This page has information about schemes available for:

Oxford Law Faculty Graduate StudentsMaison Française Oxford Graduate StudentsVisiting Graduate Students


Oxford University Graduate Students

Although the Institute does not admit graduate students directly, there are opportunities which may assist graduate students of the Oxford Law Faculty in their research, especially those working in areas of European and/or comparative law.

A number of visiting schemes are available to which Oxford doctoral students are welcome to apply. These include:

Graduate students are very welcome to take part in events organised by the Institute, which will be advertised on the internal graduate email lists. In particular, the European Union Law Discussion Group and the Comparative Law Discussion Group are organised and supported by the Institute. The Institute also organises a series of Lunchtime Seminars at which our staff and visitors present their work.

The Institute is a member of the British Association of Comparative Law (BACL), which organises each year a Postgraduate Workshop on Comparative Law, a 2-day roundtable workshop designed for doctoral students working on theses in the field of comparative legal studies. In 2016 the workshop was held at the Institute. Information about each year’s workshop is normally sent to the Institute by BACL during Hilary Term, and will be sent on to Oxford Law graduate research students through the Faculty mail lists.


MFO Visiting Scholars

The Institute’s agreement with the Maison Française d’Oxford facilitates the integration into the University of postgraduate students from French higher education establishments who spend a year at Oxford undertaking legal research as part of their doctoral studies. Information about the scheme can be obtained through the MFO.

One or two French students are affiliated to the Institute each year. Since the agreement was established in 2013, MFO visiting scholars have come from Université Panthéon-Assas Paris 2,  Université de Lille 2,  and Université de Bordeaux. In addition to conducting their research in Oxford, they have been involved in the activities of the Institute, including coaching the Oxford teams for the annual French Law Moot.

Pierre Auriel was the MFO visiting scholar in 2015-16.

My research visit to the Oxford Institute of European and Comparative Law during the academic year 2015-2016 was a precious time for my research and a great opportunity to discover a rich, different and welcoming academic universe.
The main goal of my visit was to pursue my research to my PhD dissertation. Working on the doctrine of the equivalent protection in the European Union Law, I found comprehensive resources on this topic, at the Bodleian Law Library. Despite the restoration work at the Library, I was able to consult these resources, especially using the full access to online resources and the desk provided by the Institute. Thanks to the research environment and the welcoming staff, this year was a key moment for my research. 
I got also the opportunity to teach French Law to 1st-year and 2nd-year students. I filled in for Dr Geneviève Helleringer for a couple months. This opportunity was a decisive experience, through which I deepened my understanding on my own teaching philosophy and on the way to teach my own legal culture. 
Accommodated by the Maison française d'Oxford during the year, we also organized a conference on crisis legislation with the Institute, the Oxford Jurisprudence Discussion Group and the Institut Michel (University Paris-II).As an academic visitor, I participated in seminars, conferences and lectures, held discussions with academic colleagues but also, simply visited this extraordinary city. I kept some excellent souvenirs from this sojourn from a professional and a personal standpoint and I hope I will come back at least to wonder at the result of the restoration of the St Cross Building.


Visiting Graduate Students

The Institute does not have a general scheme for visiting graduate students. Doctoral students of other universities who wish to spend a period between one and three terms in Oxford, under the supervision of a member of the Oxford Law Faculty, should apply to the University to be admitted as a Recognised Student.

However, the Institute is sometimes able to offer an association to doctoral students whose thesis involves research into aspects of European or comparative law, and who wish to spend a period of time conducting research in Oxford, but who are willing to become involved in the Institute. No supervision will be offered but we will enable successful applicants to use the libraries and we may be able to offer the use of “hot desks” in the Institute.

Doctoral students wishing to be considered for such association with the Institute should ask their doctoral supervisor to contact the Director of the Institute, Professor Birke Häcker, to outline the value of their spending time in Oxford. A current curriculum vitae and brief outline of the student’s research project should also be attached.

Applications are considered by the Institute's Committee of Management which meets once per term and must be sent to Professor Häcker by 20 October (for the meeting in November), 20 January (for the meeting in February) and 20 April (for the meeting in May). Applications can, of course, be sent at any time during the year but will only be assessed at the next meeting of the Committee of Management.



