Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism Bergen

Guest researcher program

The Centre regularly host visiting scholars. Interested researchers are welcome to apply for funding.

The Centre has an ongoing international guest researcher program. The aim is to bring talented young researchers and excellent senior researchers to Bergen in order to share knowledge and collaborate on research within the fields of discretion, paternalism, child welfare, and children’s rights.

The Centre can offer support for travel and accommodation. Guest researchers will be provided with an office space, access to seminars, and library services. Salary and subsistence allowance are not covered. The normal length of stay is one – four weeks.

For researchers with travel grants from their own institution or a research council, the Centre can assist in arranging a longer guest research stay in collaboration with the Department of Administration and Organizational Theory at the University of Bergen.

The Centre also welcomes scholars with an interest in discretion, paternalism, children’s rights, child protection or other related topics to collaborate on an application for a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions – Individual Fellowships (MSCA-IF) grant. Read more.

Norwegian researchers

The Centre has received additional funding from the Research Council of Norway to expand the guest researcher program to include researchers and PhD students from Norwegian institutions in 2020 and 2021.

Upcoming guest researchers
  • Prof. Stefan Schnurr (Social Work/Pedagogy), Institute for Studies in Children and Youth Services – The University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland.  Scheduled August-September 2021. Personal profile.
  • Prof. Tony Evans (Social Work), Royal Holloway – University of London. POSTPONED (Originally scheduled May 2020). Personal profile.

Become a guest researcher


  • Completed PhD degree (or equivalent)
  • Demonstrated interest in topics related to the Centre’s research areas
  • Fluency in written and spoken English


  • Contribute to the research activities of the Discretion and/or Acceptability project(s)
  • Hold a lecture on a relevant topic
  • Meet with master’s and/or PhD students


If you are interested to come as a visiting scholar, please send an e-mail to Marit Skivenes with a short text describing your research profile, why you wish to visit, your CV, and a list of recent publications.

Previous guest researchers

Matthias Braun

Matthias Braun is an assistant professor (Philosophy/Theology) at the  Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg. Braun visited the Centre in November 2019 and gave the presentation Recognizing Fundamental Rights – in digital worlds. An interview with Matthias Braun can be found here.

Cristian Pérez Muñoz

Cristian Pérez Muñoz is an Associate Professor in Political Science at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Muñoz visited the Centre in October 2019 and gave the lecture: Paternalism, Coercive Care and the Very Poor.

Rami Benbenishty

Rami Benbenishty is a professor emeritus in Social Work / Social Welfare at the University of Jerusalem / Bar Ilan University. Benbenishty visited the Centre in September 2019, and gave the lecture “Child Welfare – Decision-making in evolving contexts”. An interview with Benbenishty and slides from his presentation can be found here.

Ingi Iusmen

Ingi Iusmen is a Lecturer in Governance and Policy at the University of Southampton. Iusmen visited the Centre in August 2019, and gave the lecture “Protection of Unaccompanied Minors in Europe”. An interview with Iusmen and slides from her lecture can be found here.

“I really enjoyed my time and the Centre and found it very productive. Everyone, from PhD students, post-docs to administrators as well as academic staff, were very friendly and made me feel very welcome from the outset. Prof.Skivenes, in particular, made sure that I met all the relevant colleagues at the University, and overall, she was a very hospitable and generous host, which made my visit such an enjoyable experience. The Centre is a vibrant and  inclusive place, which makes it a perfect place to work in. Bergen is a beautiful, picturesque city: the scenery is amazing, particularly if the weather is dry and sun is shinning. Everyone speaks good English, and given that Bergen is a multicultural city, I felt at ease being there. Overall, it was a great experience, both from an academic and non-academic standpoint.”

Ingi Iusmen

Olga Komshukova

Olga Komshukov is a PhD Fellow at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Russia. Her PhD project focuses on the legitimation mechanisms of the decisions of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. Komshukova guested the Centre in June 2019, and gave the lecture “Legitimacy and Judicial Protection of Human Rights and Children’s Rights in Russia”. A summary and slides from the lecture can be found here.

“I have met some amazing people in the Centre, inspired by their work and oriented towards achieving good results. The Centre is a modern research organizational community. By consistently working on the various issues of paternalism, focused on children’s rights, the team there has made great progress in this specific research area. The opportunity to familiarize me with the Center’s projects gave me a good example of interdisciplinary research,  providing the sociological approach to specific legal issues.”

Olga Kumshokova

Kenneth Burns

Kenneth Burns is an Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Master of Social Work course at University College Cork. He has worked as a social worker and social work team leader in child protection and welfare, and continues to support practice in this area. Kenneth visited the Centre in April 2019, and gave the lecture “Voluntary Care Removals”.

Michael Lipsky

Michael Lipsky is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos, and a former professor of political science at MIT. He is well knowned for his classic book about street-level bureaucracy (1980), and is considered one of the most influential researchers in the field of public administration. Lipsky visited the Centre in June 2018, and gave the lecture “Reflections on Street-level Bureaucracy”. A summary and recording of the lecture can be found here.

Claire Breen

Claire Breen is an Associate Professor of Law at University of Waikato, New Zealand. Her research focus on international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and she has published extensively in the area of children’s rights. Breen visited the Centre in May/June 2018, and gave a lecture on the foundation of children’s rights. She also wrote the blogpost Are Rights Right for Children?

June Thoburn

June Thoburn is an Emeritus Professor of Social Work at the University of East Anglia. She is internationally renowned for her research on children’s social care, and have been appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her for services to social work. June visited the Centre in April/May 2018, and gave the lecture “Child welfare and child protection in the UK nations: politics, economics and professional practice”.