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Postdoctoral Fellow - Human Rights and Transitional Justice
Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Date Posted 09/08/2021
Admin-Human Resources
Employment Type
Application Deadline Open until filled

Title Postdoctoral Fellow - Human Rights and Transitional Justice
School Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Department/Area Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) in the Department of Global Health and Population (GHP)
Position Description
About HHI
The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) is a university-wide academic and research center in humanitarian crisis and leadership. HHI is based at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) Department of Global Health and Population and is an affiliated program with the International Division of the Brigham Health Emergency Department . As an Inter-Faculty Initiative, HHI collaborates closely with all Harvard Schools and Harvard Teaching Hospitals and is the primary humanitarian outreach arm of Harvard University. The mission of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative is to create new knowledge and advance evidence-based leadership in disasters and humanitarian crisis. HHI was founded in 2005, currently operates 20 projects, and consists of 60 staff, faculty, visiting scientists, students, and collaborators. HHI’s aim is to promote interdisciplinary dialogue in pressing humanitarian issues, advance the science and practice of humanitarian response worldwide, and improve the lives of communities in war, conflict, and natural disasters.
About the Position
HHI is seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow in human rights and transitional justice (TJ) with strong analytical and statistical skills. This one-year fellowship is expected to begin on or around January 1, 2022 with the possibility of extension. 
The fellow will work with Prof. Phuong Pham and Prof. Patrick Vinck at HHI and a joint Harvard-Tulane program, Transitional Justice Evaluation Tools (TJET),  evaluating the effectiveness of transitional justice policies such as prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations, and vetting and lustration. The data and evidence generated by this project will serve to design better policy to address the complex needs of survivors of violence and conflict for accountability, with particular emphasis on the need to prevent, respond to, and end impunity for sexual and gender-based violence in conflict and mass atrocity. The grant focuses on the following case countries: Cambodia, Central African Republic, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, Iraq, Mali, Sri Lanka, Haiti, and Myanmar. The fellow will report to Prof. Pham and Prof. Vinck.
The Postdoctoral Fellow is expected to work in collaboration HHI lead faculty to: 
  • Analyze existing data
  • Collect additional data when needed
  • Produce peer-reviewed publications 
  • Support the overall development of the Global TJ Index 
  • Attend workshops and meetings organized by the Global TJ program

Until our return to campus, which is still to-be-determined, but expected to be in Fall 2021, the interview process and fellowship opportunity will take place virtually—including remote onboarding and remote work.
Basic Qualifications
  • A doctoral degree in a discipline related to transitional justice, political science, statistics, or data science
  • 2+ years of relevant work experience
  • Strong quantitative and qualitative research background 
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Fluency in English

Additional Qualifications
  • Additional language competencies (e.g., French, Spanish, Arabic, etc.) are preferred.
  • This is a 12-month position based in Boston with possibility for extension; working virtually internationally may be allowed until conditions allow for relocations to the Boston area.
  • Preference will be given to applicants from the post-conflict case countries that are the focus of the grant, and/or who have considerable work experience in transitional justice in the case countries:  Cambodia, Central African Republic, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, Iraq, Mali, Sri Lanka, Haiti, and Myanmar.   
Special Instructions
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants should apply via the Harvard Academic Positions system. 
Please submit: 
  • Cover Letter
  • Curriculum Vitae 
  • Three letters of reference. Applicants will be asked to provide the names of three referees.
  • Three writing samples or manuscripts
  • A research proposal/statement of research (maximum 2 pages) outlining a topic of inquiry for a policy brief relating to transitional justice in your country (or country of interest), which the candidate aims to write during the fellowship.
Contact Information
Administrative questions regarding this position can be sent to Tanya Shpigel. Please include Transitional Justice Postdoc: YOUR NAME in the subject line. 
Contact Email
Equal Opportunity Employer
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions or any other characteristic protected by law.
Minimum Number of References Required 3
Maximum Number of References Allowed 3

*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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