Madrid: PhD position "UN, Human Rights to Water & Indigenous Peoples"

Job advertisements

ERC project RIVERS- Water/human rights beyond the human? Indigenous water ontologies, plurilegal encounters and interlegal translation (2019-2024), University Carlos III de Madrid (SPAIN)

Deadline: 7 November 2020
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RIVERS seeks a PhD researcher to join international and interdisciplinary research team led
by the Principal Investigator, Prof. dr. Lieselotte Viaene who is interested to:

  • develop research within work package C “Human rights treaty bodies: water knowledge and norm production” of research stream II of the RIVERS project,
  • Conduct ethnographic research (participant participation, in-depth interviews, focus groups, individual interviews) during the sessions of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR); activities of the mandates of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation and the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment; relevant side events in Geneva 
  • develop his/her doctoral thesis under the supervision of the Principal Investigator of RIVERS, Prof. dr. Lieselotte Viaene within the general themes of the RIVERS project and enroll in one of the PhD programmes of the University Carlos III de Madrid (more info: )
  • participate in the project’s regular team meetings and (internal and public) seminars,
  • present and publish joint publications related to the research findings (academic publications, research reports, policy briefs, …),
  • participate in and support in the organization of scientific events and events for civil society (for example cineforo),
  • contribute to RIVERS’s communication and dissemination activities (website, social media, blog),
  • support any research activities associated with the project’s general objectives.


  1. Excellent skills for qualitative research demonstrated in the master's thesis in social sciences (such as international human rights law, anthropology, sociology, international studies).
  2. Previous experience and/or interest in developing a PhD research project in the fields of legal anthropology, human rights, international studies.
  3. Previous experiences (training/courses, Master's field work) in the use of ethnographic research methods such as participant observation, focus groups, interviews and life stories; as well as commitment to ethnographic field work.
  4. Knowledge and/or experience with the UN human rights protection system.
  5. Knowledge and/or experience of research and/or work with indigenous peoples.
  6. Excellent communication skills in English (oral and written) and knowledge of Spanish; knowledge of an indigenous language will be valued.
  7. Previous experience in team work (academic and/or professional) and willingness to participate in interdisciplinary and bilingual teamwork (Spanish-English).

More information about benefits, working conditions, documents to submit, selection procedure: download complete call here.