Oxford IECL Research Masterclass for Graduate Students

September 2024

The Institute of European and Comparative Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, is running the second year of its Research Masterclass for graduate research students working in the Institute’s fields of European Law, Comparative Law and Competition Law in September 2024.

What the course offers:

  1. 12 small group seminars with leading academics from Oxford and beyond discussing the methodology of research in European, Comparative and Competition Law;
  2. Desk-space in the IECL from 2 September to 27 September;
  3. Research opportunities using the University of Oxford’s library and online resources: online from 1 August to 31 October;
  4. Accommodation available from Corpus Christi College at preferential rates for 1 to 29 September (approx. £47 pppn);
  5. Dinner in an Oxford College and lunches normally accompanying seminars;
  6. Networking opportunities with current Oxford Graduate students: you will be paired with an Oxford student in a similar or related field as well as being able to work with the whole cohort;
  7. Seminar with Nordic Doctoral Students and the opportunity to join the Stockholm-Oxford Symposium (see following pages)
  8. A certificate of completion.


The course costs £800, with accommodation to be paid separately (College accommodation at a
reduced rate is offered but not required) and most meals are paid separately. We have kept costs down
as far as possible and are not in a position to offer fee waivers or other discounts.


To be eligible you must be a graduate research student in law working on European Law, Comparative
Law and/or Competition Law. Places are limited.

How to apply

Please send a single document, describing your research project in no more than 200 words, and a CV, in total not more than 4 sides of A4 long (font size 12) addressed to the IECL Administrator, on administrator@iecl.ox.ac.uk as soon as possible and no later than 4pm BST 12 April 2024. Decisions will be taken soon after that. An offer to take part is conditional on paying the course fee.


The IECL will issue an invitation letter. However, we cannot assist with immigration requirements or travel arrangements; those are the responsibility of the attending student.

Further details of the structure of the course are below. We look forward to welcoming you to Oxford!

Matthew Dyson
Professor of Civil and Criminal Law
Director of the IECL

Course Structure

The Research Masterclass is designed to give you space to work on your own research collaboratively and develop your methods further through structured sessions with leading academics. Those sessions happen three times a week over the four weeks. Each session will involve the academic picking a piece of work, set in advance, which the students will have access to (or a part of it), and discussing the methods used, the decisions made, and the impact evident, from conception to completion. While all four weeks have that basic patter, each week has an emphasis. Outside of the seminars, participants are free to work at their desk in the seminar room, in one of Oxford’s world-leading libraries or elsewhere.

Week 1. Research Choices: seminars focus on methodology needed before research begins.

Week 2. Research Execution: seminars focus on case studies of academics’ work.

Week 3. Research Challenges: seminars focus on problems researchers have faced.

Week 4. Research Outputs: seminars focus on writing, and presenting, research.

Academics involved so far (subject to change)

Prof Matthew Dyson (Comparative Law)
Prof Ariel Ezrachi (Competition Law)
Prof Liz Fisher (Comparative Public Law)
Prof Son Bui (Asian Law)
Dr Johannes Ungerer (Conflicts of Laws)
Prof Iyiola Solanke (EU Law)
Prof Angus Johnston (EU Law)
Prof Sanja Bogojevic (EU Law)
Prof Birke Haecker, Bonn (Comparative legal history)
Prof Laura Carlson, Stockholm (Comparative law and equality law)

Learning Outcomes

  • Make progress analysing and clarifying an abstract question, grasping and critically comparing different approaches to answering it, and developing an approach of your own;
  • Increase skills in building and taking apart complex arguments for and against a position;
  • where necessary, be able to put difficult historical texts produced within a historical context;
  • improve on constructing significant pieces of writing that provide a clear overview of a subject and a sustained independent argument about it, presented in a lucid, objective and scholarly manner
  • advance towards excellent oral presentation;
  • develop time management skills; and
  • make more effective use of libraries, information technology and other sources of information.

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