Rules & Format

Closely modeled on the Yale/Stanford Junior Faculty Forum devised by Alan Schwarz (Yale Law School) and Ronald Gibson (Stanford Law School), the Annual Junior Faculty Forum for International Law involves an annual competition open to all international legal scholars who are in no more than their sixth year of an academic position. This means that applicants must belong full-time to an academic institution anywhere in the world. Those who are engaged in full-time Ph.D. study programs are not eligible to apply; the Forum has, however, admitted applications from those who are registered full-time on post-doctorial fellowship programs.

Applications can be made irrespective of the position or title within the institution (member of academic staff, research fellow, postdoctorate, etc.) or the tenure status of the applicant. Certain exceptional circumstances (e.g. career break, maternity leave) might entitle an applicant to special dispensation in respect of the six-year eligibility rule, but these will need to be specified in the cover letter that accompanies their application.

Potential applicants are strongly advised to ensure that they meet both of these eligibility requirements—full-time employment by an academic institution and no more than the sixth year of their academic career—before proceeding any further. Where joint applications are made, the applicants must make sure that each of the applicants satisfies the eligibility criteria.

The Forum welcomes applications from international lawyers not teaching in law schools (e.g. political science, history, international relations, etc.): from its beginnings, it has adopted a pluralistic philosophy on both the materia and the methodologies of writing and research in the discipline of (public) international law.

In bringing successful applicants together, the specific purpose of the Forum is to pair each junior faculty member with a senior scholar in the field in order that the senior scholar may critically and constructively discuss the paper that has been prepared for presentation at the Forum, as well as open the paper up to a broader discussion within the Forum. The format of the Forum is that successful applicants will be allocated thirty minutes to present their work that has been previously circulated to all participants of the Forum; the senior scholar will then provide twenty minutes of response with a further twenty-five minutes devoted to a general discussion of the presentation by the entire Forum. The intention is to create a process of sustained exchange and interaction, as well as to contribute to the intellectual development of the junior faculty selected in any given year. Applicants must be made aware that work submitted as part of the Forum process must not have been published or submitted for publication prior to the Forum (i.e. in June 2020).

There is no restriction on the topics that may be proposed for presentation at the Forum—although these must be rooted in the common denominator of (public) international law (which will be broadly defined for this exercise). No application, however, must involve or relate to work that has already been published, or that has already been accepted for publication: the idea of the Forum is to test and cultivate new lines of research inquiry and investigation, where successful applicants are given the opportunity to present their work before an intimate and specialized audience.

Importantly, applicants must be made aware that if they are selected for the Forum, they will be responsible for their own travel to and from Beijing, airport transfers, as well as accommodation in the city for at least three nights in June 2020 (i.e. June 28, 29 and 30, 2020; the additional day is anticipated because of the welcome reception that is hosted the evening before the Forum starts). As is usual practice, the convenors shall endeavour to secure preferential rates at a local hotel which will be designated as the venue for all selected junior faculty and, in terms of budget planning, applicants are advised that accommodation costs for these three nights shall be in the region of USD400.00. Finances should be sought from the applicant’s own faculty or institution, or from independent sources; the convenors will be more than happy to supply letters of support in this regard and the timetable allows sufficient time for such financial support to be sought. Please also make appropriate enquires for any visa applications and other paperwork, travel insurance etc., that will need to be made.

In exceptional circumstances of financial need, there is a possibility that one of two awards of no more than US$700.00 will be made by the Forum to applicants who set out in clear terms, and provide supporting evidence for, their need and do so in the cover letter that accompanies their applications (as set out in Procedure). This Fund has been very kindly organized this year by WANG Yi, Professor of Civil and Commercial Law and the Dean of Renmin Law School.

Finally, successful applications to the Forum will not be able to defer participation from one year to the next. The Forum is also unable to accept applications from those who have already presented their work at the Forum.