University Of Copenhagen Fully-Funded PhD Scholarships At ICourts 2024 For International Students

iCourts, Centre of Excellence for International Courts, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, is launching its new research agenda and invites applications for five fully funded three-year PhD scholarships. We are looking for innovative and original ideas that combine law and other related disciplines. We are particularly interested in projects that can advance the iCourts 2.0 agenda, as well as the agenda of our new ERC projects.

Application Deadline: 1st December 2023.

Eligible Countries: International

To be taken at (country): Denmark

About the Award: iCourts is a Centre of Excellence funded by the Danish National Research Foundation and, among others, the European Research Council.

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iCourts 2.0 seeks to explain and make intelligible the relative and often contested power of international courts, institutions and law. While the current resistance to international courts and law is interesting in this regard, we generally encourage projects that more broadly explore the power of international courts in relation to law, politics and society.
  • The transformation of legal practices by international courts and institutions. For example, how international courts create new cognitive frames, principles and values, and whether or how these innovations change legal practices at the global, regional and national levels;
  • The impact of international courts and institutions on politics, its processes and outcomes: For example, how different actors make use of ICs – directly and indirectly – and whether and how such actions generate new interests and preferences at the global, regional and national levels;
  • Changes in society triggered by international courts, institutions and law. For example, how ICs influence state, group and citizen relationships, and whether and how they help to generate new rights, duties and processes at the global, regional and national levels.
  • For the IMAGINE project, we particularly look for projects interested in interdisciplinary study of how key ideas have influenced EU constitutionalism.
We are looking for projects that address these issues, or issues related thereto. In all cases, we are interested in comparative projects that analyse more than one form of international law and adjudication or how international courts cooperate with or affect multiple regions or states. We welcome both original project proposals and projects that aim at addressing the following ideas or related ideas:
  • The relative power of European or international adjudication of human rights or economic law on domestic legal practices or politics. Projects could explore what structures in the member states enable or prevent the influence of international courts in law or politics, or both. Comparative studies could help lay bare how transforming law, politics and social structures (international, regional or national) affect the context within which international courts and law operate.
  • The effect of European or international ideas of law in national societies. Projects could explore how nationally embedded or entrenched ideas of law or social order might counter the power of European or international legal practices and ideas. Such studies would help contribute original scholarship on the narratives and counter-narratives of law that are influential in transforming the perceived role and real power of international courts.
  • How international criminal law is affected by the diffusion of ideas and practices related to crime. Projects could explore the importance of actors, professional networks and institutions in the developing new forms of legal practice, thinking and social ordering across domestic, regional and international law. Such perspectives could investigate, for instance, how new ideas and practices are developed and mobilized to push for new courts, the opening of new cases or the universalisation of specific rights and duties to prosecute, offer reparations or to protect victims.In the context of IMAGINE, we particularly welcome projects that investigate the impact of a particular EU constitutional scholar on the development of the discipline, or projects examining intellectual history of the debates on the relationship of national constitutions to the EU. The candidate will participate in conducting empirical analysis of the impact of various EU constitutional theories and the collection of relevant data through surveys. Experience in this respect may be an advantage, but relevant training can also be provided as part of the iCourts doctoral training programme.

Field of Study: Law

Type: PhD


  • Applicants must have obtained a degree that corresponds to the Danish Master of Laws or equivalent qualifications. Please visit for more information. Applicants must have obtained a minimum overall grade average of 8.2 or above at the Master’s level in accordance with the Danish grading scale.
  • Applicants must document an aptitude for research through the meritorious assessment of their final thesis, publications or academic recommendations in order to show that they are capable of undertaking the demanding task of writing a PhD thesis.
  • Applicants must have excellent language skills in English and have excellent communications skills. Applicants must be able to teach at an academic level in Danish or English and to follow PhD courses in English.
  • Documentation of English level can for instance be documented by an excellent IELTS or TOEFL test. More information is available here
Successful PhD candidates are required to 
  • Actively engage in the research environment at the University of Copenhagen; participate in international conferences, courses and meetings relevant to their research project.
  • Comply with the formal requirements of the PhD programme
  • Contribute to teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses in Danish or English offered by the Faculty of Law.
  • Conduct independent and high quality research under the supervision of a senior member of academic staff at the Faculty.

Number of Awards: 5

Value of Award: Successful candidates will be employed in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations and the Ministry of Finance concerning the salary of PhD students. If you are offered a PhD position, you will receive a regular monthly salary in accordance with Danish law and you will be entitled to an annual research budget. The Faculty does not provide accommodation.

Duration of Programme: 3  Years

How to Apply: We advise you to have the following documents ready before you begin your online application:

  • Research project proposal. This should include the following: (1) objective(s) of the research, (2) major research questions, (3) review of relevant literature, (4) methodology to be applied in the research, and (5) a timetable that plans for all course requirements to have been met within three years. The project description must elaborate on the value of the proposed research project in terms of its relevance to existing and future research in the field (maximum 6 pages excluding bibliography). The document must be in Times New Roman, font size 12, spacing 1.5 and all margins (right, left, top and bottom) of 2 cm.
  • Curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages).
  • Diplomas and transcripts. Certified copies of original diploma(s) and transcripts (both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree) in the original language and an authorized English translation if they are issued in other language than English or Danish.
  • Grading scale. A certified explanation of grading scale in the original language and an authorized English translation if it is available in other language than English or Danish.
  • Supervisor. The name of a member of academic staff whom you wish to have assigned as your supervisor. You do not need to contact the supervisor but simply make a request in your application.
  • Letter of motivation. Explaining the choice of the Faculty of Law at the University of Copenhagen as a host institution for the proposed project and outlines how the project fits within the research priorities at the Faculty (maximum 1 page).
  • Documentation of English level. Documentation of English level can for instance be documented by an excellent IELTS or TOEFL test.

Submit your application electronically in Danish, Swedish, Norwegian or English.


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