ILRP Post Doctoral Scholarship Student Conference

The International Law Research Program (ILRP) of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is pleased to announce its Doctoral Scholarship Competition for the 2019-2020 academic year. The ILRP invites Canadian and foreign students who are currently enrolled in SJD or PhD in Law studies at a Canadian university faculty of law to apply for the CIGI ILRP Doctoral Scholarship.

Introduction to the International Law Program at CIGI

We are the Centre for International Governance Innovation: an independent, non-partisan think tank with an objective and uniquely global perspective. Our research, opinions and public voice make a difference in today’s world by bringing clarity and innovative thinking to global policy making. By working across disciplines and in partnership with the best peers and experts, we are the benchmark for influential research and trusted analysis. The ILRP is a multi-disciplinary international law research program located at the award-winning CIGI Campus in Waterloo, Ontario, proximate to the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

The ILRP strives to be the world’s leading international law think tank on international governance, with recognized impact on how international law is brought to bear on significant global issues. Our mission is to seek to connect knowledge, policy and practice to build the international law framework – the globalized rule of law – to support international governance of the future. Our founding belief is that better international governance including a strengthened international law framework can improve the lives of people everywhere, increase prosperity, ensure global sustainability, address inequality and safeguard human rights, and promote a more secure world.

The ILRP’s Areas of Research Focus

The ILRP Doctoral Scholarship is designed to enhance research opportunities for SJD and PhD in Law students from Canadian faculties of law who wish to develop expertise in one or more of the ILRP’s areas of research focus and to develop world-class intellectual strength in the areas of international law that are most important to global innovation, prosperity, sustainability and security.

In consultation with public, private, academic and civil society sector experts in international and transnational law, the ILRP has developed a research work plan focused on advancing knowledge and understanding in four 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:

  1. International Economic Law:
  • Legal approaches to sovereign debt resolution, systemic risk, financial stability and setting international standards for capital markets;
  • Impact of disruptive technologies including Artificial intelligence, big data, and blockchain on international economic law and governance (e.g. trade and investment, financial stability);
  • Multilateral, plurilateral and regional trade agreements including CUSMA (NAFTA 2.0) implementation and WTO reform;
  • International law dimensions of connecting carbon markets and green finance;
  • Investor-state dispute resolution reform;
  • Gender and Canada’s progressive trade agenda.
  1. International Intellectual Property (IIP) Law and Innovation:
  • Impact of disruptive technologies including Artificial intelligence, big data, and blockchain on intellectual property rights and governance frameworks;
  • IP norms in Multilateral, plurilateral and regional trade agreements (CUSMA, CETA, MERCOSUR, ASEAN, RCEP);
  • Management of IP rights (IP strategy and commercialization);
  • Governance of traditional knowledge, genetic resources associated and traditional cultural expressions;
  • Open and collaborative forms of innovation;
  1. International Environmental Law:
  • Continuing consideration of issues under the Paris Agreement such as internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (market and non-market) under Article 6, as well as climate finance, technology transfer, implementation and compliance, and increasing ambition;
  • Insurance and financial products related to loss and damage under the UNFCCC Warsaw International Mechanism;
  • Transition to a low carbon economy including the issues of climate risk and the Financial Disclosure Guidelines from the Financial Stability Board and approaches to decarbonization, energy transition, and sustainable finance;
  • Climate law and trade law;
  • New and emerging issues in oceans law, including climate action in maritime shipping and oceans climate geoengineering, law and governance to protect biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction, and a liability regime for Deep Sea Bed mining.
  1. International Indigenous Law:
  • Practical aspects of implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
  • Indigenous participation in international trade and treaty making, and how a progressive trade agenda might facilitate Indigenous participation in a global knowledge economy;
  • Building on the Paris Agreement’s “Indigenous and Local Communities Platform”, reimagining Indigenous peoples’ multiple roles in relation to climate change;
  • Indigenous knowledge in a globalized world, how to protect and codify Indigenous knowledge, how to engage Indigenous people in decision-making relating to their knowledge;
  • Re-envisioning a Canadian-Indigenous law and governance in light of a revitalized “nation to nation” or “Crown to Inuit” relationship.

