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Call for Applications: Research Fellow, Max Planck Foundation Office

September 8, 2019

The Max Planck Foundation Office in Heidelberg, Germany is hiring a Senior Research Fellow with a specialization in constitutional and/or sharīʿa principles.

Job Summary

The Research Fellow will implement project activities, including facilitating workshops and giving presentations on the topic of (Comparative) Constitutional Law and its role in fragile states.

Key Responsibilities

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

  • undertake advanced legal research;
  • draft training materials;
  • implement legal training workshops for state actors, legal staff and other target groups;
  • provide technical legal advice and assistance to project partners;
  • travel to the project country and liaise with local partners;
  • 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 (LL.M; Ph.D.);
  • Ideally 2+ years demonstrable experience working in a relevant field;
  • Extensive knowledge of Constitutional Law and/or Sharia Principles; and
  • Ability to deliver high-level academic work.


  • Practical experience in the relevant region;
  • Experience implementing capacity building workshops for state and civil society actors; and
  • Previous experience in mediation processes.

Language Proficiency

Fluency in English is essential (oral and written).

Fluency in Dari/Pashto and/or German 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, 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-oriented manner; and
  • Computer literacy skills with standard software.


When operating in Afghanistan, the Max Planck 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 Max Planck Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and encourages qualified men and women, including those with disabilities, to apply.


Willingness to travel frequently to Afghanistan for workshops and related activities and to be based in Heidelberg, Germany, for the period of the contract.

All Positions are contingent upon funding.

Research Fellows are based in Heidelberg, Germany, with frequent travels to the region.

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

Please state your availability in your application.


Please note that we can only accept your application if you give us your Consent for Processing of Personal Data. For this, please read our Privacy Policy and email the consent along with your resume and cover letter to application(at)mpfpr.de (subject: “Afghanistan”) by Sep 8, 2019. For more information, click on this link.