Call for applications - PhD Scholarship to research Human Rights and New Technologies


The Centre for Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School, is seeking applications for a fully-funded PhD position, as part of the research project Algorithmic Fairness for Asylum Seekers and Refugees  (AFAR), a collaborative project launched in autumn 2021  and led by Cathryn Costello, Professor of Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School and Co-Director of the School's Centre for Fundamental Rights. The successful candidate will be enrolled in the Doctoral Programme in Governance at the Hertie School. The fellowship is available from 1 September 2022 for a duration of 36 months.

About the AFAR project

‘AFAR - Algorithmic Fairness for Asylum Seekers and Refugees’ investigates the use of new technologies – meaning in particular automated and part-automated decision-making in asylum and migration system in Europe. This includes automation of processes previously done by humans, using simple closed-rule algorithms, as well as more complex machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) systems.    The project focuses how to ensure fairness in these processes, and whether the law regulated these processes and the use of new technologies is apt to ensure fairness.

About the PhD Position

The PhD candidate is expected to carry out research examining the legality and fairness of the use of new technologies (as defined above) in asylum and migration governance in Europe.

Proposals should focus on one of the following four fields of asylum and migration governance: (1) visas and access to asylum; (2) allocation of responsibility for asylum claims, asylum seekers and refugees; (3) refugee status determination or asylum processing; (4) refugee-focused family reunification and related special entry programmes.

The disciplinary approach may be law, or law and governance. Proposals that aim to employ any of the following approaches or a combination thereof are welcome: doctrinal-legal research; normative research on fairness; and/or socio-legal approaches.

The successful candidate will conduct this PhD research under the supervision of Cathryn Costello, Professor of Fundamental Rights and co-director of the Centre for Fundamental rights at the Hertie School, and other supervisors under the structured programme of the PhD programme at the Hertie School.

As part of an interdisciplinary team, the PhD candidate will have the opportunity to work in close collaboration within research partners based at the University of Oxford, University of Copenhagen, European University Institute, and the University of Zagreb. The PhD researcher will form part of a larger research team based at the Hertie School that incorporates legal and data science expertise.

The full call for applications is available here.

For more information about Doctoral Programmes at Hertie School see here.

Application deadline is 22 May 2022.