(Senior) Research Fellows (f/m/d) in Public Law for Afghanistan 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 for:

Position: (Senior) Research Fellow with Specialisation in Constitutional and Human Rights Law (f/m/d)
Project: Afghanistan
Location: Max Planck Foundation Office in Heidelberg, Germany
Term: 1 year fixed term, with the possibility of extension
Estimated start date: 01.06.2021
Closing date for applications: 19.04.2021


At the core of the Max Planck Foundation’s mission stands the provision of technical legal assistance to developing countries, particularly to countries in transition or conflict (see: https://www.mpfpr.de/). Through legal consulting and legal capacity building activities, the Foundation assists States endeavouring 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, including facilitating workshops, offering short consultancies and giving presentations on the topic of International Human Rights Law and/or Constitutional Law.

Key Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Head of Project and Country Manager, the successful candidates shall:

  • undertake advanced legal research;
  • draft workshops materials;
  • implement legal training workshops for state actors, legal staff and other target groups;
  • provide technical legal advice and assistance to project partners;
  • frequently travel to Afghanistan to implement activities and liaise with local partners (after Covid-19 travel restrictions);
  • contribute to the administrative and logistical aspects of project implementation; and
  • carry out project reporting, monitoring and evaluation duties.

Selection Criteria

Education and Professional Experience


  • Advanced degree in Law;
  • Extensive knowledge of Constitutional Law and International Human Rights Law;
  • Ability to deliver high-level academic work; and
  • At least 1 year of demonstrable experience working in a relevant field.


  • Specialisation in Islamic Law;
  • Practical experience in the relevant region;
  • Experience implementing capacity building workshops for state and civil society actors.

Language Proficiency

  • Fluency in English is essential (oral and written).
  • Fluency in Dari/Pashto will be an advantage (oral and written).

Other Skills & Competencies

  • Strong interpersonal skills in a multi-cultural environment, including cultural awareness, 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, 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-oriented manner; and
  • Computer literacy skills with standard software.


When operating in Afghanistan, the Foundation has access to the services provided by the Risk Management Office of the German Development Cooperation. This includes the use of armoured vehicles and evacuation plans.

Assessment Method

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

The 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. The Foundation will assist with the visa application process.


Research Fellows are based in Heidelberg, Germany, with frequent travels to Afghanistan for workshops (after COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted).

All positions are contingent upon funding.

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


Please apply through our online application portal stating your earliest possible starting date stating reference: “Research Fellow – Afghanistan” by 19 April 2021.

To apply for this job please visit www.mpfpr.de.