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Postdoctoral Fellow in Legal Studies

International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (ICSID) in Moscow, Russia

The Higher School of Economics International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (ICSID) in Moscow, Russia, invites applications for postdoctoral research positions in the field of legal studies.

For more than 20 years after the beginning of the economic transition the problem of independence of courts, development of a legal community and estimation of the quality of the law enforcement system has remained important for Russia. In 2015 ICSID team carried out a representative survey of 3,317 lawyers in 35 regions of Russia. The survey was conducted using a formalized questionnaire distributed through regional branches of the Russian Federal Bar Association. In addition, in 2018-2021 ICSID team collected more than 50 biographical interviews with representatives of the legal community (attorneys, corporate lawyers, in-house lawyers, etc.). Also, currently, we work with the database of court cases SAS “Justice” (including around 11,9 million documents on criminal cases) to analyze legal and extralegal factors influencing judge’s decisions.

Current topics of interest include the development of the legal profession in contemporary Russia (with the focus on in-house lawyers and corporate lawyers), collective action in the legal profession (including pro bono practices), legal and extralegal factors of sentencing (including gender differences), comparative studies of the legal profession in post-Soviet countries, etc. Successful candidates will participate in ongoing research on these topics at ICSID. Candidates whose research contains a comparative perspective or focuses on other contexts than Russia are also encouraged to apply.   

Russia is a fertile ground for research in the political economy of development. ICSID offers unique databases needed for such kind of research. Among them are:

●     online survey of more than 23,000 respondents in 61 Russian regions to study attitudes and behavior during the pandemic conducted in November 2020;

●     surveys of around 35,000 individuals in the majority of Russian regions conducted in 2000-2011 and containing rich information about norms, preferences, and the quality of institutions;

●     detailed statistics of economic and social life at the regional and municipal levels;

●     data on biographies of more than 300 governors in 1993-2018; almost 1000 representatives of the federal elite in 2000-2012, 3,500 officials from the regional elite in 2000-2012;

●     data from the Russian Empire Census of 1897;

●     special surveys such as one of 3,300 attorneys in 35 regions of Russia and the other including 1600 owners in homeowners associations.

Our databases are partly available on our website.

We also use other sources of information such as the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS), World Value Survey, and European Values Study, etc.


The general requirements for the postdoctoral fellowship positions are the following:

●     a Ph.D. in Legal Studies, Law and Economics, Political Science or Sociology (awarded  last 5 years but before the start of the program);

●     ability to work in a team;

●     quantitative skills, ability to carry out research using Stata/R/SPSS/ similar software to meet standards of academic journals;

●     peer-reviewed publications, working papers or a job market paper in the field will be a strong advantage;

●     working language is English, knowledge of the Russian language is an asset, but is not required;

●     submission of at least one working paper per year to one of the HSE working papers series

●     full-time research with at least two presentations of results during the year.

The position involves:

●     working in the research group with Dr. Anton Kazun (akazun@hse.ru).

●     possibility to collaborate with the ICSID team and associate fellows

●     successful candidates are encouraged to pursue their research (up to 50% of the time) in parallel with the ongoing research at ICSID;

●     writing research papers for international peer-reviewed journals in co-authorship with ICSID researchers

●     some teaching, as well as one or two public presentations of the candidate’s own research, are also encouraged

●     participation in the organization of events and other contributions to the development of ICSID.


Appointments are normally made for one year (from September 2024). Postdoctoral fellows have an opportunity to renew the contract (no more than two times).

HSE University offers postdoctoral fellows a competitive salary, the standard medical insurance plan, a working space equipped with a computer and free Internet access at the University.

The Center offers access to its unique databases on socio-economic indicators of the Russian regions, political elites and historical roots of institutions in Russia. ICSID also provides all necessary support for research such as up-to-date analytical software, funding for attendance at international conferences and research assistantship. Moreover, the HSE library provides access to a large collection of academic journals.

Application Process

Applications must be submitted online. Please provide a CV, a statement of research interest and a recent research paper submitted via an online application form. At least two letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the International Faculty Recruitment Office at fellowship@hse.ru before the application deadline. Please note that direct applications to thehiring center may not be reviewed.

Read more about the application process here.


The deadline for the applications is January 31, 2024.


Apply now


For more information:

-       about Postdoctoral Fellowship -Frequently Asked Questions

-       about HSE university –official web-site

-       about the International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (ICSID) in Moscow, Russia – official website of the Centre or contact Valeriya Kotelnikova, a manager of the center, directly via vkotelnikova@hse.ru

-       about international specialists' life in Moscow -International Faculty Support page


If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact the International Faculty Recruitment Office at fellowship@hse.ru


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