Research Fellows: Sub-Saharan Africa (South Sudan)

Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law, Heidelberg

The Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law is looking to fill one project-related position for Research Fellows in the Sub-Saharan Africa projects.

Term: Fixed term (1 year), with possibility of extension


The Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law is based in Heidelberg. It continues the extensive consulting, training and research projects of the “Global Knowledge Transfer” working group, which existed from 2002 to 2012 at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (MPIL). Within the framework of its research activities, the Foundation carries out several “Global Knowledge Transfer Projects” in various countries (see: The Foundation’s projects focus on consultancy, capacity building and academic research in the fields of public international law, comparative constitutional law and the rule of law in post-conflict countries and countries in transition.

Job Summary

The Research Fellow will implement project activities promoting the rule of law, including capacity building workshops and technical legal advice in the areas of international public law and constitutional law. Specific topical focus areas could include comparative constitutional law, legislative drafting, rules of procedure and judicial mechanisms.

Key Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Head of Project, the successful candidate shall:

  • draft training materials (including manuals on transitional justice/constitutional law);
  • organise legal training workshops in the project country for project partners;
  • provide technical legal advice and assistance to project partners;
  • undertake advanced legal research;
  • travel to the project country and liaise with local partners;
  • handle the administrative supervision of project components;
  • carry out project reporting, monitoring and evaluation duties.

Selection Criteria

Education and Professional Experience

  • Advanced degree in Law (LL.M; Ph.D.) or:
  • Ideally 5+ years demonstrable experience as a Lawyer or Legal Advisor in constitutional law / human rights law / public international law;
  • Extensive knowledge of public international law and comparative constitutional law is required;
  • Ability to deliver high-level academic work.


  • Profile of successful candidates must demonstrate an area of specialisation or practical experience relating to the relevant regional or topical focus areas;
  • Professional experience or research related to constitutional law or legal research in the Sub-Saharan Africa region is highly advantageous;
  • Work experience in the Sub-Saharan Africa region preferable.

Language Proficiency

  • Fluency (written and oral) in English is required.
  • Fluency in French and/or Arabic will be an advantage.

Other Skills & Competencies

  • Strong interpersonal skills in a multi-cultural environment, including excellent communication skills and the ability to work independently as well as in a team setting;
  • Flexibility, including demonstrated ability to work under pressure, to adapt to changing work and project circumstances and to respond to unforeseen developments;
  • Excellent organisational skills, i.e. skilled in setting priorities and meeting deadlines, and ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously;
  • Ability to present high-level academic work to non-experts in a service-orientated manner;
  • Willingness to travel frequently to South Sudan for workshops and related activities;
  • Computer literacy skills with standard software.

Assessment Method

Assessment of qualified candidates will include a competency-based test and interviews.

The Max Planck Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and encourages qualified men and women, including those with disabilities, to apply.

Only candidates eligible to apply for a valid residence and work permit in Germany will be taken into


All positions are contingent upon funding.

Research Fellows are based in Heidelberg, Germany, with frequent travels to the region.

Remuneration will be based on the Collective Agreement on Public Service Wages under German Law (Tarifvertrag des Öffentlichen Dienstes – TVöD).


Please submit a resume and cover letter to (Subject ‘Research Fellow Sub-Saharan Africa’). Kindly indicate how you learnt of this vacancy.

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