The Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, is seeking applications for a
position as PhD. The position is part of the research project “Algorithmic
Fairness Asylum-Seekers and Refugees (AFAR)” and is available from 1 January
2023, for a duration of 36 months. Start date is negotiable.
About the AFAR project
‘AFAR' ‘Algorithmic Fairness for Asylum Seekers and Refugees' investigates the
use of new technologies – and particularly, forms of artificial intelligence
(AI) – in migration and asylum governance. This includes automation of
processes previously done by humans, using simple closed-rule algorithms, as
well as more complex machine learning and AI systems. These new technologies
are set to radically transform governance, but also risk human rights
violations and unfairness, especially in areas such as migration and asylum
where the ‘data subjects' are already disempowered and disenfranchised. This
calls for sustained research on what fairness means as a concept, how it can
be institutionalized, and how new methods related to data analysis and machine
learning can be leveraged in order to support fairness in asylum and migration
The PhD will define his or her own research idea and project within the AFAR
project. The PhD will be responsible for securing a strong link to migration
law within the project and may engage with formal-legal, law-data science,
socio-legal approaches, and/or legal philosophical analysis. The PhD project
should focus on one or more key areas where these new technologies are being
used, (1) access to asylum, (2) refugee status determination or asylum
processing, (3) refugee-focused family reunification. We further welcome
projects that investigate how AI technologies can support fairness in this
empirical domain more broadly.
AFAR is a collaborative project drawing from expertise in law, data science,
refugee studies, and political science. A relevant educational background
and/or experience in one of these fields is necessary, experience in more than
one is desirable. As part of an interdisciplinary team, the PhD is expected to
work in close collaboration within research partners based at the University
of Oxford, Hertie School of Governance, European University Institute, and the
University of Zagreb. The PhD employed will form part of a larger research
team based at the University of Copenhagen that incorporates legal and data
science expertise as part of the https: // asylumdata.ku.dk/ and the forthcoming
Center of Excellence on Global Mobility Law.
The candidate will be enrolled and based at the Faculty of Law and expected to
teach relevant courses at LAW for at least one semester.
Applicants must have obtained a degree that corresponds to the Danish
Master of Laws which is a second cycle 120 ECTS degree (two years of
full-time studies), that builds on a 180 ECTS bachelor's degree (three
years of full-time studies) or equivalent qualifications. Applicants with
a non-Danish Master's degree will have their degree assessed by the
Ministry of Higher Education and Science in order to establish, if the
Master's degree is equivalent to a Danish Master's degree.
Applicants must have obtained a minimum overall grade average of 8.2 or
above at the Master's level in accordance with the Danish grading scale
(for Danish scale, see here).
Applicants may submit their application before they have completed their
Master's Degree. The Master's degree must be obtained before the start
Applicants must document an aptitude for research through the meritorious
assessment of their final thesis, publications or academic recommendations
in order to show that they are capable of undertaking the demanding task
of writing a PhD thesis.
Applicants must have excellent language skills in English and have
excellent communications skills. Applicants must be able to teach at an
academic level in Danish or English and to follow PhD courses in English.
Successful PhD candidates are required to
Actively engage in the interdisciplinary research environment established
by the project and the Nordic Asylum Law & Data Lab at the University of
Copenhagen; participate in international conferences, courses and meetings
relevant to their research project;
Comply with the formal requirements of the PhD programme;
Contribute to teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses in Danish
or English offered by the Faculty of Law;
Conduct independent and high quality research under the supervision of a
senior member of academic staff at the Faculty.
Click 'Apply now' below to be taken to the online application form.
We advise you to have the following documents ready before you begin your
Research project proposal: This should include the following: (1)
objective(s) of the research, (2) major research questions, (3)
review of relevant literature, (4) methodology to be applied in the
research, and (5) a timetable that plans for all course requirements to
have been met within three years. The project description must elaborate
on the value of the proposed research project in terms of its relevance to
existing and future research in the field. It is recommended that the
project proposal does not exceed 6 A4 pages (excluding bibliography).
The document must be in Times New Roman, font size 12, spacing 1.5 with
all margins (right, left, top and bottom) set to 2 cm
Curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages).
Diplomas and transcripts: Certified copies of original diploma(s) and
transcripts (both Bachelor's and Master's degree) in the original
language and an authorized English translation if they are issued in other
language than English or Danish.
Grading scale: A certified explanation of grading scale in the original
language and an authorized English translation if it is available in
another language than English or Danish.
Letter of motivation: Explain the choice of the Faculty of Law at the
University of Copenhagen as a host institution for the proposed project
and outline how the project fits within the research priorities at the
Faculty (maximum 1 page).
Documentation of English level: Documentation of English level can for
instance be documented by an excellent IELTS or TOEFL test.
Submit your application electronically in English.
University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding society and
therefore encourages all interested parties regardless of personal background
to apply for the position.
Following the application deadline, the Associate Dean of Research will pre-
select applications that will proceed to the assessment stage upon the
recommendation of the Selection Committee. Applicants are pre-selected for
further assessment in line with the Faculty's recruitment needs as described
in this job advertisement. This is carried out based on the overall assessment
of the applicant's educational qualifications, the quality of the submitted
research proposal and its relevance to the Faculty's research agenda, and
other relevant qualifications (e.g. relevant professional experience, any
previous academic publications etc.). All applicants are then notified by the
HR Centre as to whether their application has proceeded to the assessment
stage. The assessment is carried out by an expert assessment committee.
Selected applicants will be notified of the composition of the assessment
committee. When the committee has completed its assessment, each applicant has
the opportunity to comment on the assessment. A number of qualified applicants
will be invited for an interview.
Terms of employment
Successful candidates will be employed in accordance with the agreement
between the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations and the Ministry
of Finance concerning the salary of PhD students. If you are offered a PhD
position, you will receive a regular monthly salary in accordance with Danish
law and you will be entitled to an annual research budget. The Faculty does
not provide accommodation.
If you are offered the position a certificate of criminal record must be
General information about the PhD programme and the requirements can be found
here: https: // jura.ku.dk/phd/english/applicants/
For questions regarding the research project, please contact Postdoc William
Hamilton Byrne, email@example.com
For practical questions, please contact HR South & City Campuses,
firstname.lastname@example.org. Please refer to ID 211-1171/22-2H.
Closing date for applications
The closing date for applications is 29 September 2022 , 23:59 GMT +1.
Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Likewise
incomplete applications (i.e. without all required documents) will be
The Faculty of Law is one of six faculties at the University of Copenhagen.
The Faculty carries out research, education and knowledge dissemination within
the area of law. Research is partly organized in research centres and groups
with focus on thematic areas of interest. The Faculty employs about 105
researchers and approx. 60 PhD students as well as approx. 70 administrative
staff members. In addition, approx. 400 part-time lecturers teach on the legal
programmes on which approx. 4,500 students are enrolled. See the Faculty
website: https: // jura.ku.dk/english for more information.