PhD Position in Law

University of Copenhagen


PhD Position in Law

The Center for Climate Change Law and Governance (CLIMA) at the Faculty of Law of the University of Copenhagen in collaboration with The Global Maritime Forum (GMF) is seeking applicants for a PhD position on the topic of ‘Trade and Climate Change Interactions in the Regulation of Shipping Greenhouse Gas Emissions after the 2023 IMO Revised Strategy’.

The position is available from 1 October 2024, or as soon as possible thereafter, for a 3 year-period. The candidate will be equally located at CLIMA and the GMF.

About the project
Around 80% of the world's goods are transported by sea. Although the interplay of trade and climate change mitigation efforts has gathered some attention in recent years, crucial elements of the interaction between trade, climate and shipping have remained largely unexplored. With the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopting a revised strategy in 2023 aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping, the recent inclusion of shipping in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and the emergence of voluntary initiatives such as the Green Corridors, a number of trade related questions emerge.

This PhD position aims to examine some of these intricate interactions between shipping, trade and climate change law with a specific focus on the regulation of shipping GHG emissions post the 2023 IMO Revised Strategy. By elucidating on the regulatory frameworks, opportunities and challenges for carbon pricing, border adjustment mechanisms, green fuels development, ensuring a fair and equitable transition to net-zero, the research will contribute to inform the development of more effective and sustainable policies in the maritime sector and offer valuable insights into climate change governance. A more definite scope of research is to be defined with the selected candidate on the basis of qualifications and latest developments.

Enrolment in the PhD programme at the University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Law, implies that the PhD candidate completes and successfully defends the PhD thesis according to the requirements set by the university in line with the requirements of the Danish PhD executive order (see below). The collaboration between the Global Maritime Forum and the Faculty of Law will provide valuable insights to ensure that the project remains relevant for academia and society alike. The PhD candidate will contribute to the work of the Global Maritime Forum, working with the Policy and Government Engagement team. This will include the delivery of high-quality research and compilation of findings, the monitoring of associated legislative and policy developments, engagement at relevant international events within the scope of the PhD.

About the position
We are seeking an enthusiastic and outstanding PhD candidate with a strong interest in shipping decarbonization, trade law, climate change law and the IMO processes. The ideal candidate must hold a relevant academic degree (in law or in another social science discipline, provided the applicant can also document sufficient knowledge in law), and possess the appropriate theoretical and methodological tools to carry out the research. Crucially, the successful candidate will have the ability to work internationally, in a collaborative environment both independently and as part of the team. Since the project aims to maintain relevance for both academia and society, the ideal candidate should possess keenness and capability to convert academic research into practical and pertinent messages tailored for civil society, decision-makers, and businesses.

The PhD will be part the larger research team at CLIMA ( and The Global Maritime Forum ( CLIMA carries out research on climate change and sustainability.  The center offers a nurturing, lively and expanding research environment that has developed frameworks that enable researchers to receive feedback on their ongoing work and interact with other researchers in their field. The Global Maritime Forum is an international not-for-profit organization committed to shaping the future of global seaborne trade to increase sustainable long-term economic development and human wellbeing.

Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the faculty’s research areas and education programmes by visiting the Faculty’s website:

The PhD programme
Founded in 1479 as one of the four original faculties of the University of Copenhagen, the Faculty of Law boasts a long-standing reputation for excellence in teaching and research. The Faculty offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate degree programmes in law. Through research-based education the Faculty ensures that law graduates acquire the necessary skills to succeed in their legal careers in the private or public sector both at home and abroad. With 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students, 60 PhD fellows, and an academic staff of 135 members, the Faculty of Law at the University of Copenhagen is a vibrant, diverse, and intellectually stimulating academic environment.  

The goal of the PhD programme is threefold: to prepare candidates for a continuing career in teaching and research; to educate a new generation of scholars to produce high-quality independent research; and to equip them with the analytical and problem-solving skills required for a successful career in both the public and private sectors.   

The Faculty of Law offers supervision by highly qualified academics and provides an excellent opportunity to research contemporary legal issues in an intellectually stimulating environment. 

Successful PhD candidates are required to:  

  • Actively engage in the research environment at the University of Copenhagen; participate in international conferences, courses, and meetings relevant to their research project. 
  • Comply with the formal requirements
  • Contribute to teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses in Danish or English offered by the Faculty of Law.
  • Conduct independent and high-quality research under the supervision of a senior member of academic staff at the faculty.
  • The PhD candidate will actively contribute to the work of the GMF.


