The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded London Interdisciplinary Social Science (LISS) Doctoral Training programme (DTP) (a partnership of Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), King’s College London and Imperial College), is funding a 4 year studentship (1 year MRes programme + 3 year PhD) at the Insurance Law Institute, Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS) at QMUL, in partnership with Lloyd’s of London, to commence in October 2017, to support research in the field of insurance and IT law. Specifically, the successful candidate is expected to complete a doctoral research project titled “Distributed Ledger Technologies and Smart Contracts: Challenges and Opportunities for the London Insurance Market”.
Topic of Research
Distributed ledger technologies (DLT), of which the block-chain is one protocol, have caused a stir in financial circles in view of the wide range of opportunities they offer for business development. This great potential extends to the insurance sector, an intermediary-led and direct sale market where business-to-customer relations may be greatly facilitated and enhanced by the use of these new technologies. At the same time, the use of these technologies may carry with it implications in both the sphere of private law (contractual relations) as well as that of public law and policy (regulation).
The successful candidate will be required to conduct doctoral research with 3 aims:
- To identify and describe potential uses of DLT and smart contracts in insurance with a focus on the London Insurance Market
- To assess the challenges that would be faced in implementing the use of these new technologies, integrating them into existing processes and potentially using them to design new and more efficient processes;
- To examine the legal and regulatory implications of using these technologies. The project will be undertaken with the support of Lloyd’s of London, the insurance market, QMUL’s CASE partner for this project, giving the researcher access to a wealth of market knowledge and practical experience of the insurance business.
The successful candidates will undertake research for a PhD degree within the field of Insurance and IT law under the supervision of Dr Miriam Goldby and Professor Christopher Reed.
The question to be answered by this research project is as follows: How can DLT enhance business processes within the London Insurance Market and what are the legal and regulatory implications of using DLT in this context?
About the award
- The award will cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate, and provide an annual stipend of £16,553 per year.
- Only applicants to our MRes in International Economic Law will be eligible to be considered for this award, and the recipient for the award will first take and complete the MRes programme before commencing the 3-year PhD programme. However, applicants who have met the ‘Foundation Training Requirements’ in social science research training of the LISS DTP scheme already via previous degrees taken may be eligible to start directly on the PhD programme, and not take the MRes degree. However, firstly, all applicants must apply via the MRes route initially. Secondly, to be eligible to start directly on the PhD programme, an applicant must also have met that programme’s academic entry requirements (meaning they must hold a Post-graduate degree in Law, such as an LLM, and have gained a Pass with Distinction (or equivalent grade, for non-UK degrees).
- The award is renewable over four years of study while in full-time enrolment. For MRes students, to progress to the PhD they must obtain a Merit in their MRes, and for PhD students, progression is subject to satisfactory annual progress reports;
- The studentships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence. The application process for these awards is highly competitive.
- Shortlisted candidates will be required to attend an interview.
- For information about the LISS DTP ESRC CASE Studentships, please see their webpage (from which you can also download the relevant ‘LISS DTP Case for Support’ application form)
- For information on how to make an application to the MRes in International Economic Law, what the programme’s entry requirements are and what supporting documentation is required, please see the webpage.
- Please note, by clicking on the ‘full-time study’ button on the right hand side of this screen, applicants can then go directly to the on-line application portal and complete the application.
- If you have any queries relating to the funding application process, please e-mail the School of Law PhD/MRes Admissions Administrator, Mr G Skehan, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you have any queries in relation to the nature of the research question required, please contact Dr Miriam Goldby, at email@example.com.
The Application Process
- Applicants must submit, by the deadline date:
- An application to the MRes programme in International Economic Law;
- All required supporting documents as part of this, which are:
- Applicants are requested to submit a research proposal (of 2-3,000 words maximum). This would outline how you would answer the research question via 3 years of doctoral research, and would include information on how you would research this question – your research design and methodology. The 1000 word count does not include the bibliography or title.
- A Statement of Purpose
- Transcripts from any under-graduate or post-graduate degrees in Law taken
- 2 references – at least one of which must be from a staff member who taught you on more recent course of study
- In addition, applicants must submit (either via e-mail or uploaded to their MRes application) a completed LISS DTP Case for Support’ application form. This form can be downloaded from:
- The award is for postgraduate research students only, who will reside in or around the London area for the duration of their doctoral studies;
- The award is open to applicant’s wishing to study on either a part-time or full-time basis (although the School of Law would prefer applications for full-time study). In both cases, a fee waiver is provided – for part-time students, the stipend is provided on a pro-rata basis.
- To be considered, an applicant must have submitted an application (and uploaded all required supporting documentation) to our MRes in International Economic Law programme by the time of the funding deadline
- The applicant must meet the QMUL academic entry requirements for the MRes in International Economic Law. These require applicants to gain a first class (1:1) honours degree (preferred) or very high 2:1 honours under-graduate degree in law. Ideally, the candidate should also have an MA or LLM in Law, and have gained a Distinction overall.
- In addition, applicants should have a working knowledge of computer science and information technology as an academic subject area.
- Existing PhD students who have already enrolled prior to September are not eligible to apply for the award.
- The applicant must also meet the residential eligibility requirements of the ESRC LISS DTP funding scheme. Information on these requirements can be found on their webpage.
- To be eligible for a full award (including a fee waiver and a stipend), the applicant must:
- Have settled status in the UK, meaning there are no restrictions on how long they can stay.
- Have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the studentship grant (i.e. September 2017). This means applicants must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences).
- To be eligible for a fees only award (with no stipend), an applicant must:
- Be ordinarily resident in an EU member state, in the same way as UK students must be ordinarily resident in the UK
- Thus, applicants who are classed as ‘overseas’ or ‘international’ for fees purposes are not eligible for these funding awards.
The deadline for Studentship applications to the School of Law is Wednesday 6 September 2017.
You must have submitted both your application to the MRes programme (including all required supporting documents) and your ESRC LISS DTP Collaborative (CASE) Studentship 2017-18 Application form by this date.