Postdoctoral position in Mapping, Investigating, and Evaluating Mercenarism via a Human Rights Lens at the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen

KU - JUR - Fakultetet, Co Sondre Campus

Job title:

Postdoctoral position in Mapping, Investigating, and Evaluating Mercenarism via a Human Rights Lens at the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen


KU – JUR – Fakultetet, Co Sondre Campus

Job description

The Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, is seeking applications for one postdoc position. The position is part of the ERC project ‘Mercenarism and the Accountability Void: Finding routes to accountability and remedy for the victims of human rights abuses perpetrated by mercenaries’ (MERCURY).The position is available from 1 September 2024, or as soon as possible thereafter, for the duration of 30 months (2.5 years)About the MERCURY project
The project is a 5-year €2M project led by and funded by a that will offer pioneering scholarly insights into routes to accountability and remedy for the victims of mercenarism.While recent armed conflicts have increased the international focus on the problems arising from the deployment of mercenaries and related actors, accountability for the atrocities they commit is still rare. Therefore, these actors are effectively operating with impunity, as their victims are denied access to justice. Mercenaries operate in an accountability void, and there is little research on how accountability could be ensured for victims of mercenarism.MERCURY focuses on this accountability void, combining cutting-edge, data-driven mapping and analysis of mercenary operations with thorough legal and qualitative analysis. The mapping will provide a novel understanding of mercenaries to underpin groundbreaking legal analysis of the shortcomings and weaknesses of national and international legal frameworks when it comes to remedies for victims. Through legal and qualitative analysis, MERCURY will then evaluate human rights routes to accountability and remedy via international and national human rights courts, tribunals, mechanisms, and transitional justice processes, and propose potential pathways to justice for victims.The richer understanding derived from MERCURY will help inform stakeholders on how they can better prevent abuses perpetrated by mercenaries, or failing that, ensure accountability and redress for victims.About the position
In order to understand the new ways in which contemporary mercenaries are shaped and operate, mapping, investigating, and evaluating is essential. The primary responsibility of the successful candidate will be to undertake cutting-edge research to map contemporary mercenarism operations, including logistics, finances, weapons, personnel, and equipment transfers and to develop a database. This data will be foundational in helping the MERCURY team to understand the new trends and patterns associated with contemporary mercenary, and in turn enable an informed analysis of legal frameworks and routes to accountability. The key research question for the successful applicant is ‘to what extent have contemporary manifestations of mercenaries and mercenary-related actors shifted and changed in their nature and operations, and what are the resulting impacts on the victims of their human rights and IHL violations?’ The applicants should submit a project proposal outlining how they will approach this research question.Essential requirements for the position:

  • A PhD in law or relevant related subject such as social science or data science.

Highly desirable qualifications:

  • Experience in human rights investigations, fieldwork, and data-analysis.
  • Knowledge of non-state actors, in particular mercenaries and private military and security companies.
  • Additional language skills in e.g. French, Arabic, Russian, or Spanish.
  • Familiarity with the Russian data environment.
  • Experience of database creation (e.g. advanced use of Excel, Palantir systems, Microsoft Azure, or other database platforms, or ability to code in Python).

