• Five positions at the Geography Department, Soran University, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Three permanent geography lectureships at Soran University, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Job title: Lecturer in Human Geography

Starting date: Flexible

Application closing date: 28.02.2014

Salary: US$3000.00 per month (the salary is tax free. The position includes free accommodation and relocation expenses)


Job Description:

Currently Soran University, a young and fast developing university in the autonomous Kurdistan Region, Iraq, is in the process of developing a research group as part of the Geography Department that will be focusing on two main research strands.

First, the geostrategic situation of the Kurdistan Region, including the issue of being a landlocked nation in a region amidst insecurity and conflict, as well as the nature of the developing (oil and gas based) Turkish-Kurdish Regional Government partnership.

Second, possible internal institutional structures that help not only to avoid the ‘curse’ of oil price volatility, but to solidify democratic structures.


Researchers interested in those or related strands are welcome to apply. We explicitly encourage applications from motivated early career scholars. The research group will enable its members to conduct research on an international level, with funding for participation in international conferences. Teaching and other non-research responsibilities at the Geography Department are flexible and will be individually designed around ongoing research projects. Teaching will be in English. The main purpose of the research group is to develop a research profile in geopolitics and security around natural resources and energy policy, to publish research in international peer-reviewed journals and to supervise PhD students. The advertised positions will be permanent (for administrative reasons all contracts officially run for one year, but will be renewed upon request).


Unlike the rest of the country, the Kurdistan region is secure. In the last ten years there have been no civilian casualties due to terror attacks. There have been no incidences of attacks or threats directed at foreigners.  Direct flights to Europe and the Gulf link the Kurdistan Region directly to the outside world. Interested candidates should feel free to contact Dr. Till Paasche (till.paasche@soran.edu.iq) informally if there are any questions regarding the position, the university, or life in the region.


For further details on the University and the region, see http://www.soran.edu.iq/soran/.­­-­­­


Main duties:


– Develop your own geographical research projects in coordination with the research group leader

– Collaborate on original research with other staff from the research group

– Publish research in internationally recognised peer reviewed journals and present research at conferences

– Participate in the drafting of grant applications



– Recruitment and Supervision of PhD students

– Teaching in the undergraduate programme of the Geography Department including appropriate assessment etc.

– Support the curriculum development together with the Head of the Department and the research group leader

– Organisation of methodology workshops for local staff

– Provide guidance and advice to other staff and students



– Undertake required administrative duties

– Other duties appropriate to the post as required by the research group leader and the head of the department


Essential criteria:

– PhD in Geography or related discipline

– Record of high quality publications appropriate with stage of career

– Ability to develop research that corresponds with the interest of the research group

– Teaching experience

– Ability to work as part of a team

– Good organizational skills

– Ability to meet required deadlines


Desired criteria:

– Experience in the supervision of PhD students

– Writing grant applications

– Experience in curriculum development

– Experience in interdisciplinary research


For the application please send your CV, a cover letter, the names and contact details of two referees to till.paasche@soran.edu.iq. We will only contact the referees of those applicants who are being shortlisted.



Two PhD studentships at Soran University, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Please note that only Iraqi passport holders are eligible for the studentship.


The Geography Department at Soran University announces a PhD studentship (http://www.soran.edu.iq/soran/). We welcome applications from students with Master degrees interested in Kurdish oil and gas geopolitics. Being landlocked, the Kurdistan Region, Iraq faces the critical challenge of making its oil and gas available to international markets. The geopolitical situation in the region indicates that the most likely export route for the KRG’s oil and gas is via the resource hungry Turkey. However, the KRG’s relations with Turkey are not without differences and such co-operation needs careful assessment. The studentship offers an opportunity to analyse this relationship, its implications for the Turkish-PKK peace process, increasing PYD led autonomy in Turkey, as well as possible alternative export routes for Kurdish crude oil and gas.


After completion of the PhD programme, the candidate is required to teach at the University of Soran as a member of staff (position: Lecturer of Human Geography) in the Geography Department for a minimum of four years.


The studentship that runs for four years is part of the new split-site PhD programme meaning that the successful candidate will have an internal supervisor at Soran University (Dr. Till Paasche) and an external supervisor outside Iraq. In this case Professor James D. Sidaway at the Geography Department, National University of Singapore, will take on this role (http://profile.nus.edu.sg/fass/geojds/stf_geojds.htm).


Successful candidate are required/have the opportunity to spend one year at the National University of Singapore to work on their PhD and engage with Singapore’s vibrant academic community.


General admission requirements: A Maters degree in (Human) Geography or any related discipline. An English language certificate (TOFEL score of 550 (PB) IELTS (academic) band score of 6). Lower scores may be accepted as conditional split-site candidates. The required English language certificate must be obtained within one year. During the first phase of the PhD the candidate has the opportunity to do intensive English courses at the CLAD language centre associated with Soran University.


For the application please send your CV, a cover letter, the names and contact details of two referees and a one page research proposal to till.paasche@soran.edu.iq (please merge the documents into one single pdf-file). We will only contact the referees of those applicants who are being shortlisted.

Closing Date for Applications: 28.02.2014


If you have any questions about the studentship please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Till Paasche (till.paasche@soran.edu.iq).

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