Value of Doctoral Scholarship

Students commencing their second, third or fourth year of doctoral studies in international law at a Canadian university faculty of law are eligible to apply. The maximum total value of the Doctoral Scholarship is up to $56,000 CAD. $24,000 CAD is paid in three instalments of $8,000 CAD in the first year. A doctoral student who has already been awarded a CIGI ILRP doctoral scholarship may apply for renewal (for a maximum of two additional years) for their third, fourth or fifth year of study if they will be fully engaged in doctoral research and writing for that year. $16,000 CAD is paid per year, in two instalments of $8,000 CAD for years 2 and 3 of the doctoral scholarship. The value, duration and conditions for each scholarship will be detailed in the letter of offer provided to the successful applicant.


In the first year of the Doctoral Scholarship students are required to spend a four-month (16 week) residency at CIGI Campus from May to August, with some flexibility for earlier start dates and later end dates. A doctoral student may stay longer than four months if space permits. There is no residency requirement for years 2 and 3 of the scholarship. Student are encouraged to inquire about summer work opportunities at CIGI Campus.

The residency requirement provides SJD/PhD in Law students an opportunity to pursue their academic research in a think-tank environment where experienced researchers and senior fellows are studying related issues of international law and to participate actively in relevant CIGI and ILRP scholarly and professional activities. During the residency period, all scholarship students will present their research to the ILRP team for feedback and guidance. Each scholarship student is expected to prepare a CIGI opinion piece related to their research for publication by CIGI. Where logistics permit, scholarship students may participate in workshops and conferences organized by the ILRP that are relevant to their research.

Below are the residency requirements for year 1 of the scholarship:  

During the period of residency each scholarship student will be provided work and study space as well as access to our library and related research resources. CIGI will provide internet and e-mail access to the student while in residence at CIGI. The student should come to the CIGI residency equipped with his/her own personal computer. During the residency the student is expected to participate in organizing a CIGI summer graduate student conference in August;

  • Complete a written assignment of 1000-3000 words to be agreed with the ILRP Director or the Deputy Director;
  • Attend the CIGI BSIA International Law Summer Institute;
  • Attend biweekly ILRP staff meetings and present his or her research there on one occasion;
  • Participate in the ILRP Graduate Student conference. The theme this year is disruptors and disruptions in international law.

There are other optional aspects of the summer residency:

  • A student who is interested in further research involvement with the ILRP team and whose academic supervisor supports this is encouraged to ask the relevant ILRP deputy director about additional work assignments.
  • A student who desires a longer residency at CIGI is encouraged to ask the relevant deputy director about this.
  • Students are responsible of arranging their accommodation for the duration of their period of residency at the CIGI Campus.


New scholarship applications should be received by APRIL 25, 2019 and should contain the following:

  1. Statement of Interest, indicating an explanation of why you wish to spend a period of residency at CIGI's ILRP;
  2. Description of your doctoral dissertation (maximum 1500-words) with an explanation of how it relates to the ILRP areas of focus;
  3. Up-to-date curriculum vitae;
  4. One letter of support from your current supervisor in your academic program;
  5. Three references, at least two of which are academic references;
  6. A list of previous awards/publications/conference/research experience; and
  7. Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions.

Applications to renew a doctoral scholarship should contain the following:

  1. Student’s letter requesting renewal, detailing progress with doctoral research and writing over the previous year, plans for the upcoming year and anticipated completion date for the doctorate; and
  2. Letter of recommendation from the student’s doctoral supervisor affirming that the student is making excellent progress in his/her doctoral research. Renewal is not available where the student has already completed or nearly completed their dissertation.

Selection Procedure

All applications will be assessed by a scholarship selection committee composed of the ILRP Director and Deputy Directors.

Students will be selected based on past academic and work performance, letters of reference, statement of interest, professional goals, and relevance of the student’s research project to the ILRP areas of research focus.

The Selection Committee will consider the following:

  1. The relevance of the proposed research project to the ILRP areas of research focus
  2. The potential of the student including education, training, experience, and academic achievement (based on transcripts, reference letters, publications and depending on where the candidate is in his/her program, etc.)
  3. The ability of the student to successfully complete the research project; and
  4. The qualities of the research project (e.g. originality, clarity, feasibility, suitability of location and proposed supervisor).

CIGI may cancel the scholarship if the student’s progress is judged unsatisfactory by his or her home institution academic supervisor, or if the student’s behaviour does not adhere to CIGI’s values and policies.


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

Medical insurance

All students are required to ensure that they have suitable health insurance either through OHIP or private insurer before taking up residency with the ILRP.


If you have any further questions about the scholarship please contact ILRP Program Assistant Clodagh Manning at [email protected].


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