Research Assistants in Political Science, International Relations, or Peace and Conflict Studies, PluriCourts at the University of Oslo (2nd-year master’s students)

Why do states give up power to international courts? Under what conditions can international courts rule independently of powerful states? When do states comply with those rulings? How do states staff these courts, and how do judges behave in office? Who brings cases to these courts, who wins these disputes, and with what political consequences?  At PluriCourts, we study the legitimacy of international courts, including human rights courts, courts in the EU system, and courts and tribunals in the global investment and trade system. Would you like to join us?

Colourbox: Illustration of a job application
Photo: Colourbox

PluriCourts invites applications for 1-2 positions of part-time Research Assistant (50%). You are a master’s student in political science, international relations or peace and conflict studies wishing to write your thesis on a topic relevant to the Center (see the Center’s research plan. As a member of our team, you will be an integrated part of our group and take part in our common activities at the newly opened Domus Juridica, in downtown Oslo. We can provide you with exciting discussions, advice and data on the topic of international courts. We welcome master projects applying both qualitative and quantitative research methods, although we have a particular need for research assistants with experience using statistical software like R, Python or Stata for the compilation and management of large datasets.

The purpose of the call is to increase competence and interest in judicial politics among young scholars. To ensure overlap in research interest between your project and ongoing work at PluriCourts, at least one of you supervisors must be employed at the Center. Prospective applicants are therefore encouraged to contact one of our researchers prior to the deadline.

PluriCourts is a center of excellence at the University of Oslo, devoted to studying the legitimacy of the international judiciary from legal, philosophical and political science perspectives. It was established in 2013 and will continue until the end of March 2023. Our scientific staff are from three different fields: Law, political science, and philosophy. This call is for Research Assistant(s) who will mainly work with the Center's political science team.



The successful candidates will mainly contribute to PluriCourts political science team part-time (50%) while working on their master’s theses. Possible tasks include:

  • Organizing and preparing datasets in R or Stata (e.g. converting between data structures, merging datasets, preparing variables and datasets for regression analysis).
  • Collecting and updating databases on international courts (based on hand coding and/or techniques for automatic data collection).
  • Contributing to research projects, mainly for members of the political science team
  • Helping to organize events and seminars, mainly for the political science team
  • Contributing actively to the research collegium at PluriCourts

The list of responsibilities is indicative, and the work description is subject to change.


We offer

  • A 50 % position. The engagement period is 1 year. The engagement may be prolonged one more year.
  • Annual Salary, 50% position; 181 400 NOK (Pay grade 35, Research assistant code 1019)
  • Office space and access to a computer
  • Advice and collaboration in compiling and using novel datasets for your master thesis
  • Access to existing data sources available at PluriCourts


The applications should include the following:

  1. A project outline for the master thesis of up to 2 pages (outlining the topic and possible theoretical and methodological approaches you consider, as well as possible research questions)
  2. A letter explaining your motivation and possible contributions to PluriCourt’s research plan and political science team
  3. Transcript(s) of university level grades
  4. CV

Applicants will be selected based on the candidate’s academic credentials and research skills, as well as the quality and relevance of the master thesis project outline. We do, however, understand that most thesis projects will not be very developed at this point and encourage students at the early stage of developing their project to apply.

Application deadline: June 15, 2020.

The project outline, letter of motivation, transcript(s) of university grades, and CV should be sent to

Start date: August 17th, 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.


Required qualifications:

  • Diligent, engaged and autonomous.
  • You have experience with a statistical software (R, Python, Stata…) and enjoy working with these environments.
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Interest in writing an MA thesis related to international courts
  • Enrolled as a Master’s student in political science, international relations or peace and conflict studies
  • Fluency in spoken and written English

Desirable qualifications:

  • Programming skills
  • Proficiency in Norwegian


Formal regulations

According to regulations on the conditions of employment for this position (SKO1019), you may not be a research assistant for more than two years. Furthermore the call is not open to candidates at PhD-level or similar expertise.


Contact persons

Feel free to contact any of us with any further questions!


Daniel Naurin, Professor of Political Science:

Silje S. L. Hermansen, Postdoctoral Fellow:

Tommaso Pavone, Postdoctoral Fellow:

Øyvind Stiansen, Postdoctoral Fellow:

Siri Johnsen, Administrative manager for administrative issues:



Published May 18, 2020 10:17 AM - Last modified June 3, 2020 1:32 PM