Max Planck InstituteAlpa ScholarshipUniversity of Seville



Exchange Programme with the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, Hamburg

The exchange is open to Faculty members and graduate research students of the Oxford Law Faculty who wish to pursue research at the Max Planck Institute. Under the agreement with the Max Planck Institute, Oxford may send to Hamburg either one eligible person for a six-month period or a number of eligible persons for shorter periods totalling six months. The Max Planck Institute will provide single accommodation, free of charge, (shared) office space with a computer, and generous library access. There will be no teaching or other formal obligations, although visitors might be asked to give a paper on their ongoing research. Knowledge of the German language is an asset, but is not required in the working environment of the Hamburg Institute.

Information about applying to the programme will be sent via the Faculty mail lists at the beginning of the academic year. Informal enquiries should be addressed to the Administrator of the Institute.


The Max Planck Institute in Hamburg provides an excellent environment to work on questions or comparative private and private international law. Guests from Oxford receive a desk in what certainly is the best library of its kind in Germany, if not in Europe, and accommodation, either in the Institute’s own apartments or in the nearby guest house, both of which are right between the main campus of the University of Hamburg and the Alster. Surrounded by nothing but books, other researchers, and – occasionally – sunshine, I managed to write a substantial part of my DPhil thesis in the four months I have spent at the MPI over two consecutive summers.

In addition to the excellent working conditions, the biggest perk of spending time at the Institute certainly is the large number of research fellows and guests it attracts all year, and especially over the summer. There is a bi-weekly coffee, a monthly after-work meeting, and ample opportunity outside these formal occasions to meet like-minded researchers who are at a variety of points in their careers and come from all over the world. A number of guests also participate in the Institute’s weekly kick-about which takes place on a meadow right across the Institute.

The exchange has offered me many opportunities – to do research, to make new friends, and to live in one of the nicest, most interesting cities in Europe. It will not be the last time I have visited it.

Tobias Lutzi, Somerville College, 2018




Alpa Scholarships

These scholarships, funded through the generosity of Professor Guido Alpa (Professore ordinario di diritto civile at the University of Rome Sapienza), enable an exchange between the Law Faculties of Oxford and Rome Sapienza. One scholarship of £5,000 will be offered each academic year to enable either a doctoral research student or an early career academic of the Oxford Law Faculty to spend up to two months undertaking research at the Law Faculty of the University of Rome Sapienza. The timing of the visit is flexible, and will be agreed between the Scholar and the Dean of the Law Faculty at Sapienza. The Scholarship is intended to cover the costs of the visit (including travel and accommodation).

Information about applying to the programme will be sent via the Faculty mail lists at the beginning of the academic year. Informal enquiries should be addressed to the Administrator of the Institute.


Last Summer I was given the opportunity to spend a two-month research period at the Sapienza University of Rome under an Alpa scholarship.

In the weeks leading up to my trip – and exhausted from the term’s work – I often wondered how I would be able to resist Rome’s charms and actually do all the work that I had planned for the Summer. Soon after I arrived at the Sapienza, I realised that there was no choice to be made between the University and the city: centrally located at the heart of San Lorenzo, Sapienza’s beautiful campus fits seamlessly into its surroundings and every walk to the University inspired and energised me.

In the University’s Law Faculty, I was introduced to a well-stocked library and to a vibrant academic community. Professor Alpa generously put me in touch with a group of young academics conducting research in my area and I benefited immensely from the opportunity to discuss my doctoral research with them. In September, Professor Alpa also invited me to participate in the 2018 edition of the European Law School Network International Smmer School and I had the opportunity to attend a number of fascinating sessions on private autonomy and fundamental rights.

I am incredibly grateful to Professor Alpa for how welcomed I felt at the Sapienza. The two months I spent in Rome were a very productive research period and my DPhil was certainly made richer for it.

Clara Natividade Martins Pereira, St Anne's College, 2018



Exchange with the Law Faculty, University of Seville

The Institute has an agreement with the Law Faculty of the University of Seville under which two Faculty members or doctoral research students of the Oxford Law Faculty may each spend up to three months in Seville in order to pursue research. The Law Faculty at Seville will cover reasonable travel expenses for the participants in the exchange, and will arrange (and cover the cost of) accommodation.

Information about applying to the programme will be sent via the Faculty mail lists at the beginning of the academic year. Informal enquiries should be addressed to the Administrator of the Institute.


My stay at the Law Faculty of the University of Seville was a wonderful opportunity to develop my project and connect with members of the faculty and the Spanish legal community. From the first day I had the pleasure to find full support from Professor Fernando Llano who made sure I had all the conditions to develop my work and provided me with invaluable contacts inside and outside the Law Faculty. This allowed me to connect, talk and interview several members of the Spanish arbitral community one of the goals of my stay.

Further to working of my project, the University of Sevilla has a busy academic life that led me to participate in numerous events and discussions. Several events organized at the Law Faculty brought frequently impressive speakers from outside and inside Spain. The close-knit atmosphere at the law faculty made contacting with these people easy and friendly having led to wonderful discussions.  Again, Professor Llano made sure I was always invited and felt welcomed at all of the Faculty’s events. I had myself the pleasure of providing a speech at the university which was very well attended by members of the faculty and students alike.

Further to academic ventures, my stay coincided with the two biggest events of the year in Sevilla: semana santa and ferias de sevilla. These two huge traditional events allowed me to experience the culture and meet many of the local people to help Sevilla maintain its charm. The food, the environment and friendless of everyone are simply experiences that cannot be replicated elsewhere.

Joao Loreto Ilhao Moreira, Linacre College, 2018

Enquiries about applying to the programme should be directed to the Administrator of the Institute.