  • Applicants must have obtained a degree that corresponds to the Danish Master of Laws degree which is a second cycle 120 ECTS degree (two years of full-time studies) that builds on a 180 ECTS Bachelor’s degree (three years of full-time studies) or equivalent qualifications. Applicants with a non-Danish Master's degree will have their degree assessed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science in order to establish if the Master's degree is equivalent to a Danish Master's degree. 
  • Applicants must have obtained a minimum overall grade average of 8.2 or above at the Master’s level in accordance with the Danish grading scale (for Danish scale, see as well as a Master’s thesis graded at 10 or higher (or equivalent for applicants with a foreign educational background).
  • Applicants may submit their application before they have completed their Master’s degree. The Master’s degree must be obtained before the start date.
  • Applicants must document an aptitude for research through the meritorious assessment of their final thesis, publications, or academic recommendations in order to show that they are capable of undertaking the demanding task of writing a PhD thesis. 
  • Applicants must have excellent language skills in English and have excellent communications skills. Applicants must be able to teach at an academic level in Danish or English and to follow PhD courses in English. Documentation of English level can for instance be documented by an excellent IELTS or TOEFL test. More information is available here:

Application procedure
Click ’Apply now’ below to be taken to the online application form.  

We advise you to have the following documents ready before you begin your online application:  

  • Research project proposal: This should include the following: (1) objective(s) of the research, (2) major research questions, (3) review of relevant literature, (4) methodology to be applied in the research, and (5) a timetable that plans for all course requirements to have been met within three years. The project description must elaborate on the value of the proposed research project in terms of its relevance to existing and future research in the field. It is recommended that the project proposal does not exceed 6 A4 pages (excluding bibliography). The document must be in Times New Roman, font size 12, spacing 1.5 with all margins (right, left, top and bottom) set to 2 cm.
  • Curriculum vitae: Maximum 2 pages. 
  • Diplomas and transcript: Certified copies of original diploma(s) and transcripts (both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree) in the original language and an authorized English translation if they are issued in other language than English or Danish. 
  • Grading scale: A certified explanation of grading scale in the original language and an authorized English translation if it is available in other language than English or Danish. 
  • Suggested supervisor: The name of a member of academic staff whom you wish to have assigned as your supervisor.
  • Letter of motivation:  Explaining the choice of the Faculty of Law at the University of Copenhagen as a host institution for the proposed project and outlines how the project fits within the research priorities at the Faculty (maximum 1 page). 
  • Documentation of English level: Documentation of English level can for instance be documented by an excellent IELTS or TOEFL test.   

Submit your application electronically in Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, or English.   

University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding society and therefore encourages all interested parties regardless of personal background to apply for the position.

The recruitment process
Following the application deadline the Associate Dean of Research will pre-select PhD applications that will proceed to the assessment stage upon the recommendation of the Appointment Committee. Applicants are pre-selected for further assessment in line with the Faculty’s recruitment needs as described in this job advertisement. This is carried out based on the overall assessment of the applicant’s educational qualifications, the quality of the submitted research proposal and its relevance to the Faculty’s research agenda, and other relevant qualifications (e.g. relevant professional experience, any previous academic publications etc.). 

All applicants are then notified by the HR Centre as to whether their application has proceeded to the assessment stage. This assessment is carried out by an expert assessment committee. Selected applicants will be notified of the composition of the assessment committee. When the committee has completed its assessment, each applicant can comment on the assessment. A number of qualified applicants will be invited for an interview. 

Terms of employment
Successful candidate will be employed in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations and the Ministry of Finance concerning the salary of PhD students. If you are offered a PhD position, you will receive a regular monthly salary in accordance with Danish law and you will be entitled to an annual research budget. The salary range starts at DKK 30,716 (EUR approx. 4,150) per month before taxes. The Faculty does not provide accommodation. 
The PhD student has a work obligation of up to 840 hours over the 3-year period without additional pay. The work obligation can include for instance teaching. 

General information about the PhD programme and the requirements can be found here:

For further information about the position, please contact Associate Professor Beatriz Martinez Romera, e-mail:

Further information about the recruitment process is available from HR, e-mail:

Closing date for applications
The closing date for applications is 30 June 2024, 23:59 CEST.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. If all the required documents are not applied, your application will be rejected. 

Interviews are expected to take place mid-August.

University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding society and therefore encourages all interested parties regardless of personal background to apply for the position.


The Faculty of Law is one of six faculties at the University of Copenhagen. The Faculty carries out research, education and knowledge dissemination within the area of law. Research is partly organized in research centres and groups with focus on thematic areas of interest. The Faculty employs about 135 full time researchers and approx. 60 PhD students as well as approx. 80 administrative staff members. In addition, approx. 400 part-time lecturers teach on the legal programmes on which approx. 4,500 students are enrolled. See the Faculty website: for more information.


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 30-06-2024
Employment start: 01-10-2024
Department/Location: Faculty of Law
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