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PHD Position in Fundamental Rights, Migration and Asylum Law

  • September 13, 2016

The Fundamental Rights and Constitutionalism (FRC) Research Group, part of the Department of Metajuridica of the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, is offering a three year PhD funding to a doctoral student to examine the challenges that the current migration situation poses for migration and asylum law, and the implications of law and policy on fundamental rights and freedoms.

Research questions could consider, among others, how the current migration situation impacts on law and policy developments related to transnational phenomena such as human trafficking? How can law and policy responses to migration minimise the dangers faced by migrants as part of their journey? What are the long-term implications on countries of destination in securing the integration of migrants? How can migration be better managed at an EU level? 



The PhD Student is expected to:

• Develop an original PhD thesis on topics related to the fundamental rights, migration and asylum law;

• Contribute to the execution of a EU project on the impact of addressing human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation through the reduction in demand. This project is awarded to the FRC by the EU Commission and includes a collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of five partners. The candidate will be expected to help in the management of the project as well as undertaking theoretical and empirical research;

• Coordinate the outreach and communication tools of the FRC;

• Participate in international seminars and conferences;

• Publish in peer reviewed journals;

• Draft project proposals for external funding in collaboration with other researchers;

• Contribute to the existing research activities of the research group;

• Represent FRC at third party events;



Candidates are expected to meet the following requirements: 

• ‪a Masters in International Human Rights Law, International Criminal Law or European Law, International Relations or other relevant subjects, awarded by the deadline for applications;‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

• ‪demonstrate enthusiasm and drive to contribute to the research community by‬‬‬‬‬‬ o contributing to ongoing research activities o attracting external funding for research projects;‬

• ‪‪fluency in English; preferably knowledge of another foreign language;‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ 

• ‪excellent organisational and communicative skills;‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ 

• ‪ability to work independently, under pressure, respect deadlines and produce quality work.‬‬‬‬‬‬



The successful candidate will be integrated within a dynamic team, composed of both experienced and early career researchers, working under the guidance of Prof. de Hert. The successful candidate will be able to collaborate closely with the other members of the FRC group. The successful candidate will have access to doctoral training offered by the VUB, as well as to all facilities of the university.

This appointment will be originally for the period of one year. Extension of the appointment is subject to satisfactory performance after the first year.


Please submit your current CV, a cover letter in which you explain your motivation, contact details of two referees and a short research proposal, including a possible research question, which is suitable for a 3 years project, and a possible methodology indicating various steps in the research (e.g. various sub-research questions) as well as the selected approach to investigate the research question (max 2 pages).

Applicants are expected to submit to and

Deadline for the submission of the application is 31st October 2016, 12.00 hours CET. The successful candidate will be notified end of November and the position will start on the 2nd January 2017. Start date may be negotiable.