Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

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

PhD research fellow in ERC-project on International Refugee Law

Deadline: 01.09.2021

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 Criminology and Sociology of Law is situated at the Faculty of Law. The Department is Norway's only department for research and education in Criminology and Sociology of Law. Research, teaching and dissemination activities within both fields are at the highest international level. The Department has about 30 employees and 500 students.

Job description

A position as PhD Research Fellow (SKO 1017) is available to undertake research as part of the project “Protection without Ratification? International Refugee Law beyond States Parties to the 1951 Refugee Convention” (BEYOND). The project is funded by the European Research Council. The candidate will work closely together with the principal investigator of BEYOND, Prof. Maja Janmyr at the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law.

The period of appointment runs for three years without teaching duties, or four years with teaching duties constituting 25% of the overall workload. A four-year fellowship requires that the candidate can contribute to the current teaching needs of the Faculty of Law. See this list for examples of courses that may be relevant for teaching duties.

More about the position

BEYOND reconsiders the impact of international refugee law by developing a global and empirically driven theoretical framework for understanding the behavior and position of states that have chosen not to sign the 1951 Refugee Convention. While most states of the world are parties to this Convention, important refugee-hosting states remain non-signatories. These states are generally seen as ‘exceptions’ to international refugee law, and it is the aim of BEYOND to shed crucial, empirically grounded light on, and to question, this prevailing assumption. The project is concerned with the following main questions: 1. What is the influence of the Refugee Convention in non-signatory states?; 2. How do these non-signatory states engage with and help create the international refugee law regime, i.e. the instruments and institutions of refugee protection with the Refugee Convention and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as cornerstones?

BEYOND takes both a broader perspective that historically and politically seeks to situate these non-signatory states within the international refugee law regime, and a more focused perspective that grounds refugee protection in lived experiences and local initiatives. The project has strong empirical components and focuses on four case study countries: Lebanon, Turkey, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The candidate will play a lead role in the in-depth study of Bangladesh, and will undertake both desk-based and field-based research, in particular legal doctrinal research, empirical legal research (qualitative) in Bangladesh and at UN institutions in Geneva, and archival research (as appropriate).

The candidate is expected to – within the scope of BEYOND – develop an independent PhD project. Examples of what such a project may focus on include but is not limited to: the historical and political circumstances related to why Bangladesh remains a non-signatory to the Refugee Convention; UNHCR’s function and provision of international protection in Bangladesh; local courts’ and legal aid providers’ engagement with international refugee law. In order to analytically engage in BEYOND’s overall questions, the candidate is expected to also engage with the interdisciplinary scholarship focusing broadly on the spread of human rights norms internationally, and, more precisely, on the scholarship on transnational legal processes. Historical and critical perspectives are particularly welcome.

The candidate is expected to join the existing research milieu or network and contribute to its development. In addition to their PhD project, they will take part in group activities with the core project team, such as the seminars and workshops. The core project team consists of the Principal Investigator (PI), Prof. Maja Janmyr, Post-doctoral Research Fellow 1, Post-doctoral Research Fellow 2, and PhD Research Fellow (this vacancy). The candidate will also get the chance to build an international network and to engage with key scholars in this field, who are part of the project’s Advisory Board.

The parts of the BEYOND project description relevant to this position can be accessed on request from the PI. Interested candidates are strongly advised to consult these before writing their project description.

Qualification requirements and other qualities

  • The applicant must hold a Master’s degree or a degree equivalent to the Master’s degree in Law, Sociology of Law, or similar discipline. The candidate must be qualified to work theoretically and empirically in the described project. Admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Law requires the candidate to have grades in the upper level of the grading scale. This also applies to the master’s thesis.
  • The candidate must have knowledge of international law. Knowledge of international refugee law is desirable.
  • Qualitative research skills and experience is desirable.
  • The project language is English and the applicants should have an excellent command of the English language, written and spoken. Knowledge of Bengali is strongly desirable.
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured way.
  • Applicants must have good collaboration skills and the ability, willingness and commitment to work in a multidisciplinary team.
  • Please read about the requirements for admission to the PhD program here.

We offer

  • Salary based on salary NOK 491 200 to 534 400 per annum (position code 1017)
  • An inspiring, friendly and inclusive working environment
  • Pension arrangement in the Norwegian Public Service Fund
  • Welfare arrangements

How to apply

The application must include:

  • A cover letter describing the applicant’s qualifications and motivation for the position.
  • A project description of 5-10 pages, explaining how they would take their research task in a 3-year PhD project design. This includes a description of the theoretical background, the aims, methodologies with suggestions for informants or entry points for case studies, and reflections about potential ethical challenges. The proposal must clearly demonstrate how the research will contribute towards the aims of the BEYOND project. A PhD thesis at the Faculty of Law can be a monograph or a collection of several scholarly articles. The applicant should present a publication strategy for the research done within the project. To ensure exchange throughout the project, an article-based thesis is encouraged.
  • CV (complete overview of education, practice and academic works).
  • Copies of diplomas with all grades included in the degree and certificates (if the original language of diplomas/certificates is not English or a Scandinavian language, an English language translation must be provided in addition to a copy of the original). Foreign diplomas must include an official documentation about the grading system together with the official grading scale.
  • If available: A complete publication list.
  • Up to three academic works that the applicant wishes to be considered. If work is written by several authors, the division of work between them must be documented with the co-author's declaration.
  • Names and contact details for at least two reference persons.

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

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “Apply for this job”.

The tentative starting date is Spring 2022.

Evaluation of the applicant

  • In the evaluation of candidates, emphasis will be placed on the candidate’s academic achievements, previous relevant publications, the project description, and the applicant’s professional and personal qualifications, particularly in relation to their ability to perform the proposed project within the allotted time.
  • Short-listed applicants will be invited for an interview with the University of Oslo, personally or through electronic means
  • The candidates are evaluated by a Selection Board, which ranks the candidates based on the criteria indicated above and conducts interviews with short-listed candidates. In a few cases a dedicated interview committee will be formed.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Faculty of Law will take a final decision about the hiring of the candidate.

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 and 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 University of Oslo aims for its employees to reflect the diversity of the population to the greatest degree possible. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition and to recruit people with an immigrant background. We encourage qualified applicants with disabilities to apply for the position. The University of Oslo will adapt the workplace to suit employees with disabilities.

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

Contact information

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