Postdoc of Data Science for Asylum Legal Landscaping

The Faculty of Law (LAW) and the Department of Computer Science (DIKU), University of Copenhagen, is seeking applications for a position as postdoc. The position is part of the research project “DATA4ALL” and is available from 1 September 2020, for a duration of 36 months. Start date is negotiable.  

About the DATA4ALL project

Despite decades of legal harmonization, the chance of receiving asylum for people from the same country still varies significantly across Europe and in the Nordics. The DATA4ALL project will leverage data science to understand outcome variations in asylum decisions across countries – a problem central to both migration law research and wider debates related to international cooperation in the area of asylum and refugees. The project will compare large-scale decision data and case file transcripts from Denmark, Sweden and Norway, and use natural language processing (NLP), sentiment analysis, machine learning, and process mining to unpack and understand what shapes outcome variations. The project further draws on critical data studies to engage decision-makers themselves, raising question to the data and promote data literacy and ethics among both scholars and practitioners. As such, DATA4ALL will help showcase the wider potential of integration data science and migration law.

The postdoc employed as part of the DATA4ALL project will perform a central role in the larger research team, which includes senior researchers from both LAW and DIKU as well as two PhDs specifically dedicated to the project. The postdoc will define her or his own ideas and techniques to solve the research. The postdoc is expected to focus on the technical and methodological data science aspects of the project. The postdoc will be enabled to advance the field of data science by applying it to the largely unexplored domain of immigration law, and by developing novel, generally applicable, methodologies and algorithms.

As part of an interdisciplinary team, the postdoc will work independently but in dialogue with researchers trained in law, computer science and sociology. The candidate will share her/his time between DIKU and LAW and will be expected to teach relevant courses at

About the position

The ideal candidate must hold a relevant academic degree and possess the appropriate theoretical and methodological tools to carry out the research proposed as part of the application.

Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the research areas and education programmes at both institutions by visiting the LAW and DIKU websites: and

Inquiries about the position can be made to Professor WSR Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen (LAW), or Tenure-track Assistant Professor Tijs Slaats (DIKU),

The University of Copenhagen actively supports the effort to learn Danish.

Required qualifications

The position requires academic qualifications PhD or equivalent degree in data science or in another discipline, e.g. law, provided the applicant can also document sufficient qualifications in data science. Applicants are expected to have foundational knowledge in natural language processing, sentiment analysis, or process mining. A strong candidate will have published successfully in one or more of these areas. All applicants are expected to be able to use English as the working language (written and spoken). Knowledge of Danish, Swedish and/or Norwegian is an advantage but not required for the postdoc position. Successful candidates will demonstrate a clear potential to deliver high quality peer-reviewed research publications.  

In the overall assessment, emphasis will be placed on the applicant’s research and teaching potential. Special emphasis will be placed on the applicant’s ambition to develop and implement new research ideas, which may have an international impact. Furthermore, both LAW and DIKU place emphasis on the applicant’s interest and preferably, prior experience, in working with other researchers to conduct collective research and teaching activities and welcomes the applicant’s proven ability to make a valuable contribution in this regard.

The position is open from 1 of September 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Terms of employment

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently up to DKK 437.843 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 74.871). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
  • Research plan – description of current and future research plans
  • Complete publication list
  • Separate reprints of 3 particularly relevant papers

The deadline for applications is 1st of June 2020, 23:59 GMT +2.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.

You can read about the recruitment process at

Interviews will be held in July 2020.


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.