The successful applicant will be supported in accessing academic training and workshops, membership of professional bodies, conferences and workshops, network-building, and further developing professional academic skills in research and academic writing. They will be effectively and constructively mentored by the PI in a positive workplace and supported in becoming an independent scholar in their own right.The successful applicant will be expected to engage actively in the MERCURY project, including project meetings, fieldwork, working with project partners, participating in international conferences, and publishing in high-impact peer-reviewed journals, as well as participating more broadly in the research environment at the University of Copenhagen,MERCURY is anchored in and benefits from a strong research environment at the Faculty of Law and across UCPH, as well as with other researchers nationally and internationally. The successful candidate will be based at the . CEPRI is a dynamic research centre with multiple ongoing international and national research projects, and a nurturing, lively, and inspiring atmosphere for postdocs.Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the faculty’s research areas and education programmes by visiting the Faculty’s website:The Faculty actively supports efforts to learn Danish.Required qualifications
The position requires academic qualifications PhD, JSD or equivalent degree in law or a related subject such as social science or data science.All applicants are expected to be able to use English as the working language (written and spoken). Successful candidates will demonstrate a clear potential to deliver high quality peer-reviewed research publications.In the overall assessment, emphasis will be placed on the applicant’s research potential. Special emphasis will be placed on the applicant’s ambition to develop and implement new research ideas, which may have an international impact. Furthermore, the Faculty places emphasis on the applicant’s interest and preferably, prior experience, in working with other researchers to conduct collective research and welcomes the applicant’s proven ability to make a valuable contribution in this regard.Salary and terms of employment
The appointment is temporary and will be made in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (Akademikernes Centralorganisation, AC). In addition to the basic salary, you will receive an annual supplement per month and a total contribution to your pension fund equal 17,1 % of your salary and annual supplement is paid. It is possible to negotiate further salary supplements.Application
Letter of motivation, appendices and the submitted research publications (including papers, articles and books), must be written in English. The application will be rejected if not all the required documents are submitted.It is essential that you fill out all the mandatory fields in the electronic application even though the info is already stated in your CV, application, publication or other material you may find relevant to upload. The completed fields will be screened during the shortlisting and assessment process and in order to generate your final assessment, which we will send to you after the assessment work is finalized.The application MUST include the following nine (9) elements:1. Letter of motivation (a one-page document explaining the reasons for applying)
2. Curriculum vitae
3. Research project. Applications should include a project proposal addressing the research question: ‘to what extent have contemporary manifestations of mercenaries and mercenary-related actors shifted and changed in their nature and operations, and what are the resulting impacts on the victims of their human rights and IHL violations?’ Proposals should be no more than four pages long. The proposal should demonstrate the capacity to develop a postdoctoral project, identifying the relevant methodological tools to achieve the outlined project.
4. Diplomas, PhD or JSD diploma or alternatively a document showing that the applicant submitted or will submit a dissertation
5. Publication list. (Complete, numbered list of publications)
7. Academic references, if available (please upload under “other relevant material”)
8. A maximum of five (5) scientific publications that the applicant wishes to have included in the assessment, of which no more than one (1) may be a monograph. Applicants, who have written a PhD or JSD thesis or equivalent, must always submit the complete thesis (if the thesis is written in Danish, English, Swedish or Norwegian) and the written assessment of the thesis as a part of submitted publications.
9. If citing work where the applicant has been a co-author, a co-author declaration, which addresses the applicant’s share of these works, must be submitted. Material that has not yet been published can be submitted. However, please indicate if this is the case.In addition to the material which the applicant wishes to be included in the assessment, the Assessment Committee may require further material to assess the applicant. It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide such supplementary material, should this be requested.Application procedure
Upload letter of motivation, appendices and the research publications electronically using the link below. We advise you to have the above-mentioned documents ready before you begin to fill out your online application, and it is essential that all required documents are enclosed.Applications must be addressed to the Associate Dean of Research and uploaded electronically.An automatically generated message is sent out acknowledging receipt of the uploaded application.Applicants will be kept informed about the process of the application procedure on a regular basis via email.Following the application deadline, the Associate Dean of Research selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointments Committee. Applicants are selected on the basis of an overall assessment of the applicants that best match the recruitment needs of the Faculty as described in this advertisement for the post. This is compared with the applicant’s research profile as set out in the application, CV incl. list of publications, and any research/development plan. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert Assessment Committee. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee and when the committee has completed its assessment, each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicants themselves.University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding society and therefore encourages all interested parties regardless of personal background to apply for the position.Contact
Questions about project is available from Dr Sorcha MacLeod, email:Further information about the recruitment process is available from HR, email: . Please refer to ID number 211-1867/24-2I #1.The application deadline is 30 June 2024, 23:59 GMT+1.Applications received after the deadline has expired will not be accepted.If your application does not include all the required supporting documents your application can be rejected and not be considered.The Faculty of Law is one of six faculties at the University of Copenhagen. The Faculty carries out research, education and knowledge dissemination within the area of law. Research is partly organized in research centres and groups with focus on thematic areas of interest. The Faculty employs about 135 full time researchers and approx. 60 PhD students as well as approx. 80 administrative staff members. In addition, approx. 400 part-time lecturers teach on the legal programmes on which approx. 4,500 students are enrolled. See the Faculty website: for more information.

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Job date

Fri, 31 May 2024 22:23:33 GMT

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