Research Fellows in Law (Somalia Project)

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 Somalia project.

Project: Sub-Saharan Africa (Somalia)                                 
Location: Max Planck Foundation Office in Heidelberg, Germany
Term: Fixed term (1 year), with possibility of extension

The Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law (MPFPR) 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 provision of technical legal expertise 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 comparative constitutional law.

Key Responsibilities
Under the supervision of the Head of Project, successful candidates shall

  • draft training materials;
  • organise and hold legal training workshops for state actors, legal personnel and other target groups;
  • provide technical legal advice and assistance to project partners;
  • undertake advanced legal research;
  • liaise with local partners;
  • contribute to the administrative and logistical aspects of project implementation;
  • contribute to 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;
  • Extensive knowledge of comparative constitutional law is required;
  • Ability to deliver high-level academic work.


  • Profile of successful candidates must demonstrate an area of specialization or practical experience relating to the relevant regional or topical focus areas;
  • Professional experience or research related to constitutional law or legal research on Somalia is highly advantageous;
  • Regional or country experience in Somalia and/or East Africa preferable.

Language Proficiency
Fluency in English is essential (oral and written).
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 the region for workshops and related activities;
  • Willingness to be based in Heidelberg, Germany, for the period of the contract;
  • 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.

The position is 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 Somalia’).

Kindly indicate how you learnt of this vacancy.

Closing Date: 01.04.2018

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