International Law Research Program Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Closing Date: March 31, 2015

CIGI’s International Law Research Program (the "ILRP") is pleased to invite applications for post-doctoral positions for research in one or more of the ILRP areas of focus, set out below. CIGI’s ILRP invites doctoral students who are completing their SJD/PhD in Law and those who have completed such a degree in the last two years to apply for these post-doctoral positions.   The ILRP will be engaging up to five such candidates in 2014-2015.

In consultation with public, private and academic sector experts in international and transnational law the ILRP has developed an initial work plan focused on advancing knowledge and understanding in three vital areas of international law, set out below.  In pursuing its work plan the ILRP is interested in empirical case studies, analysis of the efficacy of international law regimes, and interdisciplinary research that considers the impacts on human security, rights and development. The ILRP’s preliminary areas of focus are the following:

  1. International economic law:
  • International and transnational governance and regulation of insolvency and sovereign debt
  • Multilateral harmonization of local regulations in the global value chain, including developments in private international law and adoption of the Ruggie principles
  • Emerging issues in international trade and investment law, particularly:
    • Governance of multilateral and preferential trade agreements
    • Assessing use of investor state arbitration in diverse contexts (case studies)
    1. International intellectual property (IIP) law:
    • Green\clean technology
    • Adaptation of IIP law frameworks for open innovation and collaboration
    • Evaluating IIP rules and the advantages and disadvantages of multilateral vs. like-minded or regional IP instruments (case studies)
    • Protecting IP rights while unlocking and commercializing IP from academic research – disseminating functional IIP knowledge to innovators (IP Law Clinic)
    1. International environmental law:
    • Assessing the efficacy of bilateral or regional environmental agreements vs. multilateral environmental agreements
    • International or transnational governance and regulation of the extractive industry and energy sector, including UNHCHR (John Knox) concept of environmental protection as a human right
    • Assessing international, transnational and local law-based and market based approaches to reversing climate change (case studies).

    Post-doctoral award

    The post-doctoral award is valued at CDN$ 80,000.00 per year.  The successful candidate must be able and willing to spend four fifths (4/5) of their research time at the CIGI Campus building, located in Waterloo, Ontario. The CIGI Campus is a state of art building and the winner of the 2014 Governor General’s Medal in Architecture.  The duration of each grant is for one to two years, and will be determined by the ILRP selection committee and detailed in the letter of offer.


    The successful post-doctoral candidate is expected to produce a major research project on a topic related to the ILRP areas of focus, which has been approved by the program director.  The candidate is expected to deliver a research plan for their major topic of research, monthly updates on progress of research, a comprehensive academic report, policy paper and policy brief, and summary and more extensive presentation materials. He\she is also expected to participate in the planning and development of related research projects with other ILRP researchers and fellows.  The specific details of the deliverables will be determined in consultation with the program director.


    Post-doctoral fellows are required to spend an average of 4 out of 5 days per week at the CIGI Campus building in Waterloo. There is some flexibility with the residency element and the specific arrangements will be worked out with the program director.

    Residency at the CIGI Campus building will offer post-doctoral candidates an opportunity to pursue academic research in a think-tank environment with other experienced researchers and senior fellows who are studying related issues of international law, as well as to participate actively in the ILRP international law research work program and relevant CIGI and ILRP scholarly and professional activities.  During the period of residency each post-doctoral candidate will be provided work and study space in the CIGI Campus building as well as access to our library and related research resources.  A computer, telephone, internet and e-mail access will be provided. Financial support for reasonable research-related costs such as travel and conference attendance will be provided.

    CIGI will provide guidance to post-doctoral fellows who require assistance finding suitable accommodation for the duration of their period of residency at the CIGI Campus.

    Academic supervision

    Academic supervision is not required for the ILRP post-doctoral positions, but a candidate may desire to be affiliated with a particular academic supervisor from a Canadian university.  The ILRP will be pleased to enter into partnership arrangements with Canadian universities and the Balsillie School of International Affairs to provide such a post-doctoral candidate with academic supervision where this is deemed appropriate and desirable.* 


    Applications should be received by CIGI ILRP no later than March 31, 2015.  Please submit your applications by email to law[email protected], and contain the following:

    1. Statement of Interest, indicating why  you wish to spend a period of post-doctoral residency at CIGI's ILRP;
    2. Research Proposal (not more than 1,500-words) describing your proposed research project related to one of the ILRP areas of focus;
    3. Up-to-date curriculum vitae;
    4. Three references, at least two of which are academic references;
    5. A list of previous awards/publications/conference/research experience; and
    6. Official transcripts of all post-secondary institutions.

    * If academic supervision is deemed appropriate and desirable, the application should also include:

    1. A letter of support from your current/proposed post-doctoral supervisor, including whether the academic supervisor is interested in being involved with CIGI ILRP research;
    2. A letter from the academic institution of your current/proposed post-doctoral supervisor indicating its agreement in principle for the proposed joint CIGI ILRP post-doctoral position and setting out any relevant limitations (e.g. any required periods of residency) imposed by that institution on post-doctoral candidates.

    Selection Procedure

    Applications will be assessed by a selection committee composed of senior CIGI and ILRP researchers. The selection process will include written review of application materials and oral interviews (by telephone, skype or in person).

    Candidates will be selected based on past academic and work performance, letters of reference, statement of interest, professional goals, and relevance of the post-doctoral fellow’s research project to the ILRP areas of focus and their ability to collaborate with ILRP researchers to achieve the work plan projects.

    The selection committee will consider the following:

    1. the potential of the candidate including education, training, experience, and academic achievement (on the basis of transcripts, reference letters, publications)
    2. the ability of the candidate to successfully complete the research project and to work collaboratively in multi-disciplinary teams to achieve the ILRP work plan projects;
    3. the qualities of the research project (e.g. relevance of the proposed research project to the ILRP areas of focus, originality, clarity and feasibility).

    CIGI may cancel the post-doctoral position if the candidate’s progress is judged unsatisfactory by the director of the ILRP.


    Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada and foreign post-doctoral candidates are eligible to apply. Foreign students who are completing doctoral studies at any Canadian university under a student study permit should consider applying for a post graduate work visa in order to be eligible. For more information please see the federal government website:

    The successful candidate is responsible for obtaining any required visa for the post-doctoral employment.  CIGI will provide assistance where feasible.


    Exceptionally the grant may be deferred or interrupted for medical reasons, maternity/paternity leave or on compassionate grounds, conditional upon approval by selection committee. The maximum length of time allowed for deferral will be 12 months.

    Medical insurance

    Post-doctoral candidates must obtain adequate medical insurance during their stay at CIGI if relocating from outside the province of Ontario. Post-doctoral candidates from Canadian provinces other than Ontario may be eligible for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), the government-run health insurance plan in place within the Province of Ontario. However, all post-doctoral candidates are required to ensure that they have suitable health insurance either through OHIP or private insurer before taking up residency with the ILRP.