Professor Adam Perry is looking for a research assistant to help with his Constitutional Conventions in Westminster Systems Project. Constitutional conventions are informal rules of a constitution. They are of special importance in Westminster systems of government, such as in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. They have also played a large role in contemporary political disputes, for example, about Brexit and devolution. The project will focus on, among other things: (1) why constitutional conventions are important to Westminster systems; (2) how conventions emerge, change, and decay; (3) when it is appropriate to rely on conventions as a regulatory tool; and (4) how courts should treat conventions. It is not essential that the researcher has a law degree. 

Duration and hours

The work is to start immediately and the project will run until the end of January 2018.

The hours will vary, but the assistant will be expected to work a total of 275 hours over the course of the project.   

You will not be required to work for more than 7.5 hours in any given week.


The post will report to Professor Adam Perry.


  • Help conduct a comprehensive survey of existing constitutional conventions in the major Westminster systems.
  • Identify existing constitutional conventions and prepare a description of their history, change, and legal treatment.
  • Manage own academic research and administrative activities, within guidelines provided by the Principal Investigator
  • Contribute ideas to the design of the project and survey
  • Select, follow, and adapt specialist methodologies to confirm or refute theories
  • Gather, analyse and present qualitative and/or quantitative data from legal and non-legal written sources
  • Prepare written analysis of research findings
  • Meet regularly with the Principal Investigator to discuss the research findings
  • Contribute to research publications, book chapters and reviews 



  • Hold a first degree together with some relevant experience
  • Ability to manage own research and administrative activities
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to write text that can be published
  • Experience of following and adapting methodologies
  • Interest in and specialist knowledge of constitutional law, practice, history, and/or theory


  • Working toward a doctorate in a specialist discipline, such as law, politics, or history
  • Familiarity with the basic literature about constitutional conventions
  • Knowledge of constitutional law, practice, and/or history of jurisdictions other than Canada and the United Kingdom (which the Principal Investigator is familiar with)
  • Experience of contributing to research publications
  • Experience of contributing ideas for new research projects


This post is open to post-graduates and current graduate research students (please see guidance below re restrictions on working hours for Oxford Law Faculty students).

Rate of Pay

This will be paid at the standard research assistant rate of £14.56/hour plus holiday pay of £2.49 = total of £17.05/hour. **


This post is funded by the University’s John Fell Fund.

How to Apply

A short CV and cover letter (including the name of your supervisor, if any) should be sent by email to by May 11th 2017. Please explain briefly how you meet the requirements and give details of your availability over summer.

Supervisors may be asked for a reference.

Informal enquiries may be emailed to


Guidelines for Oxford Faculty of Law members 

Graduate Studies Committee agreed in Michaelmas Term 2013 the following guidelines and stipulations which were endorsed by the Law Faculty Board the same term.

BCL/MJur students are not permitted to undertake paid work of any kind for the Faculty, and are advised against undertaking paid work offered from any other source as well.

PRS, MPhil, and MSt students are not permitted to undertake teaching for the Faculty but can undertake up to eight hours’ paid work per week and can be employed by the Faculty up to that limit for work other than teaching.

DPhil students can undertake up to eight hours’ paid work of any kind (including teaching) per week and can be employed by the Faculty up to that limit.

Any queries regarding the eligibility of a particular student should be directed to Geraldine Malloy in the Faculty Office.