Open Position: Grant-funded post-doctoral researcher in 'Toxic Crimes Project' (funded by the Kone Foundation)

The 'Toxic Crimes Project' is looking for a full-time grant-funded researcher at the postdoctoral stage for a 26-month period (starting October 2020). Our project is funded by the Academy of Finland and the Kone Foundation. The grant-funded researcher at the postdoctoral stage will receive a monthly grant from the Kone Foundation and will be hosted at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki.

University of Helsinki, Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights

The University of Helsinki is among the leading multidisciplinary research universities in the world. In addition to its 11 faculties, the University includes several independent institutes, some of which are jointly operated with other universities. More than 30,000 students are currently pursuing a degree at the University of Helsinki.

The Faculty of Law at the University of Helsinki is the leading Finnish institute of legal education. The Faculty of Law offers undergraduate degrees in Finnish, Swedish and English as well as a bilingual degree in Finnish and Swedish. The Faculty has a teaching and research staff of around 120 people and 2,400 students pursuing a degree.

As of 1998, the Erik Castrén Institute has grown from a small body, employing two researchers on short-term projects, to an entity encompassing at any given moment some 20-25 researchers. The Institute has housed the projects of Academy Professors Martti Koskenniemi and Jan Klabbers; the Academy of Finland Center of Excellence in Global Governance Research 2006–2011, as well as several other large-scale research projects funded by the Finnish Academy, the European Research Council, and other funders. These have addressed a diversity of topics, ranging from Europe’s intellectual history to minority protection, from linguistic rights to cyber warfare, and the relations of international law to religion and empire. The Institute has been – and continues to be – home to scholars from a number of different disciplines, comprising not only international lawyers but also anthropologists, theologians, historians, philosophers and political scientists, and has provided an institutional basis for individual researchers receiving grants in not just international law, but also political theory and intellectual history.

The Position

The grantee will be affiliated with the Faculty of Law, the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights (ECI), at the University of Helsinki, Finland. The appointee’s duties will include conducting original research, publishing academic and non-academic articles, as well participating in other activities at the Faculty of Law and ECI. In addition to independent research work, the grant funded researcher must be able to work in a team with the other group members in order to follow the overarching project research plan. Our working language is English.

The appointee will be a group member in the Toxic Crimes Project (directed by Dr. Freek van der Vet). Our project combines sociological and legal approaches to examine how activists, lawyers, and other experts work against environmental destruction as a consequence of war and conflict. In the first part of the project, we examine how a network of international experts and organizations develops an international legal framework on wartime environmental destruction. In the second part of the project, we examine single country case studies on wartime environmental destruction. The project aims to reveal (1) how experts were involved in the development of this legal framework, (2) how they try to promote the idea of the environment as a victim of war, (3) how they have created new expertise and strategies, and (4) how they have worked "on the ground" to limit the damage to health and ecosystems in specific conflict zones.

Please, note that this is a grant-funded position funded by the Kone Foundation (Finland) and not an employee contract with the University of Helsinki. However, the researcher will have access to a workspace at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law, and will receive travel funds to cover conference travel and fieldwork. A research assistant assists the project. This grantee will be exempt from teaching duties, unless the researcher chooses to (but, up to 5 percent of working time).

The position offers a fixed monthly grant (2800 Euro per month) paid directly to the grantee by the Kone Foundation. Under Finnish tax law, annual income from research grants is tax-free up to a certain amount (please see the tax authority Vero webpage). The grant-funded researcher is obligated to pay social insurance fees to MELA.

We are looking for a colleague with a completed and relevant doctoral degree (social sciences, law, or related discipline). The position requires the ability and motivation to conduct independent scientific research. Furthermore, we are looking for a colleague who:

  1. Can publish in international academic journals
  2. Participates in international academic networks and conferences
  3. Is willing to write non-academic articles (op-eds, etc.)
  4. Engages in interdisciplinary scholarship between the fields of social science and international law (environmental law or other) or related relevant disciplines.
  5. Conducts empirical research (fieldwork, interview studies, or empirical legal work)
  6. Demonstrates collegiality and professionalism (peer support/peer feedback/international cooperation)
  7. Has excellent and clear English communication skills

Please, send your application as a single pdf file to Freek van der Vet,  freek.vandervet@helsinki.fi by 14 August 2020, 12:00 (Helsinki time). Your email subject should say: “Application Grant Funded Researcher Toxic Crimes Project, followed by your full name. Your single pdf file application includes three parts (written in English):

  1. A 1-2-page application letter written by the applicant, indicating the applicant’s motivation, their research record, and expertise related to the research field
  2. A curriculum vitae, including a list of publications
  3. A tentative research and publication plan (max. 3 pages), relating to the theme of the project

Late applications or applications with missing parts will be rejected.  
 

Kone Foundation