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Michigan International and Comparative Law Research Scholar Program


Each year we welcome 15 to 25 scholars from around the globe into our community as non-degree Michigan International and Comparative Law Research Scholars to conduct research and engage fully in the intellectual and social life of Michigan Law School.  Visits vary in length from a few weeks to one year.

As you can imagine, we receive many more excellent applications than we could ever accept, so those chosen are senior scholars with impressive accomplishments, mid-career intellectuals who are beginning to make their mark, or early-career researchers who show special promise for the future.  While they may come from many walks of life - junior or senior faculty members in law or related fields, doctoral or post-doctoral students, and public service practitioners - in all cases, they are exploring areas of law that intrigue our faculty members and for which we can provide meaningful academic support.

research scholar program privileges

With the intention of ensuring that all our Research Scholars have productive, lively and satisfying experiences while they are with us, our program includes the following privileges:

  • Assigned personal workspace (private office or individual workstation) within a large suite that is dedicated solely to Research Scholars and SJD students.
  • Attend JD classes with the permission of the professor.
  • Access the Law School's extensive library collections and first-rate research facilities, including Westlaw and Lexis/Nexis.
  • Participate in a weekly colloquium of Michigan Research Scholars and SJD students to discuss works in progress.
  • Assist in organizing the Michigan Law School Junior Scholars Conference.
  • Attend workshops, lectures, and other events.
  • Engage with the broader University campus, including other schools, departments and centers.


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.  Please note that the email address you use for your Friend Guest Account cannot contain a dash ("-").

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 Graduate 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. After submission of the applicant's Michigan International and Comparative Law Research Scholar Program application, those interested in being considered for these Fellowships will be asked to complete and submit a Fellowship application. Michigan International and Comparative Law 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 International and Comparative Law Research Fellowships, applicants are encouraged to seek alternate sources of funding.  Due to funding limitations, we are not in a position to provide support for accompanying family members. 

DEADLINE—january 15

The application deadline for the Michigan International and Comparative Law Research Scholar Program and for Michigan International and Comparative Law Research Fellowships is January 15 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 January 15 risk that available space and funding already will be committed.​​

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