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Research Fellow (Ph.D. Candidate)

application deadline:
31 07 2017
Please submit application to:
Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung gGmbH
Professor Liav Orgad

job_offer_iclaw [at] wzb [dot] eu

The WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Project Group “International Citizenship Law” (led by Professor Liav Orgad) in the Research Area Migration and Diversity, is offering a new position:

Research Fellow (Ph.D. Candidate)
in the field of “International Law and Governance of Citizenship”.

The position is at 65% of the regular working hours (currently 25.35 hours per week), preferably starting on October 1, 2017 (or later; the starting day is negotiable), for a period of up to four years.

Project description and responsibilities:

The position is within the project “Global Citizenship Law: International Migration and Constitutional Identity”. The project, funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant, is jointly hosted by the WZB Berlin Social Science Center and the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence, providing the Research Fellow with a unique opportunity to benefit from Europe’s two leading research institutes inthefieldsofinternationallaw, citizenshiptheory, andglobal migration.

International law does not generally regulate naturalization; nationality law remains the last stronghold of sovereignty. The project seeks to challenge this assumption. It has two goals: [1] empirically, it seeks to present international legal standards concerning naturalization law by analyzing cases, guides, and reports of international bodies. The Research Fellow is expected to review decisions of the European Court of Justice, European Court of Human Rights, andotherEuropeanandinternational bodies; [2] normatively, the project invites reflection on the concept of citizenship in international law, its global allocation, and the international structure for governing it; topics include responsibility-sharing mechanisms, either “burden-sharing” or “benefit-sharing”, for citizenship allocation, and their nexus to principles of global justice.

The Research Fellow should develop an original research on “International Law and Governance of Citizenship” that will result in high-quality academic publications; contribute to the community life of the Project Group; participate in research-related activities; and help with the organization of the project.

Details on the project are available here.

Doctoral degree

The Research Fellow is expected to pursue a doctoral degree. The degree will be awarded in cooperation with one of the Berlin Universities (typically, Free University of Berlin or Humboldt University of Berlin). The call is also open to students who are enrolled in a PhD program at other German or international universities and are willing to relocate to Berlin for the duration of the contract.


Researchers who hold a Master Degree in law or political theory with excellent results by the time of starting the employment contract, and have a demonstrated interest in migration, citizenship, or international law can apply. Applicants who have not completed their Master degree by the time of the application should include a statement from their supervisor confirming the expected date of the degree.

Applicants must have excellent writing and presentation skills in English (English is the working language of the project group).

In addition to the eligibility requirements, selection criteria will consider the applicant’s academic record, research plan, research motivation, and knowledge/experience in the research areas of the project.

Equally well-qualified disabled persons will be given preference. The WZB expressly invites women and people with an immigrant background to apply.

Remuneration: Salary group EG 13 TVöD (in accordance with German public service collective agreement).

Application Materials

  • Curriculum Vitae (maximum 3 pages).
  • Research Plan, which should contain a statement of the applicant’s ideas on the research questions, theoretical framework, and methodological approach (maximum 3 pages).Up to two Letters of Recommendation (referees can email the letter of reference directly).
  • Letter of Motivation, which should describe a career plan and reasons for seeking to participate in the “Global Citizenship Law” research project (maximum 500 words).

Please submit your complete application by email (maximum two PDF files -other formats will not be read- excluding letters of recommendation) by the closing date of July 31, 2017 to:

Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung gGmbH

Professor Liav Orgad

job_offer_iclaw [at] wzb [dot] eu

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview with the selection board at WZB Berlin in the second half of August 2017; travel expenses can be covered according to the WZB regulations for the reimbursement of travel costs to job-interviews.

Decisions will be made end of August/ beginning of September 2017.