ILS Law and Society Graduate Fellows Program

About the Program

The Institute for Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin Law School sponsors the ILS Law and Society Graduate Fellows Program, a program for graduate students at UW-Madison. The program is cosponsored by the East Asian Legal Studies Center and the Global Legal Studies Center.

ILS Law and Society Graduate Fellows are doctoral (PhD and SJD) and advanced research students drawn from a range of disciplines across the UW-Madison campus, including (but not limited to) those in the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, International Studies, Schools of Public Health, Business, Education and Public Policy, as well as from the Law School.

The Fellows Program strives, in an interdisciplinary setting, to (1) enrich students’ understanding of important research topics and design/methodological issues and to expand their research skill set; (2) further develop students’ ability to critically evaluate their own research and that of their peers and other researchers; and (3) assist students in preparing for the dissemination of their research. These goals are achieved through meetings with graduate student peers and faculty Co-Directors, Professors Mitra Sharafi and Heinz Klug; attendance at research presentations; and presentations of students’ own work in a seminar setting.

The Fellows Program is a two-year program (subject to satisfactory performance).

The University of Wisconsin has long been associated with innovative empirical research on law, formalized with the founding of the Institute for Legal Studies in 1985. In establishing the Institute, the Law School sought to expand and institutionalize its longstanding "law in action" approach, which dates back to the early part of the twentieth century and remains vital to its mission. The Institute was created to foster the interdisciplinary study and teaching of law not only by providing support for its own faculty, but also by connecting to other departments on campus and by cultivating a network of scholars with similar interests worldwide.

Fellowship Benefits

1. Graduate Fellows are eligible to apply for a research fund of up to $1000 for research-related expenses or conference travel and registration fees associated with attending a conference and presenting a paper in the area of law and society. Examples of permissible research-related expenses include the purchase of data sets, transcription and/or coding costs, research-related travel costs, subject costs, copying expenses, computer software, etc. Salary may not be funded by the Fellowship.

2. Monthly Graduate Fellows Workshops led by faculty co-directors where Fellows present and discuss their research, discuss and receive mentoring on matters of professional interest, and host invited scholars. 

3. Opportunities for informal scholarly exchange with Fellows from other departments, with faculty members, and with visiting scholars doing research at the Law School.

Fellowship Responsibilities

1. Participate in all ILS Law and Society Fellows monthly workshops during the academic year, present research at one workshop and act as a discussant in at least one other workshop. The Monthly workshops will take place on Fridays from 2:00-4:00pm. If it is necessary to miss a session (for scholarly reasons or because of a personal emergency), Fellows are expected to inform the professor in charge of the workshop.

2. Provide written comments to each Fellow within a week of their research presentation.

3. Submit a brief (1 to 2 pages) research progress report within 60 days of the ending of the Fellowship period that explains how the funding was used during the Fellowship period and what grant proposals and/or fellowship applications have been completed to extend this research.

4. Provide the Institute for Legal Studies with an electronic version of work written during the support period.

5. Acknowledge the University of Wisconsin Law School and the Institute for Legal Studies in all written work that develops out of the Law and Society Graduate Fellowship. 

How to Apply for the Program


2018-2019 Program

2018-2019 Graduate Fellows

How to Apply for Research Funding (Graduate Fellows only)

Past Programs

2017-2018 Graduate Fellows

2016-2017 Graduate Fellows

Spring 2016 Graduate Fellows

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