PhD in Information Technology Law
It is possible to write a dissertation in the area of IT Law during your doctoral studies in Law. Read more about PhD studies in Law here.
PhD candidates will be enrolled in the PhD Programme at the School of Law. Upon completion of their studies and defence of their dissertations, the candidates will be awarded a PhD degree in Law.
We expect the applicants to have a deep interest in undertaking research on a specific problem in the area of IT Law and the ambition as well as ability to explore it on the highest academic level. The fellows will work as part of a team at the IT Law Programme of the University of Tartu, in collaboration with an interdisciplinary group of scholars from other universities and organizations.
- a monthly stipend in the amount of 660 euros,
- a friendly, inclusive, and inspiring environment for work, and
- an opportunity to take part in a great number of initiatives targeted for PhD candidates in Estonia and around the world.
The monthly stipend will be available during the nominal duration of the programme in case of full-time study. The nominal duration of study will be four years (2016-2020) being equivalent to 240 ECTS (credits) of which doctoral courses amount to 60 ECTS and the dissertation to 180 ECTS.
Applicants should hold a master degree in law or its equivalent. The language of the programme is English and the applicants should therefore have an excellent command of written and spoken English.
We expect successful candidates to:
- work full-time on their PhD research and studies during the first 2 years,
- be in residence in Tartu during that time, and
- defend their dissertations in 2020 at the latest.
While conducting their research, PhD Fellows will work in cooperation with their supervisor and co-supervisors. In the beginning of the first academic year of studies, PhD candidates and their supervisors draw up an individual study plan covering the entire period of the PhD studies. They also sign the PhD study agreement, which lays down the basic framework for the studies.
The University of Tartu is Estonia's leading research and development institution with more than 1400 Doctoral candidates conducting research at the university each year. More than 100 doctoral degrees are defended annually (more than half of the total number in Estonia). The University of Tartu belongs to the top 1% of the world's most-cited universities and research institutions in the fields of Clinical Medicine, Chemistry, Environment/Ecology, Plant and Animal Science, Geosciences, Social Sciences (general), Biology and Biochemistry and Engineering (ISI Web of Science 2013). A total of 20 of our scientist belong to the top 1% of most quoted scientists in the world. For general information on PhD studies at the University of Tartu please look here.
The applicants are required to submit:
- Online application;
- Research Proposal (in English, more details below);
- Letter or e-mail from the main supervisor confirming their willingness to supervise the prospective PhD candidate (in English, more details below);
- Curriculum vitae with a complete list of publications (in English, please include all information indicated here);
- Certified copies of diplomas and diploma supplements (i.e. transcripts or mark sheets) of the preceding study levels (both bachelor's and master's) in the original language*, **;
- Official translation of the diplomas and diploma supplements into English;
- Copy of the passport page stating the applicant's personal particulars.
* All copies of educational documents (diplomas and diploma supplements/academic transcripts) must be officially certified. This means that they should bear an original seal and a signature of an authorized official of the issuing school/university or be certified with an Apostille. Please see the country-specific requirements, which specify the way documents must be certified.
** Candidates, who have completed their previous studies at the University of Tartu in 2004 or later and whose study information is available for the admissions committee through the SIS (Student Information System) do not need to submit their diplomas and diploma supplements.
Please mail all documents listed under points 2-6 to International Student Service, University of Tartu, Ülikooli 18, Tartu 50090, Estonia. Additionally, we would ask you to submit the copies of the documents by e-mail to it.law [ät] ut.ee.
Applications will be assessed on the basis of:
- the Research Proposal and its feasibility (forming 60% of the final score) and
- the Entrance Interview (forming 40% of the final score).
The admissions committee will first evaluate the research proposals and assess their feasibility. The maximum amount of points given for the research proposal and entrance interview is 100, for each. For the result to be positive, the applicant must collect at least 50 points for each. The candidates who receive a positive result (i.e. 50 points out of 100) for the research proposal will be invited to the interview. After the interview, the points received both for the research proposal and the interview are summarised for calculating the final admissions score. In order to be considered for admission, the candidate must receive a minimum of 66,0 points. When calculating the final score, the points for the research proposal will count for 60% and the points for the interview for 40% of the final score.
We expect the PhD dissertations to be written on topics in the area of information technology law.
Each PhD candidate will be supervised by a committee consisting in at least 2 supervisors, where
- The main supervisor is a professor of the School of Law at the University of Tartu (prof. Jaan Ginter, prof. Irene Kull or prof. Karin Sein) and
- At least one of the supervisors is a scientist or expert educated in information technology and working in the field.
The applicants are required to submit a letter or forward an e-mail from their main supervisor confirming their willingness to supervise the prospective PhD candidate together their research proposal.
Research Proposals must include:
- Preliminary title of the dissertation;
- A well-defined research problem in the field of IT law and justification of the choice of topic;
- Preliminary structure of the dissertation;
- Short literature overview regarding the most relevant research in the field;
- Presentation of the research methodology;
- Preliminary list of relevant literature;
- Detailed timetable for completing the dissertation.
Entrance interviews are used to assess:
- Current importance of the proposed research;
- Significance of the proposed research for the field of law and for the field of information technology;
- Applicant’s expertise in the proposed field of research;
- Applicant’s motivation (especially the reasons for pursuing doctoral studies, the temporal perspective of completing the programme, and the applicant’s prospects for applying the acquired skills in the future).
The IT Law Programme of the University of Tartu conducts its activities in the framework of European Union Structural Funds programme “Increasing Digital Literacy” and is funded by the European Social Fund from 01.09.2015 to 31.08.2020.
Its purpose is to train highly qualified experts in Information Technology Law (IT Law) in the framework of MA, PhD and continuing education programmes at the University of Tartu.