Doctoral Researcher CO-DUTIES

Please note: The deadline for applying to this position has passed.

Application Deadline: Friday, May 21, 2021

The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) invites applications for a three-year, full-time research position as a Doctoral Researcher on Rights and Duties under Covid-19: A Comparative Approach. The position provides the opportunity to work in a leading international research institution with high academic standards and a cross-disciplinary environment. 

The Doctoral Researcher position is financed as a part of a grant from the Research Council of Norway to PRIO for a project on “CO-DUTIES: Democratic Duties, Collective Action, and the Greater Good after COVID-19” by PRIO Research Professor Simon Reid-Henry. The Co-Duties project studies government and societal responses to Covid-19 in the UK, Norway and France, in order to gain insights into the politics of duties. The aim is to enhance our understanding of how the performance of rights and duties in democratic societies impacts upon the way that societies address large-scale collective action problems. For further details please see here.  

The PhD candidate who will be employed in this project will develop a subproject on Rights and Duties under Covid-19: A Comparative Approach. The research methods and theoretical approach must be formulated by the PhD candidate her/himself, but the doctoral work shall include fieldwork in at least one, and ideally two of the UK, France and Norway. The research will make primary use of law, political science and sociology in order to gain insights into the interplay between civic and individual duties during the current pandemic. We are particularly interested in candidates who can demonstrate an ability to combine empirical with theoretically informed research and who have some experience with interdisciplinary approaches. The PhD’s particular focus will be to understand how individual behaviours are shaped in light of relevant formal and informal law during the pandemic, as well as in relation to underlying social trends and indicators: how class, ethnicity and gender, for example, may shape the processes by which persons accept to take on or to perform duties of virtue and obligation. A successful application will also demonstrate how the proposed doctoral project will contribute to the larger ambitions of the Co-Duties Project. 

This PhD project brings an exciting opportunity to be part of, and contribute fully to, a new and original area of research. The PhD fellow will work closely with a larger interdisciplinary team of researchers at PRIO, as well partners at Queen Mary, University of London, the University of Oslo, and the University of London in Paris. The PhD candidate will receive supervision at PRIO from Professor Reid-Henry, who brings considerable experience in doctoral supervision, in addition to the training received by the university granting the degree. Progress on the doctorate will be supported through presentations at internal seminars, inclusion of the candidate in appropriate PRIO initiatives and research groups, and opportunities to present work at international academic conferences and workshops. A progress plan will be agreed upon between the candidate and the supervisors. There will be opportunities for developing and publishing ideas and for wider career development.  

Applicants must have the following qualifications


  • Hold an M.A. or equivalent in a relevant law, social science or humanities discipline.
  • Be able to use English as their main working language, with a preference for competence in French or Norwegian as a second language. 

In addition, the following qualifications are desirable

  • Previous research experience, preferably in relevant aspects of law or social science  
  • Fluency in English   
  • Interest in interdisciplinary research 
  • Skills in relevant research methods and analysis 

Please document the following qualifications as far as possible: 

Master’s degree 

Applicants should submit documentation of a Master’s degree or the equivalent completed foreign degree at MSc level corresponding to at least four years in the Norwegian university system with the following results: 

  • An average grade for the Bachelors’ degree of no lower than a C 
  • An average grade for Master’s-level courses of no lower than a B 
  • A Master’s dissertation graded B or higher 

Competence in English   

Applicants should submit documentation of one of the following tests with the results indicated or better: 

  • TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language, internet based test (IBT). Minimum total score: 90 
  • IELTS – International English Language Testing Service. Minimum overall band score: 6.5 
  • Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) and Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) from the University of Cambridge 
  • PTE Academic – Pearson Test of English Academic. Minimum overall score: 62 

NOTE: The following applicants are exempt from the above requirements: 

  • applicants from EU/EEA countries 
  • applicants who have completed one year of university studies in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK or the USA 
  • applicants with an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma 
  • applicants who have completed a Bachelor’s and/or a Master’s degree with English as the language of instruction in one of the Nordic countries or the Netherlands 

The successful candidate will be expected to be in residence in Oslo and will have a workplace at PRIO. The PhD degree, however, must be awarded by a degree granting institution. Hence, the Doctoral Researcher will be responsible for applying to, and enrolling in a compatible PhD program. Different institutions may have different requirements, and candidates are encouraged to make enquiries about their eligibility for enrolling in a given program in advance. Tuition fees are not covered by the project. 

The institute is located in spacious and attractive premises in central Oslo, Europe’s fastest-growing capital city. Employee benefits include access to the PRIO cabin in the mountains, a subsidized canteen, weekly physiotherapy exercise, weekly running group and various social events. PRIO is an equal opportunity employer and values staff diversity. The working language at PRIO is English.

The starting salary for a Doctoral Researcher at PRIO in 2021 is NOK 498.400 (equivalent to step 56 in the Norwegian State salary system). Employees are offered membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension fund. 

The candidate should have an interest in PRIO’s broader mission of conducting high-quality academic research on questions relevant to the promotion of a more peaceful world. 

The starting date for the position is 1 September 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. 

The application should include: 

1) A completed 1 page cover letter. 

2) A PhD project description of 4 pages(including references), written in English, outlining: 

a) main research questions, methodology and research techniques, 

b) expected innovation or ‘value-added’ of the PhD project (theoretical and/or practical)  

c) relationship of the PhD to the wider Co-Duties project 

d) a progress plan including an overview of milestones/outputs 

3) A Curriculum Vitae 

4) Certified copies of transcripts from higher education and (if necessary) a language test  

5) Contact details for two references  

For more information about PRIO’s ongoing research, see https://www.prio.org/, and the most recent Annual Report: https://www.prio.org/About/Annual-Reports/   

Deadline: Wednesday 21 May 2021 at 12:00 CET 

Questions and queries by e-mail to Simon Reid-Henry (simrei@prio.org)