Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Refugee History

Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Refugee History

Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in refugee history (duration 2 years) is available at the Norwegian Centre of Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo.

The researcher will take part in the Research Council of Norway-funded project Refugees and the Arab Middle East: Protection in States Not Party to the Refugee Convention (REF-ARAB), led by Professor Maja Janmyr.
The REF-ARAB project is concerned with refugee protection in states not party to the key international legal instruments providing for the protection of the world’s refugees. It takes both a broader perspective that historically and politically situates these non-party states within the international refugee regime, and a more focused perspective that grounds refugee protection in lived experiences and local initiatives.

More specifically, the REF-ARAB project will 1) study the historical and political circumstances related to why so many states in the Arab Middle East (AME) have remained non-parties to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (the Refugee Convention);
2) explore how the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) executes its mandate to provide international protection to refugees in these same states; and 3) examine the avenues available for refugees in these countries by means of non-governmental legal aid organizations in securing legal protection on the basis of human rights instruments and other domestic legislation.

More about the position

The research fellow in refugee history will study the historical linkages between the UN refugee regime and the Arab Middle East. Generally speaking, the territory of ‘the Arab Middle East’ includes Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. It is expected that the candidate conduct research in one or more AME states, in addition to historical archives at UN level. The research should result in three (or more) scientific, peer-reviewed journal articles in leading academic journals. In addition, the research fellow shall disseminate research findings as per the project plan.

Applicants must frame their project proposals within the overall framework of the REF-ARAB project, and be familiar with the project’s contents and objectives. More information about the REF-ARAB project is available on the project website, but interested candidates are strongly advised to also contact the project leader, Professor Maja Janmyr,

The successful candidate is expected to join the existing research milieu or network and contribute to its development. In addition to their respective research project(s), s/he will take part in group activities with the core project team, such as the seminars and workshops. The main purpose of postdoctoral research fellowships is to qualify researchers for work in higher academic positions within their disciplines.

Qualification requirements

  • PhD or equivalent academic qualifications with a specialization in the Middle East, refugee studies, legal history and/or a related discipline. The doctoral dissertation must have been submitted for evaluation by the closing date. Appointment is dependent on the public defence of the doctoral thesis being approved.
  • The candidate's research project must be closely connected to the main project, and this must be clearly elaborated in the project description. We particularly welcome projects that focus on AME states other than those already extensively covered in the REF-ARAB project (i.e. Lebanon and Jordan).
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Knowledge of Arabic is strongly desirable.
  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position.

In the evaluation of the applications, emphasis will be placed on:

  • The project’s scientific merit and research-related relevance.
  • The applicant’s estimated academic and personal ability to carry out the project within the allotted time frame and contribute to
    REF-ARAB as a whole.
  • Previous field research experience.
  • Good co-operative skills, and the ability to successfully join in academic collaboration within and across disciplines.

We offer

  • Salary 532 300 to 594 400 NOK per annum depending on qualifications
  • Academically stimulating working environment
  • Pension arrangements in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-
    friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities
  • The tentative starting date is spring 2020

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Application 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).
  • List of publications.
  • Up to five previous academic works (e.g. published journal articles and/or monographs) that the applicant wishes to be considered.
  • Project description (3 - 5 pages). The project description must present a feasible progress plan. It is expected that the applicant will be able to complete the project during the period of appointment.
  • Copies of educational certificates (PhD and MA).
  • Names and contact details for at least two reference persons.
  • Please note that all documents must be in English or a Scandinavian language. Applicants with education from a foreign university must attach an explanation of their university’s grading system.
  • The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “apply for this job”.
  • The short-listed candidates will be invited for an interview.
  • The position is available for a period of 2 years. The tentative starting date is spring 2020.

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

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact information

Professor Maja Janmyr, e-mail:

Head of Office: Teis Daniel Kjelling, tlf : +47 22842012, e-mail:

Date de candidature
2 years
Humanités : Anthropologie & Ethnologie, Histoire
Sciences sociales : Droit, Géographie, Relations internationales, Science politique, Sociologie