Research Strategy 2012-2014
The Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (NCHR) will further develop its position, which is recognised both nationally and internationally, as a multi-disciplinary centre for research and teaching at the University of Oslo. The NCHR will develop and strengthen its national responsibility to be a centre of expertise and a knowledge base in the field of human rights in Norway, in research and teaching and through active participation in the public debate. The international programmes will remain a core activity at the NCHR and contribute towards competence building and development of knowledge in the interaction between research and academic cooperation in the programmes.
Strategic aims for NCHR research
(a) The NCHR will ensure basic research competence at the Centre.
- Strengthen research competence in law. The NCHR will ensure two new positions as professor or associate professor in the field of law and human rights.
- Ensure research competence in fields other than law. The NCHR will ensure one new position as professor or associate professor in a field other than law.
- Ensure that the PhD candidates complete their theses in the allotted time frame through active use of the Faculty guidelines.
- Recruit new PhD students and post doctors, preferably in thematic fields in line with the Centre’s strategic priorities.
- Achieve better gender balance in the academic staff.
- Support academic staff in achieving professor-level competence.
(b) The NCHR will ensure synergy effects between Centre research and the international programmes.
- Ensure fruitful interaction between research projects and international programmes in order to make the most of the research potential in the programmes; at the same time ensure that the programmes benefit from ongoing research in implementing their activities.
- Ensure that the programmes are visible inside the UiO research environment, in order to support research and recruitment and strengthen the NCHR as a multi-disciplinary research centre.
(c) The NCHR will focus on the following thematic fields, with reference to the Centre’s four Thematic Working Groups (TWGs) as well as on other ongoing research projects:
Mechanisms to fulfill the vision and the strategic research aims: The TWGs and their thematic priorities
Thematic Working Group on Human Rights and Constitutionalism
- The legitimacy of human rights at different levels of jurisdiction (national, regional (e.g. the EU) and international.
- Human rights and national constitutions.
Thematic Working Group on Human Rights and Development
- Human rights and corporate social responsibility.
- Disability and human rights-based development.
- Methodological challenges in human rights research.
Thematic Working Group on Human Rights and Diversity
- The rights of asylum seekers and refugees.
- Assessing the human rights restrictions on multiculturalism against the multicultural foundations of human rights.
- Scope and limits of the right to self-determination of groups and individuals.
Thematic Working Group on Human Rights and Conflict
- Accountability for, and prevention of, sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations.
- International humanitarian law and international criminal law and the relationship with human rights law.
- Transitional justice: Accountability for past human rights violations in post-conflict and post-authoritarian societies
The NCHR academic staff will publish their work regularly in recognised national and international publication channels and meet established goals for publication (at least two published works per year per researcher). Participation in international research cooperation should be with an aim towards publication. The Centre will be visible in the public debate and disseminate its research results.
Institutional framework and other mechanisms to fulfill the vision and the strategic research aims
(a) The NCHR will create favourable conditions for research and publication:
- Ensure that each researcher is enabled to carry out high-quality research and teaching (e.g. through appraisal interviews).
- Internal fora for presentation and discussion of planned, ongoing or completed research project: The Research Forum; the Thematic Working Groups.
- Research funding to enable researchers to publish high-quality research in appropriate publication channels.
(b) Resources for research assistance for the TWGs should be provided by the Centre.
- Developing applications for both national and international external research funding is encouraged and supported (cf. Guidelines for Research Applications).
- Research projects and related ventures should be developed through cooperation between researchers and the programmes, especially within TWGs.
- Organise seminars, workshops and conferences (In 2012, priority is given to Anniversary Conferences).
- Strengthen existing national and international networks and develop new ones.
(c) The framework agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other external funding.
- The NCHR should have a guest researcher / visiting professor programme aiming to develop research projects and conferences. Guest researchers should preferably be attached to one or several thematic working groups.
- Two topical papers should be produced with funding from the framework agreement in 2012: A study on Universal Periodic Review – a conference is recommended; A study on democracy, human rights and Islamism, with recommendations for external funding applications.
(d) Funds allocated for research incentives should primarily be used to support research in the TWGs.
(e) Participating in the Faculty research groups is strongly encouraged and provides opportunities for funding and academic development.
(f) The NCHR maintains and develops its participation in national and international networks, to promote research and research cooperation and participate in projects leading to publications, for instance within the framework of the Nordic Network in Human Rights Research and the Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI).