Ph.d.-stillinger – Københavns Universitet

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Five New PhD Scholarships at iCourts, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen

iCourts, Centre of Excellence for International Courts, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, is launching its new research agenda and invites applications for five fully funded three-year PhD scholarships. We are looking for innovative and original ideas that combine law and other related disciplines. We are particularly interested in projects that can advance the iCourts 2.0 agenda, as well as the agenda of our new ERC projects.
Successful candidates can start June 1, 2019.  
About iCourts  
iCourts is a Centre of Excellence funded by the Danish National Research Foundation and, among others, the European Research Council. The centre generally explores the growing role of international courts and institutions and their place in a globalizing legal order. iCourts strives to be the globally leading hub for research on international courts and their impact on law, politics and society. Its research agenda reaches beyond international courts, however, and also explores how ideas and practices of international and European law shape societies. The centre also hosts two ERC Starting Grant projects, one of which examines European constitutional imaginaries (IMAGINE). More information on this project can be found here. The other (JustSites), which will be launched next year, explores the interconnectivity of international criminal law. 
The centre’s research is marked by curiosity: It is problem-driven, and often uses empirical and interdisciplinary approaches, including a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods.  
iCourts’ new research agenda – iCourts 2.0 – specifically targets questions related to the relative and often contested power of international courts in the domains of law, politics and society. Envisaged projects include explorations of how national and international contexts – actors, networks, institutions, entrenched ideas of law and legal practice or social order, etc. – influence the de facto power of international courts and law. As a basic science research centre, we also host projects with more general methodological and theoretical aims related to international courts, institutions and law. Previous research at iCourts has for example developed new ways of using of big data in legal analysis, reconceptualised key ideas of law, such as authority and legal realism, and conducted pioneering empirical studies of little known international courts. iCourts 2.0 seeks to further invigorate such basic scientific exploration. An example is the new ERC Project IMAGINE, which will provide the first-ever synthesis and critical evaluation of the core theories of EU constitutionalism by theorizing their mutual relationship and the ways in which they have influenced each other and the constitutional praxis of the EU. It will provide a pioneering intellectual history of EU constitutionalism together with the study of its emergence and reception in selected Member States.  
PhD projects  
iCourts 2.0 seeks to explain and make intelligible the relative and often contested power of international courts, institutions and law. While the current resistance to international courts and law is interesting in this regard, we generally encourage projects that more broadly explore the power of international courts in relation to law, politics and society.  
  • The transformation of legal practices by international courts and institutions. For example, how international courts create new cognitive frames, principles and values, and whether or how these innovations change legal practices at the global, regional and national levels;  
  • The impact of international courts and institutions on politics, its processes and outcomes: For example, how different actors make use of ICs – directly and indirectly – and whether and how such actions generate new interests and preferences at the global, regional and national levels;  
  • Changes in society triggered by international courts, institutions and law. For example, how ICs influence state, group and citizen relationships, and whether and how they help to generate new rights, duties and processes at the global, regional and national levels.  
  • For the IMAGINE project, we particularly look for projects interested in interdisciplinary study of how key ideas have influenced EU constitutionalism.  
We are looking for projects that address these issues, or issues related thereto. In all cases, we are interested in comparative projects that analyse more than one form of international law and adjudication or how international courts cooperate with or affect multiple regions or states. We welcome both original project proposals and projects that aim at addressing the following ideas or related ideas:  
  • The relative power of European or international adjudication of human rights or economic law on domestic legal practices or politics. Projects could explore what structures in the member states enable or prevent the influence of international courts in law or politics, or both. Comparative studies could help lay bare how transforming law, politics and social structures (international, regional or national) affect the context within which international courts and law operate.  
  • The effect of European or international ideas of law in national societies. Projects could explore how nationally embedded or entrenched ideas of law or social order might counter the power of European or international legal practices and ideas. Such studies would help contribute original scholarship on the narratives and counter-narratives of law that are influential in transforming the perceived role and real power of international courts.  
  • How international criminal law is affected by the diffusion of ideas and practices related to crime. Projects could explore the importance of actors, professional networks and institutions in the developing new forms of legal practice, thinking and social ordering across domestic, regional and international law. Such perspectives could investigate, for instance, how new ideas and practices are developed and mobilized to push for new courts, the opening of new cases or the universalisation of specific rights and duties to prosecute, offer reparations or to protect victims.In the context of IMAGINE, we particularly welcome projects that investigate the impact of a particular EU constitutional scholar on the development of the discipline, or projects examining intellectual history of the debates on the relationship of national constitutions to the EU. The candidate will participate in conducting empirical analysis of the impact of various EU constitutional theories and the collection of relevant data through surveys. Experience in this respect may be an advantage, but relevant training can also be provided as part of the iCourts doctoral training programme.  
The iCourts Doctoral Training program  
