Global Ph.D. Programme

The new Ph.D. programme sets out to create a real research community of scholars whose work is monitored and guided by the best international standards in the field.

Why a Global Ph.D. Programme



Católica Global School of Law (CGSL) is accepting applications from qualified candidates for the Global PhD Programme in Law offered in conjunction with the Católica Research Centre for the Future of Law (CRCFL). The six admitted candidates will receive a full tuition waiver and a monthly stipend calculated to cover their living expenses as doctoral students in Lisbon for four years, as well as expenses related to research stays abroad (6 FCT mixed PhD fellowships).

Following a public tender among doctoral programs across disciplines, the Programme was selected by an international panel of experts for comprehensive funding by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) in Portugal.

Focused on law in a global context and with English as the working language, the degree builds on the success of Católica's LL.M. programmes. A select group of students will be recruited each year from among the world’s brightest to join CGSL as PhD students. Doctoral candidates will gain direct access to the prominent international faculty that teaches at CGSL. They will be accommodated in the CRCFL and are expected to take part in its academic activities. They will also benefit from an extensive set of exchange agreements and scientific protocols that CGSL has with high-profile law schools and research institutions in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. PhD students are encouraged to spend at least one year abroad as visiting fellows at a partner institution and will be funded accordingly.

The Global PhD Programme embodies a new model of doctoral studies in law within continental Europe. The Programme honours the tradition of regarding the doctoral thesis as a substantial and original contribution to legal scholarship, evidencing the ability of the candidate to conduct independent high-quality research. Unlike the traditional model, however, which relies on the willingness and natural ability of the candidate to produce a dissertation in an atmosphere of solitary intellectual confinement, the Programme sets out to create a research community of scholars at the CRCFL whose work is monitored and guided according to the best international standards in the field.

The aim of the Programme is to attract a select group of talented young scholars dedicated exclusively to their doctoral studies and enable them to write rigorous, readable, original, reasonably-sized and publishable dissertations in four years. At present, the doctorate is often regarded as an entry to the academic profession rather than an advanced step in a scholar’s career. Accordingly, the Programme is committed to establishing the CGSL as a credible supplier of junior academics to the global law teaching market, in addition to serving other functions — e.g., as a supplier of highly qualified public servants, lawyers and legal consultants — which doctorates in law naturally lend themselves to.

Application Information

Only candidates who satisfy all of the following requirements will be considered for admission:

o A basic law degree (LL.B., licenciatura, J.D., or equivalent) or, exceptionally, a basic degree in a neighbouring discipline if the candidate’s purported research falls at the intersection of law and the discipline in question.

o A master’s degree in law or, exceptionally, a pre-Bologna bachelor degree coupled with an outstanding academic record.

o Proficiency in English normally certified by a TOEFL score of 600 on the paper-based test or 100 on the internet-based test, or an IELTS score of 7.0, obtained within two years prior to the application, or Cambridge’s Certificate of Proficiency in English with a minimum grade of A.

o Completion of at least one scholarly text, which may be a master’s thesis or a text of comparable scope.


Applications should include the following:

1) A completed application form.

2) Official detailed transcripts (in either English or Portuguese) issued by the higher education institution where the candidate has obtained academic degrees.

3) A curriculum vitae.

4) A personal statement of no more than 1000 words explaining the candidate’s motives to attend the Programme.

5) A preliminary research proposal of no more than 3000 words.

6) Two letters of recommendation.

7) An example of scholarly writing, which may be a master’s thesis or a similar text.

8) Photocopied or digital version of the applicant’s identification document.

9) Three photos.

There are six scholarships available. The tender is open from March 23 to June 15, 2015. The selection process is expected to be concluded and all applicants informed of the decision at the latest by early July 2015. The next edition of the programme should start on October 2015.

Maryant N. Fernández Pérez
Maryant N. Fernández Pérez
"(...) It was precisely our various backgrounds what I enjoyed the most (...) I see this LL.M. as the springboard to the future international career I have always dreamt about. (...)"
Mattias Kumm
Mattias Kumm
(NYU / WZB Berlin)
The LL.M. in Lisbon is a remarkable innovation because those who planned it had a very particular idea of what they wanted to do different from the other LL.M.s