Research Fellows (f/m/d) in Law (South Sudan Project)

Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law

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.


Position:                                                 Research Fellow

Project:                                                   Sub-Saharan Africa (South Sudan)                               

Location:                                                Max Planck Foundation Office in Heidelberg, Germany

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

Closing date for applications:  20 March 2024; Please note that applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.



At the core of the Max Planck Foundation’s mission stands the provision of technical legal assistance to our partner countries (see: Through legal consulting and capacity building activities, the Foundation assists states endeavoring to develop their legal systems and strengthen their institutions. The Foundation also provides legal expertise to the responsible institutions and legal professionals with the aim of enabling them to autonomously carry out necessary changes.

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, constitution-making processes, 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 of 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;
  • Regional or country experience in Sub-Saharan Africa is preferable.

Language Proficiency

  • Fluency (written and oral) in English essential;
  • Fluency in 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, ie 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;
  • 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 (essay of 1,500 words on a specific topic) 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 for a valid residence and work permit in Germany will be taken into consideration. MPFPR will assist with visa application process.


All positions are contingent upon funding.

Research Fellows are based in Heidelberg, Germany, with frequent travels to the project regions for workshops.

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


Please apply through our online application portal ( stating your earliest possible starting date (subject: “Research Fellow South Sudan”) by 20 March 2024.