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Intellectual Property PhD - Herchel Smith Scholarships


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New PhD students undertaking full-time research in the area of Intellectual Property (IP) can apply for a Herchel Smith Scholarship to start in the 2014-15 academic year. The award covers three years of study while in full time enrolment, subject to satisfactory annual progress reports.

The award will cover all tuition fees whether at the Home/EU rate or the overseas rate. It is therefore open to both UK and  non-EU applicants. In addition, an award of around £15,000 per year (reviewed annually) will be paid to the recipient on a monthly basis throughout the calendar year starting from September 2014.

What are Scholarship holders required to do?

Successful recipients of this award are not required to undertake any teaching or research assistant duties, but they are expected to participate in the Intellectual Property community at Queen Mary University of London.

Who can apply?

The Herchel Smith PhD Scholarship Programme recognises and supports exceptional full-time students who show the potential to make an outstanding contribution to intellectual property law. This programme supports PhD students in intellectual property law and those working at the intersection of intellectual property law and other areas of sciences and humanities.

The award is for new applicants who will enrol at the start of the coming academic year, in September 2014 (or, in exceptional circumstances, the following January 2015 – for example, for current UK LLM students who will only graduate in November 2014). Therefore, current PhD students who enrolled prior to September are not eligible to apply for the award.

The research topic should focus on one of the following themes:

IPRs and public international law/private international law; IPRs and intangible cultural/scientific heritage; IPRs and human rights; Doctrine of functionality; The role of intellectual property law in promoting and regulating art; intersection of international trade and intellectual property law (e.g. Patents and Trade in Stem Cells; Trade Marks and Tobacco Plain Packaging); intellectual property transactions (e.g. Licensing of Broadcasting Rights for Premier League matches); interrelationship of TRIPS with regional and national Law (e.g. TRIPS and the European Patent Convention); philosophy of intellectual property; primary and secondary markets in IP; Art 102 TFEU applied to "double identity" TM cases; property rights in persona; enforcement of IP; exhaustion and licensing.


The closing date for Herchel Smith scholarship award applications is Monday 2 June 2014 and decisions will be made in the following month.

Advice on applying

Herchel Smith Scholarship Application Advice Document

Read the Herchel Smith Scholarship Application Advice Document to find out what information you need to submit. There is not an application form, instead you will need to produce a two-page document (as described in the application advice document). 

We will only consider applications from applicants who have completed the application process for the law PhD programme and who have submitted all the required supporting documentation. This is because:

  1. Many of the documents submitted with the main application, including the Research Proposal, will be reviewed by the funding board when the final decision is made and,
  2. The School of Law will need to ascertain prior to the funding board decision if it is able to offer an applicant PhD supervision.
  3. An offer of funding can only be made to applicants who have provided application documentation showing they meet all of the PhD’s programme entry criteria.

PhD applications can take a long time to process, so we recommend that you complete the application process for admission as early as possible in order to receive a supervision decision before the Herchel Smith Scholarship deadline.

How to apply to the PhD

You should make sure that you read all the information on the PhD how to apply page before completing the online application process, and check that you meet all the entry criteria. To apply online go to the PhD online application page, choose your entry date from the links in the right hand column and follow the instructions.

Send your completed paper-based Herchel Smith Awards Research Proposal Outline only direct to the School of Law by email to: or by post to:

Mr Gareth Skehan, PhD Admissions Administrator,
School of Law, Queen Mary, University of London,
67-69 Lincoln's Inn Fields,
London WC2A 3JB

Contact us

If you have any queries relating to the PhD funding application process, please email the School of Law PhD Admissions Administrator, Mr G Skehan by email on

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