Rules & Format
Closely modeled on the Yale/Stanford Junior Faculty Forum devised by Alan Schwarz (Yale Law School) and Ronald Gibson (Stanford Law School), the Annual Junior Faculty Forum for International Law involves an annual competition open to all international legal scholars who are in no more than their sixth year of an academic position.
For the tenth Forum at the University of Pretoria, junior faculty must be affiliated with an institution based on the African continent, although applications from those junior faculty based elsewhere but working on research for the Forum that has a strong African focus will also be considered. Those who are engaged in full-time Ph.D. study programs are not eligible to apply. The Forum has, however, admitted applications from those who are registered full-time on post-doctoral fellowship programs.
Applications can be made irrespective of the position or title within the institution (member of academic staff, research fellow, postdoctorate, etc.) or the tenure status of the applicant. Certain exceptional circumstances (e.g. career break, maternity leave) might entitle an applicant to special dispensation in respect of the six-year eligibility rule, but these will need to be specified in the cover letter that accompanies their application.
ALL APPLICANTS MUST MEET BOTH OF THESE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS—FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT BY AN ACADEMIC INSTITUTION ON THE AFRICAN CONTINENT/RESEARCH WITH A STRONG RESEARCH FOCUS **AND** NO MORE THAN THE SIXTH YEAR OF THEIR ACADEMIC CAREER—BEFORE PROCEEDING ANY FURTHER. Where joint applications are made, the applicants must make sure that each of the applicants satisfies both elements of the eligibility criteria.
The Forum welcomes applications from international lawyers teaching in faculties or schools other than law schools. For example, international lawyers teaching in political science, history or international relations may also (and, indeed, are warmly encouraged) to apply: from its beginnings, it has adopted a pluralistic philosophy on both the materia and the methodologies of writing and research in the discipline of (public) international law.
In bringing successful applicants together, the specific purpose of the Forum is to pair each junior faculty member with a senior scholar in the field in order that the senior scholar may critically and constructively discuss the paper that has been prepared for presentation at the Forum, as well as open the paper up to a broader discussion within the Forum. The idea is to test and cultivate new lines of research inquiry and investigation, where successful applicants are given the opportunity to present their work before an intimate and specialized audience. The format of the Forum is that successful applicants will be allocated thirty minutes to present their work that has been previously circulated to all participants of the Forum; the senior scholar will then provide twenty minutes of response with a further twenty-five minutes devoted to a general discussion of the presentation by the entire Forum. The intention is to create a process of sustained exchange and interaction, as well as to contribute to the intellectual development of the junior faculty selected in any given year. Applicants must be made aware that work submitted as part of the Forum process must not have been published or submitted for publication prior to the Forum (i.e. in December 2021).
The five convenors are planning to host the tenth Forum as an in-person event in Pretoria. This position will be reviewed in June and July of this year (2021) in view of developments with the coronavirus situation. They reserve the right to switch to their default option of hosting a virtual event for the tenth Forum and, if this happens, it will occur over a number of weeks in December 2020 and January 2021.
However, as an initial step, successful applicants should be informed that their accommodation in Pretoria will be covered for four nights from December 12, 2021 (when a welcome reception will be planned, so, ideally, everyone will arrive at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on that date in order that deliberations can start the following day).
Applicants will be responsible for securing funding for travel from their home institutions; the convenors will be more than happy to supply letters of support to successful applicants to the Forum to secure funding from their respective institution (or from other sources) and the timetable allows for sufficient time to secure this funding. The University of Pretoria will make a limited amount of funding available on application for those that are unable to cover travel to and from Johannesburg. Applicants in need of financial assistance will need to outline in their cover letter that accompanies their application (a) evidence of financial need and (b) a costed itinerary of air travel to and from Johannesburg.
Successful applicants will be responsible for making enquiries for visa applications and other paperwork, travel insurance etc., that will need to be made. Again, letters of support to assist these applications will be provided by the convenors and/or the host institution (University of Pretoria).
Finally, successful applications to the Forum will not be able to defer participation from one year to the next. The Forum is also unable to accept applications from those who have already presented their work at the Forum.