PhD students at iCourts are enrolled in the Faculty of Law’s general doctoral training programme. Some of the requirements will however be fulfilled by participating in a specific iCourts’ research training programme.
The Faculty’s general training programme provides PhD students with a general set of skills for developing their research and career. This programme involves coursework, international networking, and a research visit at a relevant research institution abroad, as well as teaching tasks. Details and requirements can be found on the Faculty's website  
iCourts’ own research training programme is tailored specifically to the iCourts’ research agenda and seeks to provide PhD students with advanced research tools for exploring key issues related to international law, politics and society. The programme includes a research stay with an iCourts’ targeted collaborator, interdisciplinary supervision and the possibility of obtaining a dual-degree with one of our collaborators, subject to approval by the partner institution. PhD students at iCourts are expected to present their work at leading international conferences, participate actively in the centre’s activities and contribute to the centre’s overall research agenda. More information is available here.  
The Faculty of Law offers supervision by highly qualified academics and provides an excellent opportunity to research contemporary legal issues in an intellectually stimulating environment.
  • Applicants must have obtained a degree that corresponds to the Danish Master of Laws or equivalent qualifications. Please visit for more information. Applicants must have obtained a minimum overall grade average of 8.2 or above at the Master’s level in accordance with the Danish grading scale (for Danish scale, see here )
  • Applicants must document an aptitude for research through the meritorious assessment of their final thesis, publications or academic recommendations in order to show that they are capable of undertaking the demanding task of writing a PhD thesis.  
  • Applicants must have excellent language skills in English and have excellent communications skills. Applicants must be able to teach at an academic level in Danish or English and to follow PhD courses in English.  
  • Documentation of English level can for instance be documented by an excellent IELTS or TOEFL test. More information is available here
Successful PhD candidates are required to   
  • Actively engage in the research environment at the University of Copenhagen; participate in international conferences, courses and meetings relevant to their research project.
  • Comply with the formal requirements of the PhD programme     
  • Contribute to teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses in Danish or English offered by the Faculty of Law.  
  • Conduct independent and high quality research under the supervision of a senior member of academic staff at the Faculty.  
Application procedure  
Click ’Apply now’ below to be taken to the online application form.   
We advise you to have the following documents ready before you begin your online application:   
  • Research project proposal. This should include the following: (1) objective(s) of the research, (2) major research questions, (3) review of relevant literature, (4) methodology to be applied in the research, and (5) a timetable that plans for all course requirements to have been met within three years. The project description must elaborate on the value of the proposed research project in terms of its relevance to existing and future research in the field (maximum 6 pages excluding bibliography). The document must be in Times New Roman, font size 12, spacing 1.5 and all margins (right, left, top and bottom) of 2 cm.  
  • Curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages).  
  • Diplomas and transcripts. Certified copies of original diploma(s) and transcripts (both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree) in the original language and an authorized English translation if they are issued in other language than English or Danish.  
  • Grading scale. A certified explanation of grading scale in the original language and an authorized English translation if it is available in other language than English or Danish.  
  • Supervisor. The name of a member of academic staff whom you wish to have assigned as your supervisor. You do not need to contact the supervisor but simply make a request in your application.  
  • Letter of motivation. Explaining the choice of the Faculty of Law at the University of Copenhagen as a host institution for the proposed project and outlines how the project fits within the research priorities at the Faculty (maximum 1 page).  
  • Documentation of English level. Documentation of English level can for instance be documented by an excellent IELTS or TOEFL test.  
Submit your application electronically in Danish, Swedish, Norwegian or English.  
The recruitment process   
Following the application deadline the Dean will pre-select PhD applications that will proceed to the assessment stage upon the recommendation of the Selection Committee. Applicants are pre-selected for further assessment in line with the Faculty’s recruitment needs as described in this job advertisement. This is carried out based on the overall assessment of the applicant’s educational qualifications, the quality of the submitted research proposal and its relevance to the Faculty’s research agenda, and other relevant qualifications (e.g. relevant professional experience, any previous academic publications etc.).  
All applicants are then notified by the HR Centre as to whether their application has proceeded to the assessment stage. This assessment is carried out by an expert assessment committee. Selected applicants will be notified of the composition of the assessment committee. When the committee has completed its assessment, each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the assessment. A number of qualified applicants will be invited for an interview.  
Terms of employment   
Successful candidates will be employed in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations and the Ministry of Finance concerning the salary of PhD students. If you are offered a PhD position, you will receive a regular monthly salary in accordance with Danish law and you will be entitled to an annual research budget. The Faculty does not provide accommodation.
General information    
  • Can be found on the Faculty’s website
  • Can be obtained by contacting the PhD administration by mail to   
Closing date for applications   
The closing date for applications is 14 December 2018, 23:59 GMT +1.  
Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. If all the required documents are not applied, your application will be rejected.  
Interviews are expected to take place in March/April.  

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Ansøgningsfrist: 14-12-2018
Ansættelsesdato: 01-06-2019
Afdeling/Sted: Det Juridiske Fakultet

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