Research Fellows (m/f/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 Research Fellow position in the Sub-Saharan Africa projects team.


The Foundation provides assistance to the reconstruction or restructuring of the internal organisation to States which have experienced radical change in relation to their constitutional law. 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 actions.


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


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 Projects, 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;
  • Regional or country experience in Sub-Saharan Africa is preferable.

Language Proficiency

  • Fluency in English is essential (written and oral);
  • 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, 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;
  • 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 peers, 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 (as far as Covid-19 travel restrictions allow it).

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


Have we piqued your interest?
Then we look forward to receiving your complete application documents (curriculum vitae, cover letter, certificates).

Application deadline: 12.12.2021
HR Contact: Maren Huber



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

To apply for this job please visit