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Michigan Grotius Research Scholar Program


Michigan Law offers a non-degree research scholar program for junior and senior faculty members in law or in cognate fields at universities throughout the world, as well as individuals from abroad engaged in doctora​l or post-doctoral studies or public service careers. Research scholars are welcomed into the intellectual and social life of the Law School, and the program is designed to meet the varying needs of scholars who engage in major research projects for which the Law School's outstanding library, with its extensive collections of U.S., foreign, and international legal materials, can be of considerable assistance.

The Law School welcomes about 25 research scholars annually, whose campus visits vary in length from a few weeks to one year. If a research scholar would like to observe classes, he or she is encouraged to time the visit with the beginning and end of our terms (which also makes it easier to obtain more reasonably priced housing accommodations).


Our research scholars enjoy numerous benefits, such as:

  • Full access to the Law School's library and research facilities, including Westlaw and Lexis/Nexis.
  • Dedicated workspace where our researchers are together in one place, fostering a sense of scholarly and personal community among our research scholars and SJDs who are all pursuing significant research projects. The architecture of the space is beautiful, and each researcher has his or her own office or spacious individual workstation.
  • The ability to observe classes with the permission of the professor.
  • Invitations to participate in workshops, lectures, and other events that occur at the Law School (or on campus) on an almost daily basis.
  • A colloquium through which Michigan research scholars who are doctoral students and post-docs from overseas universities get together with Michigan SJDs to discuss matters of intellectual interest and present work in progress.
  • Immediate proximity to the considerable intellectual and cultural activities at the University of Michigan and in Ann Arbor. Frequently the interests of research scholars bring them in contact with faculty in other schools and departments of the University such as economics, business, natural resources, or public policy, or in the many centers that focus on significant regions of the world, such as the centers for European studies, for Japanese studies, for Chinese studies, for Russian and East European studies, or for Middle Eastern and North African studies, to name just a few.


Most recently, our research scholar program has included faculty members from Kyoto University in Japan, the University of Osnabrueck in Germany, Peking and Renmin universities in Beijing, the University of the Philippines and of Aix-Marseille in France, as well as the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland; a counsel to the Slovenian Ministry of Justice, the former chairperson of the Irish Society for European Law; staff members of the Japanese and Korean Ministries of Justice; a consultant to the UNHCR office in Morocco and a policy adviser to the Danish Refugee Council; counsel to the Brazilian legislature; a deputy chief at the Supreme Commercial Court of the Russian Federation; and doctoral students from major universities all over the world. Their research interests have encompassed a broad array of legal and interdisciplinary subjects.


The first step to applying is to create a University of Michigan "Friend Guest Account" if you don't already have one. A Friend Guest Account is a way for people not affiliated with the University of Michigan to access, save, and submit applications. 

Next, please complete the online application.  The online application includes biographical data, educational and work history, proposed dates of stay, and University of Michigan Law faculty with whom you would like to confer.

You will also be asked to upload the following materials:

  • CV;
  • Description of your intended research project and its purpose (e.g. doctoral thesis, journal publication), as well as a description of how a research scholar visit will be of value;
  • Two letters of reference from academics familiar with your work;
  • Level of English fluency, in particular speaking and listening comprehension, and a description of your training and experience in English.

    TOEFL or IELTS score and academic records may also be requested.

Please contact Program Coordinator, Stephanie Wiederhold, in the Center for International and Comparative Law at if you have any questions about the program or the application process.


Applicants to the Law School's research scholar program may be eligible for very limited supplemental funding, which is granted on a competitive basis and considerate of need. Those interested in being considered for these Fellowships will be asked to complete a Fellowship application and submit it together with the application materials referenced in the section above. Michigan Grotius Research Fellowships are intended to assist with living expenses while in full-time residence. Most research scholars are supported by funds from other sources, such as Fulbright or sabbatical leave salary of their home university. Because of competition for Michigan Grotius Research Fellowships, applicants are encouraged to seek alternate sources of funding.


The application deadline for the Michigan Grotius Research Scholar Program and for Michigan Grotius Research Fellowships is February 1 for visits proposed in the following summer, fall, or winter terms. Applicants are encouraged to apply to multiple institutions as the selection process is competitive. Although applications are welcome at any time during the year, those who apply later than February 1 risk that available space and funding already will be committed.​​

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