Michigan Grotius Research Scholar Program


Michigan Law offers a non-degree research scholar program, attractive to legal scholars from around the world.  Those selected for our research scholar program are called Michigan Grotius Research Scholars.

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. Research scholars enjoy full access to the Law School's library and research facilities, including Westlaw and Lexis/Nexis, to pursue their individual research agendas. They are welcome to observe classes with the permission of the professor and to participate in the Law School's workshops,  lecture series and SJD/research scholar colloquium.

The research scholar program is intended for junior and senior faculty members in law or in cognate fields at universities throughout the world. It is also intended for individuals from abroad engaged in doctoral or post-doctoral studies or in public service careers.

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 advisor to the Danish Refugee Council; 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 Law School welcomes about 25 research scholars annually. Their campus visits vary in length from a few weeks to one year, and they may start at any time. 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. Unless visits are scheduled according to the academic calendar, research scholars may find it more difficult to obtain reasonably priced housing accommodations.

Every effort is made to welcome research scholars into the intellectual and social life of the School. Research scholars who are faculty in their own countries are invited to participate in the faculty lunches and colloquia which occur at the Law School on an almost daily basis.

The Law School offers 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.  The colloquium provides an opportunity to present work in progress.  Faculty research scholars are also invited to participate in the colloquium.

In addition to the resources offered by the Law School, research scholars have access 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.


Dedicated work space for Michigan Law research scholarsThe Law School has opened a magnificent new space where our researchers are together in one place. It is intended to foster 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 work space. 

How to Apply

Those interested in visiting the Law School should send the Center for International and Comparative Law their curriculum vita, a publication list, proposed dates of stay, a description of their intended research project and its intended purpose (e.g. doctoral thesis, journal publication), and a description of how a research scholar visit will be of value. They should also provide two letters of reference from academics familiar with their work. If there are particular Michigan faculty members with whom they would like to confer, they should so indicate. It is also helpful to know their interest in informally observing particular classes. Applicants for the research scholar program whose native language is not English should indicate their level of fluency in English, in particular speaking and listening comprehension, and describe their training and experience in English. TOEFL or IELTS score and academic records may also be requested.  Please contact Stephanie Wiederhold in the Center at wls@umich.edu for information about the application process.

Research scholar applicants with an interest in the Law School's Program in Refugee and Asylum Law should request additional information by writing to the Center for International and Comparative Law at the address below or e-mailing wls@umich.edu.


Applicants to the Law School's research scholar program may apply for Michigan Grotius Research Fellowships which are granted on a competitive basis. 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 will already be committed.

Whenever possible, applications should be submitted electronically to the email address below. Otherwise they may be sent by mail or fax to the address below. Letters of recommendation may be sent by fax or email by the writer.

The Center for International and Comparative Law
The University of Michigan Law School
212 Hutchins Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215

Email: wls@umich.edu
Fax: 734.763.9182

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