ERC project RIVERS- Water/human rights beyond the human? Indigenous water ontologies, plurilegal encounters and interlegal translation (2019-2024), University Carlos III de Madrid (SPAIN)


ref. 2019/231 – Deadline: 28 January 2020 – Apply here

RIVERS’s main challenge is to produce ground-breaking knowledge, from an empirical, interdisciplinary and dialogic perspective, about the contentions and challenges intrinsic to reconceptualising human rights with different ways of understanding and relating to water. RIVERS’s overarching research question is: To what extent can international human rights law come to grips with plurilegal water realities? This project engages with one of the most pressing questions of this century: the relationship between humans and “nature”. RIVERS tackles two intertwined core objectives: 1) analysing different ways of knowing and relating to water and life among indigenous peoples and their understanding of its (potential) violation by extractive projects; 2) discussing the contributions, challenges and pitfalls of interlegal translation of differing water natures in plurilegal encounters at domestic and international levels. RIVERS will develop a multi-sited analysis and empirical case-studies in three contexts: Colombia, Nepal and the United Nations human rights protection system.

More information:

RIVERS seeks a PhD researcher to join an international and interdisciplinary research team led by the Principal Investigator, Prof. dr. Lieselotte Viaene, who is interested to:

  • develop research within work package D “Universal human rights and international indigenous knowledge brokers” of research stream II of the RIVERS project,
  • conduct ethnographic research (among others, participant observation, in-depth interviews and collaborative workshops), among others, during the yearly sessions of the Expert Mechanism of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP), annual report presentation of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples at the Human Rights Council and side events related to the RIVERS project in Geneva,
  • develop his/her doctoral thesis under the supervision of the Principal Investigator of RIVERS, within the general themes of the RIVERS project and enroll in one of the PhD programmes of the University Carlos III de Madrid (info)
  • participate in the project’s regular team meetings and (internal and public) seminars,
  • present and publish joint publications related to the research findings (academic publications, research reports, policy briefs, …),
  • participate in and support in the organization of scientific events and events for civil society (for example cineforo),
  • contribute to RIVERS’s communication and dissemination activities (website, social media, blog),
  • support any research activities associated with the project’s general objectives,

Information about benefits, working conditions, documents to submit, selection procedure: see enclosed attachments and