House of Finance of Goethe-University (Frankfurt) Columbia Law School

The Global Law in Finance Network (GLawFiN) is an interdisciplinary network of scholars located at Columbia University (New York), the University of Oxford (Oxford) and the House of Finance of Goethe-University (Frankfurt) exploring issues at the intersection of law and finance.

GLawFiN offers three doctoral scholarships to be tenable (one each) at Columbia, Oxford and Frankfurt. The scholarships will cover full tuition and a stipend for reasonable living expenses for up to two years. Students may spend one term at another institution participating in the network.

Students will have to apply to the doctoral program of one of the three participating institutions using their normal application process and are required to meet the admission standards of, and obtain their degrees from, their respective home institution. There is no separate application process for the GLawFiN scholarships.

GLawFiN invites inquiries from students interested in undertaking a doctoral research project in the field of law and finance employing a common analytical framework, the Legal Theory of Finance. Topics will include, but are not limited to:

  • The hierarchical structure of finance.
    - Legal rules and contractual devices in financial instruments that shift the costs of dealing with future uncertainty and liquidity volatility to different parts of or actors within the financial system.
  • Contracting under conditions of uncertainty.
    - Nature of contingencies in financial contracts; allocation of costs should the event occur; individual vs. systemic effects.
  • The elasticity of law in times of crisis.
    - Legal and contractual solutions for re-negotiation, adapting or suspending ex ante commitments in case of liquidity shocks.
    - Institutional design for renegotiation: courts vs. regulators vs. politicians.
  • Stress-testing transnational governance regimes.
    - Legal and institutional autopsies of cross-border entity resolutions: e.g. Lehmann Brothers, AIG, Fortis, Dexia.
    - Legal and institutional autopsies of sovereign debt renegotiations and workouts.
    - The new European System of banking supervision and the division of labor between the ECB and member states in stress tests.
  • Critique of regulatory responses to crises.
    - Ex ante regulatory standardization in light of uncertainty: e.g. Basel III and FSB revisited

Information for applying to the doctoral programs can be obtained here:

For Columbia Law School:

For Oxford:

For Frankfurt:

Candidates for this program will be selected from the candidates that meet the specific admission standards. For question about GLawFiN or about possible topics of interest, please contact the project leaders directly.

Prof. Katharina Pistor (
Prof. Brigitte Haar (
Dr. Dan Awrey (

GLawFiN is sponsored by Professor Pistor’s Max Planck Research Award co-sponsored by the Max Planck Society and the Humboldt and the Institute for New Economic Thinking.