letter should consist of four paragraphs in the following order:
    • a) a short presentation of yourself,
    • b) a short presentation of your merits,
    • c) a short presentation of the intended research project and
    • d) a short account of why the ENROL project are of interest to you
  • Project description in 5-10 pages that provides an account of the research topic, choice of theory and methodology, and plans for how the work is to be carried out. It should indicate your research interests and planned focus area. The project description must demonstrate familiarity with previous research within the relevant area of the call, an ability to formulate scientific problems and to specify a relevant research design and methods. The project description must be written in English.
  • Curriculum Vitae (complete overview of education, practice and professional work).
  • Certified copies of diplomas with all grades included in the degree, certificates. For applicants with education from abroad, a copy of the original diploma as well as English or Scandinavian translation is required. Foreign diplomas must be accompanied by an explanation of the grading system.
  • If available: A complete list of publications.
  • Up to 3 academic works. If works have been written by several authors, the division of work between them must be documented with a co-author's declaration.
  • Reference list (2-3 references with name, relationship to applicant and contact information)

Please note that all documents must be in English or a Scandinavian language.

Applications with attachments must be submitted via our electronic recruitment system, please click "Apply for this job".

Evaluation of the applicant

In assessing the applications, emphasis will be placed on the project description, previous work results, experience, grades, as well as professional and personal prerequisites for being able to complete the project.

The candidate is expected to complete the project by the end of the fellowship period.

Candidates are evaluated by an assessment committee that will rank the candidates on the basis of the above criteria. The committee will undertake interviews with short-listed candidates. In some cases, a separate interview committee is appointed.

The Faculty's appointment committee will make the final decision about the candidate who will be offered the position.

We offer

  • A salary of NOK 491 200 - 534 400 per annum, depending on qualifications, in a position as PhD Research fellow (position code 1017)
  • An academically stimulating and international research environment combined with a friendly and inclusive work environment
  • A good work-life balance and access to Norway's excellent public services and welfare schemes, including generous parental leave provisions and affordable and accessible childcare.
  • Attractive welfare benefits, including a generous pension agreement.
  • The city of Oslo: A unique mix of vibrant city life and extraordinary nature with rich opportunities for cultural and outdoor activities

Information for international applicants

Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step. To give you an idea of what we and Oslo have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your family/spouse/partner please visit:

https://www.uio.no/english/for-employees/employment/

https://www.uio.no/english/about/vacancies/ismo/

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The appointment may be shortened/given a more limited scope within the framework of the applicable guidelines on account of any previous employment in academic positions.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. Furthermore, we want employees with diverse professional expertise, life experience and perspectives.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

Contact information

  • For questions about preparing a project description and about the ENROL project: Professor Christophe Hillion: [email protected]
  • For questions about employment at the Department of Public Law: Head of Department Kirsten Sandberg: [email protected]
  • For administrative questions: Office Manager Øyvind Henden: [email protected]

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