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Research Fellow in Business and Human Rights – BIICL

Research Fellow in Business and Human Rights – BIICL


  1. The British Institute of International and Comparative Law is the foremost independent research and discussion body in the United Kingdom, unaffiliated to any university, and is one of the leading such bodies in the world. It undertakes high quality research, publications, events and training on issues of international and comparative law around the globe.

  2. Under its Director, Professor Robert McCorquodale, BIICL has developed considerable expertise in business and human rights matters. This involves practical applications of public international law, private international law, human rights, comparative law, corporate law, and other aspects of law, as well as economics and business management, based on strong conceptual and knowledge foundations.

  3. Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, the global law firm, is funding this research. It provides domestic and multi-jurisdictional legal services to international corporates, financial institutions, governments and other public sector organisations.

Job Description

  1. BIICL is seeking to appoint a strong candidate as a Research Fellow in Business and Human Rights to conduct a study into the law and practice concerning human rights due diligence. It seeks to clarify the requirements of human rights due diligence as set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, understand how companies currently operate them (through the use of empirical research by surveys and interviews), and the legal risks and consequences. It will aim to offer practical recommendations for business on the issue of human rights due diligence.

  2. The Research Fellow will be expected to undertake the following:

  • Produce high quality research on human rights due diligence and related issues efficiently and on time;

  • Devise, operate and evaluate surveys of the practice of a wide range of corporations in this area;

  • Devise and conduct interviews of relevant senior persons;

  • Produce regular draft reports, website updates, and briefings for a wide audience;

  • Draft articles and other publications, including recommendations;

  • Manage and coordinate events;

  • Work with lawyers and others at Norton Rose Fulbright; and

  • Work in a team with the Institute Director and others, including interns, at BIICL.

This is a full-time, fixed term post for a 16 month period, with no teaching duties. Secondments for this period may also be considered. The post holder will be based in London with some travel expected. The salary package is £28,000 – £30,000 pa, depending on qualifications and experience. It is hoped that the person appointed will commence as soon as possible.

Person Specification

  1. The successful applicant will have the following mix of experience, skills and attributes:

  • A record of published research in the field of business and human rights or related areas;

  • A record of co-ordinating research activity in this field, with experience in empirical research being an advantage;

  • Practical expertise in this field, with some experience in legal practice or in business being an advantage;

  • A record of interacting appropriately with practitioners, corporations, non-governmental organisations, academics, policy-makers and others in this field;

  • Effective communication skills in disseminating research findings and other activities to a diverse international community, including through websites and social media;

  • An ability to organise and manage events to a high standard;

  • An ability to be self-starting and self-sufficient, and to manage with minimal administrative support; and

  • An ability and willingness to work collaboratively and collegially with colleagues.

Application Process

  1. The deadline for applications is 26 January 2015. Applicants should send the following by email to

  • A completed BIICL application cover form (available at including the names and addresses of three referees (two of whom can be contacted prior to interview);

  • A full curriculum vitae; and

  • A covering letter setting out their reasons for applying and how they consider that they meet the person specification for this post.

  1. Informal enquiries may be addressed to Professor Robert McCorquodale (

  2. Applicants are encouraged to find out more about BIICL, its members of staff and activities at

  3. It is expected that interviews will take place in the second week of February 2015.

  4. We regret that we are unable to acknowledge receipt of applications personally, as we are a charitable organization with limited funds. If you do not hear from us regarding interviews within four weeks of the closing date, your application has been unsuccessful.


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