My name is Monica Garcia Goldar and I am a PhD candidate at the University of Santiago de Compostela. I am currently writing a thesis on Succession Law under the supervision of Professor Maria Paz Garcia Rubio and I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to conduct research at the Oxford Institute of European and Comparative Law for three months in 2018.
Oxford University is a stunningly beautiful setting in which to study and I was fortunate to have the best possible resources at my disposal. I was able go to all the seminars that the University organises each week as well as enjoy the great libraries of the University. I was provided with a nice place to work and a computer in the common area.
My stay at the IECL was extremely enjoyable and also gave me the opportunity to conduct research which was invaluable to my thesis. The broad focus of my thesis is on the payment of the debts of the deceased in the Spanish legal system and the issues that this is creating in my home country. My time at the IECL allowed me to study the Common Law system in greater detail and to critically compare this to the Spanish Law thereby showing how the Spanish system can be improved.
My short stay in Oxford was one of the best experiences of my life and I greatly enjoyed getting to know the amazing people at the IECL and in Harris Manchester College where I lived. I would like to thank Mrs Jenny Dix the administrator and Professor John Cartwright the director for all their help and kindness. I also would like to thank Professor Birke Häcker and Professor Hugh Beale for easing my doubts and helping me during my research. I would absolutely encourage anyone to apply and go there!


My name is Karina Tata. I am writing a doctoral thesis on contracts which supply digital contents, under the supervision of Professor Carole Aubert de Vincelles at the University of Cergy-Pontoise in France. My quarter stay at the Institute of European and Comparative Law (IECL) was the most incredible experience of my PhD! It allowed me to analyse further, criticise deeper and suggest new improvement for my thesis. The main issue of my research is to classify contracts which supply digital contents and determine specific rules to regulate them. It implies to define digital contents, identify the parties’ obligations and their effects through a comparative study between French Law and European Law.
I kindly want to thank Professor John Cartwright and Mrs Jenny Dix, administrator of the IECL, for their exceptional welcome in ensuring a fantastic surrounding. Indeed, I worked on a personal desk provided at the IECL, with unlimited access to all the resources (physical and electronic) of the University of Oxford. On the other hand, I had the immense opportunity to attend scientific events organised every week at the IECL such as the Comparative Law Discussion Group and the enthusiastic Friday morning meeting. I also attended Conferences organised by the Obligations Discussion Group, the Intellectual Property Law Discussion Group, the Business Law Workshop and the Centre for Competition Law and Policy. Moreover, I was invited to attend the delightful Oxford French Law Moot.
The IECL is a fabulous environment, centre of a highly intellectual stimulation where I met eminent researchers I had the opportunity to exchange with. I would like to particularly thank Dr Esther van Schagen and Professor Simon Whittaker whose several discussions with me on various aspects of Consumer Law were precious.
Furthermore, I am grateful for the supportive research environment of my formidable colleagues, in particular Elisabeth Ahlinder, Agnès Kwiatkowski, Elisabeth Brameshuber, Nadja Schwery, Pierre Horna, Elbert De Jong, Isaac Martin Delgado, Dorine Verheij and Viktoria Robertson.


My name is Alexis Downe. I am a PhD student working on how to manage contractual risk through the contract at the University of Toulouse (France). I was fortunate enough to visit the Oxford Institute of European and Comparative Law from February 2016 to April 2016. Although my visit was relatively short, it was immensely profitable.

The main purpose of my stay was to further my research in comparative contract law within the framework of my thesis.  The purpose of my thesis is to provide some considerations on how to improve the management of contractual risk in both French and English law. Hence the need to identify and evaluate contractual risks before considering how the parties can control said risks and the legal framework surrounding the acceptance of contractual risks.
My time in Oxford was divided into various activities. Through the Institute I was granted access to the libraries of the University and therefore spend a considerable time in the Bodleian Law Library that boasts an impressive collection.  Furthermore I was able to engage in lively discussions at the Institute whether it was during weekly informal coffee or organised lectures. During my visit the Institute organised and hosted a two-day workshop sponsored by the British Association of Comparative Law. I was fortunate enough to be included among the participants, which allowed me to present my research to a group of professors and peers, receive invaluable feedback and meet comparative lawyers from around the world.
I was associated with St John’s College, which furthered my integration into the environment of the University and enjoyed lengthy discussions with Professor Simon Whittaker who also took the time to show me around the University.  
The experience was invaluable whether it was for academic or personal reasons. Not only has my research advanced considerably but also I feel very lucky to have been able to enjoy the benefits of working in such a vibrant atmosphere surrounded by such talented and kind individuals.