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Research Fellow

York Law School
Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
39,609 a year
Posted Date
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Job Reference

Role Description

We are delighted to be recruiting a Research Fellow, to work on a major ESRC funded project under the Governance After Brexit scheme. This is a full time, research only post at Grade 7 (the equivalent of a full lecturer salary) for three years. It would be ideal for a postdoctoral candidate, or for someone with equivalent experience, e.g. in advice work.

The project will set up the national EEA Public Services Research clinic (EEA PSRC), within the York Law School Clinic, to conduct ground-breaking legal action research. You will work with the PI, Charlotte O’Brien, to give advice and support to organisations around the UK working with EU/EEA nationals, and to document the problems encountered accessing services, to ethnographically capture the human dimension of Brexit.

This project follows the pioneering EU Rights Project, which produced rich, compelling data, important evidence of the law in action, and high-level impact work. Discoveries included decision makers saying ‘we don’t look at the law’, vanishing claims, decision maker confusion and error, departments that could not telephone each other and departments that disappeared. We found that the risks of administrative injustice become more acute during periods of legal transition – so Brexit makes this research imperative, to capture and document the obstacles encountered and the administrative, frictional injustices that occur.

This empirical work bridges a gap between academic legal theory and practical advice work. We are therefore looking out for a number of competences – knowledge of EU and UK law relating to welfare, immigration, health and social care, and equal treatment; ability to rigorously deploy socio-legal methods of data collection and analysis; and the ability to lead on advice work and drafting. We do not expect candidates to tick all of these boxes – rather we are looking for a combination of range of them, and will be happy to provide training for you on any competence gaps. However, a commitment to pursuit of social and administrative justice is essential, as is an enthusiasm for academic research that can make a real difference. EEA PSRC will push the boundaries of legal research, embedding legal action research within EU legal studies, as a means to uncover obstacles to justice that would otherwise remain invisible.

You will be based in York Law School, mostly working in the Law Clinic. The project also brings together two-Co-Investigators; Simon Parker in the Politics department (here at York) will be conducting interviews with MPs, MEPs, NGOs, and representatives of EU institutions, and Madeleine Sumption, head of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, will analyse new data sets as they are released during the course of the project, on public service eligibility and access. You will support the PI in feeding clinic findings to the Co-Is to help shape their enquiries, and in bringing all the elements together.

For any informal enquiries please contact

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