A competition for the position of Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

POSITION: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
DISCIPLINE: law, criminology
POSTED: 05.09.2023
EXPIRES: 15.10.2023
JOB TITLE: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (FAiR Project – Finding Agreement in Return)
SALARY: 10.680 PLN gross/ month (approx. 2300 EUR)
DURATION: 24 months (starting 1 January 2024 or promptly thereafter)
STARTING DATE: 1 January, 2024
FTE: 100%

DESCRIPTION (field, expectations, comments)

The Institute of Law Studies at Polish Academy of Sciences is seeking to appoint one full-time post-doctoral Researcher to work on the project FAiR Project – Finding Agreement in Return funded by Horizon Europe (European Commission). The successful candidates will work with Professor Witold Klaus and Professor Agnieszka Kubal (Work Package 7 leaders) and be part of an exciting team of scholars exploring the human rights monitoring of forced and voluntary return programmes from Europe to non-European countries (Georgia, Nigeria and Iraq).
Europe is home to many undocumented migrants who are destined for a life in limbo. They are non-EU nationals who have entered the EU without a visa or have overstayed their visa. In this context, the EU-funded FAiR project will create new insights into the factors that affect the legitimacy and effectiveness of return and readmission policies in Europe. The project’s findings regarding return and readmission policies will be assessed by an expert group of academics, policy researchers, and governmental and migrant advocacy organisations.
This position is aimed at providing a career development opportunity for those in the immediate postdoctoral stage of their career, to provide the opportunity to consolidate their PhD through developing publications, their networks, and their research and professional skills.


The successful candidate will:

  1. Be responsible for data collection among experts and NGOs who monitor voluntary return processes in Europe (25 interviews). This will involve qualitative interviewing and fieldwork in European NGOs, EU-wide institutions, and migrant organizations.
  2. Assist our partner, ICMPD, with data collection on monitoring of post-return realities and fundamental rights among policy makers and state officials in Nigeria (20 interviews, possibly also in Georgia and Iraq).
  3. Organize three roundtables for policy makers and NGOs in Warsaw, Poland to engage, collect data, discuss and disseminate the project findings and develop a handbook on ‘dilemmas of return’.
  4. Transcribing the interviews, qualitative data coding, preparing comparative NVivo/MaxQDA database, merging datasets.
  5. Summarizing findings and literature reviews, analysing data leading to co-authored (with the WP Leaders) and independent articles and chapters.
  6. Drafting Guidelines for Monitoring Human Rights compliance in forced returns operations.
  7. Drafting a book of best practices implementing human rights in Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) procedures.
  8. Developing own research and presenting it at international conferences and workshops.
  9. Produce publications in order to help establish track record.
  10. Build networks to develop impact opportunities and inform and support further development.
  11. Responsibility for day-to-day running of the project, organizing events, running the project website and social media.

The Researcher is expected to be based at ILS PAN in Warsaw and be an integral part of the research team.


The essential requirements of the post include:

  1. PhD (or DPhil) in Anthropology, Sociology, Human Rights, or a closely related field of social science (the diploma will be required to be provided at the start of the position at the latest; at the moment of application written proof of PhD defence will be accepted).
  2. Previous experience of social science research: qualitative data collection, and analysis (experience of working with in-depth elite interviews or narrative interviews is desirable).
  3. Good skills of Nvivo/MaxQDA (or demonstrable ability to learn this software).
  4. Demonstrable research interest in human rights and returns (especially forced returns and Assisted Voluntary Return) policies, practices and procedures from Europe (previous knowledge of the human rights field and access to research participants, especially international organizations and NGOs who monitor human rights in return is desirable).
  5. A proven commitment to high-quality research demonstrable through publications.
  6. Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English (fluent).



Application for the position should be made online via the Institute for Legal Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences Human resources website at: inp@inp.pan.pl.
Please also upload:

  • your CV and
  • cover letter
  • list of the publication (as well as one of your research papers or a piece of original writing that is relevant to this post)
  • copy of the diploma of graduation from the university
  • copy of PhD diploma (will be required to be provided at the start of the position at the latest; at the moment of application written proof of PhD defence will be accepted)
  • additional statements about the data protection agreement and choosing the Institute as the primary place of academic employment (templates will be sent upon request).

For enquiries relating to the post, please contact Professor Witold Klaus (witold.klaus@inp.pan.pl) or Professor Agnieszka Kubal (a.kubal@ucl.ac.uk).

For queries relating to the application process, please contact Iwona Kalisz (i.kalisz@inp.pan.pl), HR Specialist.