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  CCLS & LISS Collaborative MRes/PhD Studentship on Digital Trade

  School of Law

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 Funded PhD Programme (Students Worldwide)

About the Programme

The Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary University of London, in partnership with the UK Department for International Trade, calls for applications for an ESRC funded +3 (PhD only) or 1+3 (Masters + PhD) studentship to support research in the field of International Trade Law.

This project is concerned with the impact of technological changes on trade governance. Multilateral trade rules were originally designed to facilitate trade in goods in the 1940s and last updated to cover trade in services in the early 1990s. New digital technologies are changing the means for trading, the content of trade and the traders themselves. Data localisation measures and internet access restrictions are replacing tariffs and quotas as the new barriers to trade. The aim of the project is to assess the extent to which current trade rules are suitable for securing an open and non-discriminatory, but also safe and trustworthy digital market. A combination of desk research, qualitative interviews with relevant stakeholders and doctrinal analysis of relevant literature on trade governance, will be used to (a) identify policy measures affecting digital trade; (b) compare rules for digital trade included in recent Trade Agreements; and (c) find international rules and standards other than trade rules relevant for the governance of digital trade. The project will be undertaken with the support of the UK Department of International Trade, QMUL's CASE partner for this project, giving the researcher access to a wealth of knowledge and practical experience on the negotiation of trade rules for the digital economy.


• The studentship will cover the full cost of Home/EU fees for a Phd (+3) or a Masters in International Economic Law and a PhD (1+3), and an annual stipend (valued at £17,009 in September 2019).
• Starts October 2020
• Available full time only


Studentships are only available for UK or EU students who meet ESRC residential and eligibility requirements.
Applicants who are classed as ‘overseas' or ‘international' for fees purposes are not eligible for this studentship.
Only applicants who provide a 2-3000 word research proposal that addresses the proposed topic will be considered.

Applicants who have already met the ESRC core training requirements, may apply directly to the PhD Programme, and must meet the PhD programme's own academic entry requirements

Applicants who do not meet the core training requirements, must apply to the MRes in International Economic Law and must meet that MRes programme's own academic entry requirements

Application Deadline
The deadline for applications is 2 March 2020. Applicants must have submitted both their main MRes/PhD application (including all required supporting documents), and their Collaborative (CASE) Studentship application form by then. There is a section on the PhD application form where applicants must include notification that they wish to be considered for the ESRC CASE Digital Trade Studentship award.

Find out more
Further information about this award can be found at:

Further information about the Residency requirements and the prior Core Training Requirements of the ESRC funding body can be found at: LISS Collaborative (CASE) studentships

For further inquiries contact

Funding Notes

Some or all of the PhD opportunities in this programme have funding attached. Applications for this programme are welcome from suitably qualified candidates worldwide. Funding may only be available to a limited set of nationalities and you should read the full programme details for further information.
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