Funded PhD OpportunityInternational Law

Subject: Law


The Law unit of assessment has up to four DfE  studentships and one VCRS studentship this year. The unit of assessment includes the work of the School of Law, Transitional Justice Institute as well as the Ulster University Law Clinic and Legal Innovation Centre. We welcome applications in specified thematic areas: human rights, international law, law and social justice, law and innovation, transitional justice,  public law and legal theory.

Examples of proposals in the area of International Law would include International Humanitarian Law, including peacekeeping; human rights in situations of armed conflict; International Criminal Justice in international, hybrid and/or national tribunals, and Feminist analysis of international law.

The following staff are interested in supervising in these areas: Dr Azadeh Chalabi,  Prof. Cath Collins, Prof. Brandon Hamber;   Dr Thomas Hansen; Prof. Louise Mallinder;  Dr. Khanyisela Moyo; Dr. Catherine O’Rourke; Ms. Eilish Rooney, Prof. Siobhán Wills

Applicants are encouraged to contact potential supervisors in good time to discuss draft research proposals. For general enquiries please contact the Research Director for Law Prof Rory O’Connell or one of our PhD coordinators, Prof Cath Collins, Dr Thomas Hansen. Allocation of supervisors will be made during the selection process. The supervisory team will depend on the proposal. We list a number of named supervisors on the web pages for contact purposes but please note they may or may not be included on any supervision team. We welcome interdisciplinary research proposals and may appoint supervisors from outside the law unit of assessment.

A sound research proposal (around 2000-3000 words) should have the following: 1) A tentative title 2 ) Research question(s) and  any related hypotheses What do you want to find out? What is it that we currently do not know, and need to know, about this issue/topic/ country/institution? 3) Literature review/ survey of existing scholarship What have you already read, that has convinced you that your question is important and novel but can also be answered? 4) Methodology What exactly would you propose to do, and why would this be the best, or a good, way to answer the  research question?  Does your topic lend itself to theoretical work, black letter law, single case study, comparative case study, qualitative work, field work? 5) Contribution of the conclusions Say if possible what you think you will discover and why/ to whom it might matter. How might your research be useful or interesting if it turns out the way you anticipate? 6) Assessment of feasibility - show that you have thought about how you will fit the plan into a three year programme.

Essential Criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed equivalent via UK NARIC)
  • Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • Completion of Masters at a level equivalent to commendation or distinction at Ulster
  • Experience using research methods or other approaches relevant to the subject domain
  • Work experience relevant to the proposed project
  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement


    Vice Chancellors Research Scholarships (VCRS)

    The scholarships will cover tuition fees and a maintenance award of not less than £14,553 per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). Applications are invited from UK, European Union and overseas students.

    Department for the Economy (DfE)

    The scholarships will cover tuition fees at the home rate and, for applicants with UK residence only, a maintenance allowance of not less than £14.553 per annum for three years. EU residents may also apply but, if successful, will receive fees only.

Other information

Launch of the Doctoral College

Current PhD researchers and an alumnus shared their experiences, career development and the social impact of their work at the launch of the Doctoral College at Ulster University.

Watch Video

Key Dates

Submission Deadline
Monday 19 February 2018
Interview Date
Mid March 2018

Contact Supervisor

Professor Louise Mallinder

Other Supervisors

Apply online

Visit and quote reference number #239174 when applying for this PhD opportunity