Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

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

Postdoctoral 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

1 Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in International Refugee Law 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 or four years. A four-year fellowship requires that the candidate can contribute to the current teaching needs of the Faculty of Law and that pedagogical base competences are acquired as part of the 25% teaching duties. 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 Turkey, and will undertake both desk-based and field-based research, in particular legal doctrinal research, empirical legal research (qualitative) in Turkey and at UN institutions in Geneva, and archival research (as appropriate).

The candidate will develop an independent research project with a focus on Turkey, and will author at least 3 single-authored articles for publication in leading peer-reviewed academic journals. Themes to explore could include, but is not limited to: Turkey’s geographical limitation to the Refugee Convention in a wider historical context of major legal and political developments; Turkey’s role in key forums of the international refugee regime, e.g. UNHCR’s Executive Committee and in developing the UN Global Compact for Refugees; the execution of UNHCR’s mandate of international protection in Turkey. 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. They will take part in group activities with the core project team, such as seminars and workshops and other dissemination activities as per the project plan. In addition to the independent research, the candidate will assist the PI in fashioning and editing a collection of contributions on BEYOND’s research theme, supporting both the background research, authors’ workshops and the editing process. As appropriate, the candidate may also be expected to co-author publications with one or more team members of BEYOND. The core project team consists of the Principal Investigator (PI), Prof. Maja Janmyr, Post-doctoral Research Fellow 1 (this vacancy), Post-doctoral Research Fellow 2, and PhD Research Fellow. 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

  • Applicants must hold a degree equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree (PhD) in Law, Sociology of Law, Sociology, Politics, International Relations or other relevant social science background. Applicants with a degree in history may also be considered.
  • The doctoral dissertation must have been submitted for evaluation by the closing date. Appointment is dependent on the public defense of the doctoral thesis being approved.
  • A demonstrated knowledge of and interest in the international refugee law regime is strongly desirable.
  • Qualitative research skills and experience is strongly desirable.
  • Applicants must submit a project description of 5-10 pages explaining how they would tackle their research task in the given time period.
  • The project language is English and the applicants should have an excellent command of the English language, written and spoken. Knowledge of Turkish 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.
  • Applicants must have knowledge and understanding of research ethics processes in the fields covered by BEYOND.

We offer

  • Salary 543 500 to 604 700 NOK per annum depending on qualifications (position code 1352)
  • Academically stimulating working environment
  • Pension arrangements in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • Welfare arrangements

How to apply

The application must include:

  • A cover letter describing the applicant’s qualifications and motivation for the position.
  • Curriculum Vitae with grades listed (with a list of education, positions, teaching experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activities).
  • Complete list of publications.
  • Up to five previous 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.
  • A project description of 5-10 pages, including 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. The applicant should present a publication strategy for the research done within the project.
  • Copies of educational certificates (PhD and MA). Foreign diplomas must be provided in the original language as well as in an English translation. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their university grading system.
  • 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 Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Fellow 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

For questions concerning content: Maja Janmyr

For administrative questions: Marianne Gjerstad

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