The Bonavero Institute of Human Rights is a new research institute in the Law Faculty. The aim of the Bonavero Institute Summer Fellowship programme is to provide financial assistance to Oxford law graduates seeking work experience in human rights law and related fields. The programme will provide support to graduate students within the Faculty as well as to recent Oxford law graduates who wish to undertake internships in a range of organisations that work in the broad field of human rights law, including the rule of law.  The Summer Fellowships will provide students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge of human rights law to obtain a valuable platform to develop careers in this field.

The Bonavero Institute Summer Fellowship at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) in London is an eight-week fellowship, tenable from early July to early September 2018.  The successful candidate will work primarily on projects at the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law. It is expected that the successful candidate will be based at BIICL for 4 days per week during this period. However, some flexibility may be possible depending on individual circumstances.


The British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) is a leading independent research organisation and charity, specialising in the fields of international and comparative law.  Its high quality research has an applied focus and seeks to provide practical solutions, examples of good practice and recommendations for future policy changes and legal actions.  It is engaged in analysis and debate about contemporary issues on every continent, from its base in the heart of London's energetic and multicultural legal network. BIICL includes within it the innovative Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, which has a particular focus on the many rule of law issues world-wide.

About the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law

Since its launch in 2010, the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law has taken on a remarkably wide range of projects in the UK and internationally, demonstrating the need for a body solely dedicated to the promotion and enhancement of the rule of law worldwide. The Bingham Centre seeks to:

  • Provide an intellectual framework to define and implement the rule of law as a universal and practical concept;
  • Highlight threats to the rule of law;
  • Produce high quality studies and training on rule of law issues, drawing on comparative examples and seeking practical outcomes;
  • Support capacity building and promotes a wider appreciation of the rule of law among governments, decision makers and the wider public; and
  • Demonstrate how the rule of law upholds respect for human dignity and enhances economic development and political stability.

Opportunities at the Bingham Centre and BIICL

The nature of the Bingham Centre's work means that there will be suitable projects both for those with a general background in UK public law (from a first degree) or international law or constitutional law of other countries (typically students who have, or are completing, a Master’s). Interns should be able to contribute to a broadly based research, training and events programme. In particular, they will have opportunities to assist the Fellows, Director and staff of the Centre with current research, and the development of new projects and events.

Candidates may also undertake similar activities within BIICL, particularly in areas such as human rights, where there are overlapping interests with the work of the Bingham Centre. There may also be opportunities to work on BIICL projects more broadly if interns have a well-rounded knowledge of the relevant legal area at national and international levels.

BIICL and the Bingham Centre endeavour to offer interesting opportunities that include training, experience and skills development.


The fellowship is open to students currently pursuing a research degree or a taught graduate course in the Law Faculty (BCL/MJur/MSc/MSt/MPhil/DPhil). In addition, the programme is open to students currently in the final year of the BA (Jurisprudence) programme or those who have graduated from Oxford Law Faculty (including the BA programme) within the last twelve months.

Applicants may be about to complete their graduate degrees in Oxford or, in appropriate cases and after consulting their supervisor, may be seeking to intermit their studies in order to undertake the internship.

Applicants may apply to more than one of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights Fellowships. Where applications are made for more than one fellowship, applicants should indicate their order of preference with regard to the different fellowships.

Applicants should demonstrate from their qualifications, especially their studies in Oxford, that they have sufficient knowledge of human rights law, public law, international law and/or constitutional law to make an effective contribution. Usually, applicants will have taken at least one of these law subjects in an Oxford taught programme or will have engaged in research in one or more of these subjects as part of their studies in Oxford.

Application Process

If you wish to apply for any of these schemes, please read the individual scheme details and submit the following to by 12 noon Thursday 10 May 2018. It is planned that interviews will take place Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd May 2018.

  1. An application form describing briefly how your area of study is relevant to the chosen placement(s), your reasons for wishing to undertake the internship and a statement of costs and expected expenditure for the duration of the internship. Please also disclose other sources of funding (eg. scholarship stipends, personal funds or college grants) that have been granted to you in respect of this internship or for which you have applied. We also require you to list your chosen internships in order of preference.
  2. A CV (maximum 2pp) which should indicate what previous work you have undertaken, relevant to your application, including whether you have been an active member of any of the organisations or groups linked with the schemes you are applying for.
  3. Official transcripts (scanned copies).
  4. Two letters of reference, preferably from individuals able to speak to your abilities in the field of international law and/or human rights law. In the case of current research students, one of the referees should be the applicant’s supervisor.

All applications should be sent electronically to  by the deadline of 12 noon Thursday 10 May 2018. Any applications received after the deadline will not be submitted for review.

The successful candidate will receive a maximum of £2,855 to cover travel, living and other expenses associated with the fellowship. In determining the amount to be awarded, other sources of funding will be taken into account.

This Fellowship is made possible by a generous gift from Eric L. Lewis and the Open Society Foundation.