Max Planck Institute International Research School 2018 for Successful Dispute Resolution in International Law (Funded PhD positions in Luxembourg)

Application Deadline: August 31st 2018

The International Max Planck Research School for Successful Dispute Resolution in International Law (IMPRS-SDR) is accepting applications for PhD proposals within the research areas of the Department of International Law and Dispute Resolution and the Department of European and Comparative Procedural Law to fill a total of

5 funded PhD positions  at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law.

Founded in 2009, the IMPRS-SDR offers a multi-national student body the opportunity to examine and compare international dispute resolution from a legal perspective while also considering interdisciplinary, including political, sociological, historical, and economic aspects.


  • Selected PhD candidates will receive full-time research contracts of initially 2 years, with a possible extension of up to 12 months depending on the availability of funds, the student’s progress, and the directors’ approval. In addition to being embedded in one of the vibrant Departments and its activities, the PhD candidates will be part of the IMPRS-SDR through which they will receive additional scholarly guidance and take part in events, such as doctoral seminars, master classes, and lectures. PhD candidates will benefit from the productive working environment within an international and creative team of researchers and have the opportunity to establish contacts and networks with all participating institutions as well as visiting academics and practitioners.
  • The IMPRS-SDR supports and encourages PhD candidates to present their work at national and international conferences and to conduct research stays at a partnering institution and elsewhere. Select PhD candidates will have the opportunity to work in an international dispute settlement institution, such as the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

Admission Criteria:

The IMPRS-SDR is looking for highly qualified candidates with a strong international focus, with respect to both their experience and area of research, as well as an excellent level of English.

IMPRS-SDR candidates are expected to have graduated in the top 5-10 percent of their university class. They have ideally spent considerable time abroad, as a student or an intern at an international organization or institution, or they have already worked in a field of law that is relevant to the IMPRS-SDR.

PhD candidates are expected to commit to their research project and to collaborate with the colleagues in the Department to which they are assigned as well as their fellow IMPRS-SDR scholars. They should therefore have good social skills and be interested in teamwork and academic exchange.

Applicants are requested to provide the following documents:

  1. Completed application form (download);
  2. A curriculum vitae (CV), including a list of publications (if any) and a cover letter stating the motivation for the application;
  3. Copies of law degree / other university degrees / bar exam (if available), including a formal record of university courses, transcripts, and class rank. Documents must be in German or English or accompanied by a certified German or English translation.
  4. A succinct description of the research proposal the applicant intends to pursue (in English, 3 to 5 pages). The proposal should include the following:
    1. a general outline of the topic including why the applicant considers it to be important;
    2. a description of the state of the art and the applicant’s preliminary work on the topic;
    3. the research question and the specific goals of the research project;
    4. the methodology, including interdisciplinary approaches;
    5. a proposed work schedule including a timeline; and
    6. a bibliography of the key publications on the topic as an Annex (not counting towards the page limit).

Application and Selection Process

IMPRS-SDR doctoral students are selected in a two-stage process. The first stage consists of an evaluation of the written application by an admissions board composed of professors and academics involved in the IMPRS-SDR (the selection committee). Shortlisted applicants subsequently will be invited to an interview (second stage of the application process). The selection committee will aim to invite candidates for personal interviews in Luxembourg or Heidelberg. In exceptional cases, interviews may take place via video conference. The selection committee will render its admission decision based on the interview and the written application.

Please note that while applicants may express a preference for a certain supervisor, the IMPRS-SDR will allocate the primary and secondary supervisor upon completion of the selection process.

The Max Planck Institute Luxembourg is an equal opportunity employer. Individuals with disabilities will be given priority in case of equal qualifications.

Please apply by 31 August 2018 via our online application form.

For any questions with regard to the IMPRS-SDR and this Call for Applications, please contact:Dr. Astrid Wiik, IMPRS-SDR Coordinator, at: [email protected]

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Max Planck International Research School 2018


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