Doctoral Research Positions – Law, Ethics and Economics for Sustainable Development (LEES)

PhD in International and public Law, Ethics and Economics for Sustainable Development


Deadline: 1st September 2021


6 Doctoral Research Positions in Law, Ethics and Economics for Sustainable Development (LEES)

The LEES program is seeking six outstanding and committed students to carry out a three-year multidisciplinary research project, based at more than one participating university (see the call for applicationthe course website and the department website).

We are launching LEES, a doctoral programme in International and Public Law, Ethics and Economics for Sustainable Development. With courses, seminars, and scientific research activities entirely in English, it addresses the complexities involved in sustainable development, and uses an innovative multidisciplinary approach that combines the contributions of law, ethics, and economics. The broad interdisciplinary view that guides the PhD programme is here attached.

The programme is managed by a highly qualified international doctoral board and an international scientific council composed by top scholars in the relevant fields of law, ethics, and economics, which will advise the board on the development of research lines and the programme of the yearly international workshops and summer schools.

The first year of the programme will be based in Milan, where the PhD students will attend courses and seminars, and participate in the activities and events of the academic community of the Department. Some restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic may still apply to the 2020-2021 academic year. The University of Milan is poised to provide both online and in-person lectures as well as meetings for small groups. We are committed to restoring the kind of interpersonal relationships typical of a vibrant community of scholars as soon as possible. The second and third years will mainly be dedicated to students’ own personal research projects and to participating in the large-scale joint project by working with one of our partner universities, with the cooperation of their advisors, selected from the doctoral board or the scientific council, two notably international bodies. To enable their participation in the joint project, students will have access to additional funding and will have the opportunity to carry out part of their research either in one of the other associate universities – Rijeka or Maastricht – or in another partner university (see full list attached) depending on the project and the agreements which will be set up. PhD candidates who choose to work with one of the partner universities will receive, by activating a double degree agreement, and in addition to the joint degree from the three associate universities, a degree from the applicable partner university, as well.

The candidates must be prepared to be both visionary and ambitious, in order to alter the current, unsatisfactory trajectory of development by taking intellectual risks. They must be devoted to social justice and committed to enhancing the quality of research in one or more of the Ph.D. research fields, as well as open to and interested in using research methodologies in different fields (Law, Ethics, and Economics). Candidates must have the preparation and the ability to pursue innovative results at the frontiers of research, where unsolved problems call for interdisciplinary approaches and contributions, and submit a project in line with at least one of the many proposed lines of research. The many issues brought to the fore by the COVID-19 crisis, which touch on health, environmental, social, and economic dimensions, serve to confirm the pressing need for an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to sustainable development, in line with LEES research.
LEES lines of research focus on, in particular: re-thinking legal, ethical, and economic approaches to sustainability; social justice and theories of justice; environmental issues; public options for sustainable development; governance of the common sphere; corporate social responsibility; innovation technologies; and human rights (see thefull list).

If you are interested, please submit your application no later than 1 September 2021 through the University of Milan submission system (see thecall for applicationscontaining all the requirements and information to submit your application). A first ranking will be published before 13 September, and the interviews will start on 16 September. Start date: 2 November 2021.

For additional information, you may contact:

This programme is for you if you:

  • have at least five previous years of academic background in one of the Ph.D. disciplines (Law; Economics; Ethics; Political theory and sciences; Environmental and sustainability sciences; Philosophy);
  • are willing to change the current, unsatisfactory trajectories of development;
  • are sensitive to social justice;
  • are open to and interested in using research methodologies in different fields;
  • are prepared to work in different environments;
  • are proficient in English;
  • have very good scientific writing and communication skills.

We offer:

  • a PhD programme earning a joint degree in at least three different countries;
  • a list of partner universities that will allow you to carry out fully multidisciplinary and international research;
  • an extensive board of experts standing by to assist you in your research;
  • a PhD scholarship which includes a monthly gross salary of 1365,50 €, for 3 years;
  • additional funds to facilitate your mobility;
  • a full-time Ph.D. programme without any teaching duties;
  • our beautiful academic campus located in the heart of downtown Milan;
  • interaction with top scholars members of the international scientific council and with the excellent faculty and staff of our innovative LLM Programme in Sustainable Development, a diverse academic community that brings together minds from 10 different countries;
  • participation in a large-scale research project with the potential to have wide-ranging implications for the sustainability of future international development.