Research Fellowship: Land, Corruption and discrimination

Law fellowship

Deadline: February 26, 2023 at 5pm UK time

About the Organization:

The Equal Rights Trust is an independent non-governmental organization which works in partnership to advance equality through the law. We are seeking a Research Fellow to join us on a part-time basis to participate in an exciting regional research project on the links between land corruption and discrimination.

Since 2020, we have been working in collaboration with Transparency International, the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption, to explore the links between discrimination and corruption. In 2021, we launched Defying Exclusion: stories and insights on the links between discrimination and corruption, a ground-breaking report, drawing on case studies from across the globe, which for the first time, identifies and explores the direct, causal relationship and interconnection between these two harms. We are now supporting Transparency International with a new project, which seeks to examine in greater depth the links between discrimination and land corruption, through research in Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe

About the Fellowship

All Equal Rights Trust Fellowships are designed to support individuals interested in increasing their knowledge and experience in the field of equality law, while supporting the Trust in developing and delivering our projects and initiatives. Our Fellowships seek to support the professional development of researchers on equality law and are aimed at graduate students, lawyers, academics or activists with an interest in building their knowledge and understanding of the field.  This Fellowship consists of:

  • A financial award of £7,200;
  • A programme of continuous training, technical support and expert guidance on equality law from our team;
  • The opportunity to undertake guided, supervised research on patterns of discriminatory corruption in the ownership, transfer, use and management of land.

The Fellow will work closely with our Director and our Head of Research to design and undertake desk-based research on land corruption and discrimination in the target countries, the region and globally. They will map and review data, research and reporting on discrimination, corruption and land use, ownership and access from both government and non-governmental sources and work with the Head of Research to develop an overview of discrimination and land corruption, and an analysis of structural drivers of marginalisation in the land sector and the intersection between discrimination and corruption. This research will be undertaken in parallel with field research by Transparency International chapters and the Equal Rights Trust and will be synthesised with these findings to produce a final published report exploring discrimination and land corruption.

The Fellowship has an estimated duration of six months, and in order to take full advantage of the opportunity, Fellows should expect to be available for three day per week.

Fellows will be selected through an Equality Law Essay Competition, details of which are provided below.


  • Undergraduate degree in a related field such as law, international relations, social sciences, or humanities (Essential)
  • An advanced degree (postgraduate) in a relevant subject such as equality or international human rights law; or in the process of undertaking such a degree; or equivalent experience (Desirable)
  • Demonstrable understanding of, and interest in, international human rights law; or equality law; or corruption law and policy (Essential)
  • Strong research and analytical skills, in particular literature review and analysis (Essential)

Essay competition

1. Participants should submit an essay responding to the following question:

Why and how do discrimination and corruption fuel each other in the land sector?  

Please answer with reference to the experience of one or more marginalised groups in one or more of the project target countries (Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe)

2. Participants must submit an unpublished essay in English written solely by them.

3. The target length of the essay is approximately 3000 words. Essays that are shorter than 2500 words and longer than 3500 words will not be considered.

4. Essays must be appropriately referenced using footnotes and should include a Bibliography. The Bibliography and references should not be included in the word count.

5. Essays will only be accepted in Word format. The document should follow the following formatting guidelines:

a.              Pages should be numbered.

b.              Cambria font, 11-point, should be used for the body of the essay and 10-point for footnotes/endnotes.

c.               Line spacing should be 1.5 lines for the body of the essay and single-spaced for footnotes/endnotes.

Any essay that does not follow the guidelines will be reformatted and points will be deducted.

6. Authors should not put their name or any identifying information in their essays.

7. Each participant must also include a curriculum vitae of no more than two pages in length, explaining the experience or interest of the author in equality law.

8. CVs must be submitted as a separate document from the essay. CVs will be accepted in Word or PDF format.

9. Participants must submit their essay and CV to 

Fellowship Scheme

There is no geographical scope or limitation to this scheme. Participants from anywhere in the world are invited to enter the competition. Applicants from the project focus countries are particularly welcomed. All training and research activities associated with the fellowship will take place remotely.

We particularly welcome entries from participants who may have suffered disadvantage because of one or more protected characteristic.

Unfortunately, Fellows are not eligible for visa sponsorship under the UK’s Immigration Rules. Fellows will be responsible for any tax, national insurance or similar liability or contribution arising from receipt of the award in their jurisdiction.

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