Research Fellowship

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How to join the CISDL's Global Research Fellowship?

CISDL Research Fellowships are awarded through a competitive selection process. Legal scholars, lawyers and others with a deep interest in sustainable development law research, debate and implementation from any region of the world are invited to apply.

Successful applications demonstrate high quality academic qualifications, professional experience and excellent personal character, and fellows, upon appointment, join our collegial circle from their country of operation. The CISDL enjoys strong collaborative partnerships with several inter-governmental agencies, research institutes and universities in developed and developing countries, and an excellent international network of mentors, advisors and collaborators. Successful candidates become a member of small community of sustainable development lawyers, as one of the few Fellows that the CISDL is able to appoint for two year renewable terms. The key to a successful fellowship is a strong convergence between the applicants specific legal research interests, and the CISDL’s evolving legal research priorities, publications and activities.

The Application Process is straightforward. Applications for Fellowship can be submitted by October 1st  and February 1st of each academic year, and if successful, a candidate is given a two year appointment that is open to renewal. A CISDL Fellow is not required to move to Montreal or one of the CISDL's affiliated offices in order to become a Fellow, as candidates are accepted from the countries and myriad legal systems in which they are based. Preference is given to CISDL Fellows from developing countries, and those who are based in universities or international law institutions affiliated with the CISDL. Under usual conditions, all candidates that have been short-listed for a fellowship will be contacted within four to six weeks following the application deadline.

CISDL Research Fellows (Senior Research Fellows, Legal Research Fellows and Associate Fellows) are members of the CISDL and are engaged in the CISDL's six legal research programmes, or cross-cutting areas of interest. They conduct legal research, write or edit publications, and provide peer review and advice for other members in their areas of interest. They can also lead or be involved in specific CISDL projects, events or activities, as agreed with the CISDL Lead Counsel and Directors.

Senior Research Fellows are usually professors of international law, or hold equivalent professional experience in their fields of international expertise. They hold excellent internationally recognised levels of expertise, backed by superb academic and professional credentials. They have years of experience in international law related to sustainable development, and collaborate closely with CISDL Lead Counsel and Directors, as well as International Advisors, on specific legal research and projects in their fields. To apply for a CISDL Senior Research Fellowship, see the conditions and privileges of fellowship below, then download and submit the application form with a cover letter, CV and the following form by October 1st of each academic year to the CISDL.

Legal Research Fellows are holders of law degrees and often also graduate degrees in law, have more than 5 years of legal experience in their field, hold excellent academic and professional credentials, and can demonstrate a specific interest in international law related to sustainable development, particularly in the areas of current research and undertaking within the CISDL. To apply for a CISDL Legal Research Fellowship, see the conditions and privileges of fellowship below, then download and submit the application form with a cover letter, CV by October 1st of each academic year to the CISDL.

Associate Fellows are often law or legal graduate students in developing countries and in the world's leading international law programmes of university law faculties around the world. In particular, they have the opportunity to work closely with CISDL affiliates in McGill University, the University of Montreal, Cambridge University, Oxford University, Yale University, Stanford University, Beijing University, Capetown University, the University of Costa Rica, the University of Santiago, the University of Nairobi, the United Nations University in Tokyo, the University of Ottawa, the University of Victoria and other institutions. To apply for a CISDL Associate Fellowship, see the conditions and privileges of fellowship below, then download and submit the application form with a cover letter and a CV by October 1st of each academic year to the CISDL. Often, a student will apply for an Associate Fellowship after a successful period on the CISDL Legal Research Group or CISDL Secretariat.

Privileges of a CISDL Research Fellow

The CISDL headquarters are based at 3644 Peel St., Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3A1W9 in offices lent to it by the McGill University Faculty of Law by reason of the involvement of students, graduates and faculty members in its activities. CISDL curriculum is also taught at the University of Oxford, and the law faculties of the University of Montreal, Ottawa University, and the University of Victoria in Canada. A CISDL Research Fellowship grants the selected fellow limited access to an academic work station at the McGill Law Faculty, computer access, library access, meeting space, research assistance and other privileges as resources permit. CISDL will facilitate consultations with CISDL lead counsel, and will grant Research Fellows access to an extended network of international advisors, academics and legal experts in the area of international sustainable development law. No financial remuneration can be provided by CISDL for research fellows at the present time, so fellows obtain funds from external sources or develop new CISDL projects if their work is to be sponsored.

Contributions Expected from a CISDL Research Fellow

The CISDL will expect a Research Fellow to take part in the research and activities of the Centre. CISDL will also expect a Research Fellow to demonstrate respect for the mission, principles and objectives of the CISDL, including its policies and decision-making structure. In addition, a Research Fellow should involve law and other students in their work where this is relevant and helpful to the Fellow’s research interests, should acknowledge their fellowship in any communications or publications related to the work they undertake while based at the CISDL, and if traveling to Montreal or affiliated offices, should undertake minimum cooperative obligations that are involved in sharing an office with other scholars and sustainable development lawyers.

Successful applicants will have familiarized themselves with the CISDL’s mission, principles, objectives, structure, annual research strategies, publications and research programme agendas, by consulting the documents online at, prior to submitting an application.

Application Forms

CISDL Application Form - Senior Research Fellow
CISDL Application Form - Legal Research Fellow
CISDL Application Form - Associate Fellow

CISDL - IDLO Legal Research Group - Invitation to Apply - 2011
CDIDD-OIDD - Appel de Candidatures - 2011
CISDL - IDLO Invitacion para Postular - 2011

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