PhD Scholarships

Global Corporations and International Law
Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship and University of Melbourne PhD Scholarship

Global Corporations PhD Scholarship image
The Mughal emperor Shah Alam hands a scroll to Robert Clive, the governor of Bengal, which transferred tax collecting rights in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa to the East India Company. Illustration: Benjamin West (1738–1820)/British Library

Applications are now open for three scholars to undertake a PhD as part of Professor Sundhya Pahuja’s ARC Laureate Program in Global Corporations and International Law.

Closing Date

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis from 1 April 2022 until 30 September 2022. Early offers may be made to outstanding candidates, so early applications are best.  PhD Start date in Feb 2023, or later in 2023 by agreement.

The Program aims to generate a breakthrough in approaches to the growing challenge to democracy posed by global corporations and to create the world-leading research program and infrastructure on which a better relationship between states and global corporations can be based in the future. It will investigate the relationship between corporations, companies, states and international laws from the early modern period to the present day, to examine the role of international law in enabling global corporate power, and to identify the potential for international law and institutions to limit it and harness it to public benefit.

The PhD scholarships will enable outstanding PhD candidates to join the Laureate team (comprising Professor Pahuja, two post-doctoral fellows, three PhD candidates, local and international visitors, and local and international collaborators) at the Melbourne Law School. Professor Pahuja will be the primary supervisor, with co-supervision by one or more members of the Laureate Team and MLS/University of Melbourne faculty. The candidate will propose a suitable topic related to the project and refine it in consultation with their supervisors during the early stages of the candidature.

Examples of research areas within the project include:

  • Historically oriented work related to the relationship between corporations, states and international law.
  • The role of business associations in shaping the norms of global governance, both in the present day and historically. Examples include the International Chamber of Commerce, World Economic Forum, World Business Council on Sustainable Development, the International Council on Mining and Metals, and so on.
  • The presence and role of corporations in the major contemporary multilateral institutions including the UN, the IMF, the World Bank (‘IBRD’), the OECD and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and an analysis of how their present role has evolved over the C20th and C21st.
  • Close critical analysis of contemporary international legal rules, regimes and transnational mechanisms which affect corporations.
  • Conceptually inflected work on how the company/corporation has been understood across jurisdictions, now and in the past, and the international dimensions of those understandings.

Eligibility

The scholarship is open to candidates of any nationality, and from any location.

Applicants must be eligible for acceptance by the University of Melbourne into a PhD program and the scholarship is conditional upon acceptance into the PhD program. As this Scholarship is hosted by the Melbourne Law School, the applicant will need to meet the entry requirements of the Law School PhD program, and the ARC’s additional requirements for Laureate PhD candidates.

In this regard, having a prior law degree is relevant but may not be essential, depending on the application, project and other qualifications. By the commencement of the program, applicants must have completed an accredited undergraduate degree with first class or upper second-class honours with equivalent indications of outstanding research ability, or have an outstanding record of professional or research achievements since graduation. The ARC requires that Laureate PhDs are enrolled full-time, cannot already have a PhD in Law, and cannot already have received a PhD scholarship from the Australian Government. If you are not sure if you are eligible, you can either submit the documents required for Stage 1 bar the research proposal to Professor Pahuja for an indication of eligibility or submit the Stage 1 documents in full for potential shortlisting (recommended).

Applicants should be ready to commence in February 2023, or later by agreement, but no later than July 2023. The scholarship benefits include:

  • Full fee remission for up to 4 years
  • Stipend of 35,000 AUD per annum pro rata (full-time study rate) for up to 4 years, and includes limited paid sick, maternity and parenting leave
  • Relocation allowance and Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) where relevant
  • Research support funds through the Laureate Project for project related travel

As the candidate will be based in Law, they will additionally have access to up to $7500 in research support funds over the course of their candidature. The candidate will also have the opportunity to carry out paid research to support the project, as relevant.

Other benefits include:

  • Extensive mentoring as part of the Laureate Team
  • Access to all MLS/University of Melbourne research training initiatives
  • A personal workspace in the Law School

Stage 1

Once applications are open on 1 April, applicants should submit the following items, ideally as a single PDF in this order to the Laureate Program at LP-GCIL@unimelb.edu.au:

  • Full CV (including publications, if any).
  • Research proposal of two pages (maximum); this may be at the general ideas stage, or an expression of interest in an identified area of research set out in the doctoral project section, with some initial thoughts on a particular project.
  • All prior undergraduate and graduate academic transcripts, including full grading scales.
  • Information on prior research completed (e.g., Honours thesis, Masters' thesis, essays longer than about 5,000 words, with titles and abstracts).
  • A writing sample of a substantial assessed research paper or thesis by the applicant.

Stage 2

If shortlisted, Professor Pahuja will contact applicants, usually with feedback on the initial research proposal, who will then be asked also to provide the following:

  • Two referee reports about the candidate. To maintain confidentiality, the referee reports are to be sent directly from the referees to the Laureate Program at LP-GCIL@unimelb.edu.au
  • A more substantial research proposal (1,500 to 2,000 words)

The Melbourne Law School admissions committee will verify selection for all successful candidates, and may require further documents in due course.

If you have any questions, please contact Professor Sundhya Pahuja through LP-GCIL@unimelb.edu.au with Laureate PhD Enquiry in the subject line.