Application window open from 1 November – 1 February

The EDLE programme continues in the safest possible conditions for all concerned. During the start of the COVID19 pandemic there was no mandatory mobility. As COVID19 measures have been mostly abolished in the programme countries, all activities will be offered offline again from 2022 onwards. For participants unable to leave their countries of residence due to COVID19 measures, hybrid education is offered.

Who can apply?

Admission to the programme is open to applicants with a diploma or a bachelor and master degree in law or economics or a relevant field, or an equivalent university degree (second cycle qualification). Applicants have to comply with partner universities’ requirements for admission to doctoral studies.

EDLE is a structured programme in the economic analysis of law on a doctoral level. Therefore, previous knowledge in the field of Law & Economics is required. If you lack specific knowledge on the economic analysis of law, you should consider applying for the EMLE programme, where this knowledge can be acquired (see

We can not give individual advice on eligibility.

Applications must be submitted via our applications portal.

All documents shall be handed in in English. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

The applicant must provide the following documents via the application portal:

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1. CV with information on academic, professional and other education (Europass model)

Please use this template.
Instructions for using the Europass CV here.
Please name the file: “[family name]_[forename]CV.doc” (e.g. young_neilCV.doc).

2. Transcript of records

Applicants who expect to graduate before mid July of the year of their application can also apply for admission. They can be conditionally admitted to the programme under the deferring condition that we ultimately receive the official copy of the diploma by July 20th of the year of their application (e.g. applicants for 2023 who will graduate by July 2023 can apply for the EDLE programme starting in October 2023).

All applicants are admitted conditionally on the legal validity of their second-cycle degree, which is officially declared by the Italian Authorities in their own country. Once (conditionally) admitted to the programme, applicants shall immediately apply for the “Dichiarazione di valore” from the Italian Consulate in the country where the degree was issued.

All selected candidates shall hand in legalized copies of their diplomas and transcripts.

Please scan the transcripts and send them as a PDF file. Maximum size: 500 KB
Please name the file: “[family name]_[forename]TRANS.pdf” (e.g. young_neilTRANS.pdf).

3. Letter of motivation with a prospective research proposal

In the letter of motivation, applicants are expected to explain why they are interested in Law and Economics in general and the EDLE programme in particular. Please use this Template to write a research proposal for the PhD project.

Suggestions for (but not limited to) Research Topics can be found here: BolognaHamburgRotterdam, Rennes1

Please send the letter of motivation and the research proposal as two separate PDF files. Maximum size: 500 KB each.
Please name the file: [family name]_[forename]MOT.pdf (e.g. young_neilMOT.pdf) resp. [family name]_[forename]RESPROP.pdf.

4. Certificate of English proficiency (FCE, CAE, CPE, BEC, British Chamber of Commerce, Trinity College, TOEFL, IELTS) in case the applicant’s native language is not English

Only applicants who studied for a period of at least 2.5 years in the following countries do not need to submit the certificate: UK, USA, Canada (except for Quebec), Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa. All other applicants have to submit a certificate of English proficiency.

Accepted certificates include:
– Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English: Grades A, B
– Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English: Grades A, B, C
– IELTS (academic module): minimum score of 7
– TOEFL (International, not institutional) internetbased: minimum score 95

Please note that expired certificates can be accepted as well if they have not been expired for more than three years.

Please scan the certificate and send it as a PDF file. Maximum size: 500 KB
Please name the file: “[family name]_[forename]ENG.pdf” (e.g. young_neilENG.pdf).

5. Academic work, if available (at most two papers)

Please note that we need the paper itself, and not just a link.

Please send them as PDF files. Maximum total size: 1000 KB

Please name the file: “[family name]_[forename]AC1.pdf” and “[family name]_[forename]AC2.pdf]
(e.g. young_neilAC1.pdf and young_neilAC2.pdf).

6. Copy of valid ID

Please scan a copy of the photo page and send it as a PDF file. Maximum total size: 500 KB.

Please name the file: “[family name]_[forename]PASS.pdf” (e.g. young_neilPASS.pdf).

7. Two letters of recommendation

In our submission portal, applicants can invite referees. Consequently, these referees receive a link that allows them to digitally fill out the recommendation form.

Reference letters should be submitted no later than the date of the application deadline.

8. Students with special needs

Please explain in detail your special needs (e.g. disability, very large family, etc.), if any.

Please name the file “[family name]_[forename]specialneeds.pdf”.

Relevant certificates may be requested at a later stage.

Admission and expenses

Applicants will be selected on the basis of their academic merit and their capability of carrying out high-level scientific research activities in the field of the economic analysis of law, and in compliance with the regulations. Good knowledge of English is a prerequisite.
In order to acquire additional information, the Joint Selection Committee may interview short-listed applicants. The consortium follows a non-discrimination admission policy and strive for a gender balanced admission.
All applicants will receive an email stating about their admission status (admitted/rejected) and, if applicable, their scholarship nominations and assigned home university. No individual ranking will be communicated.



Applicants to the EDLE programme may be granted a scholarship. Conditional on the approval of the partner universities’ management, 6-7 scholarships will be offered by the partner universities.

The University of Hamburg provides up to two scholarships through the Graduate School Scholarship Programme of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Scholarship by the University of Bologna

The Department of Economics of the University of Bologna is able to offer a further scholarship for the EDLE. This scholarship is offered within the Ph.D in economics, curriculum EDLE. For more information about the application procedure and application deadline:

Scholarship by the University of Rennes1

The University of Rennes1 offers a further scholarship for the EDLE every other year. The next scholarship will be offered for the programme starting October 2023.

Participation in the EDLE with private/alternative funding

A limited number of places is available in the EDLE for participants with private/alternative funding (hereby taking into account the (balance between) research topics, the availability of supervisors etc.)
All applicants will be considered for the available scholarships. However, if applicable, please indicate if you can also join the EDLE with private/alternative funding and add to your application a proof of financial sustainability (f.i. copy of external scholarship, bank statement), both for the tuition fees and the living expenses for at least the first year. Please be aware that you will have to meet the minimum living fees required in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

We can not advise in finding alternative funding.


Tuition fees and waivers

The participation fee for Doctoral Candidates amounts to € 3600 per year, independently of the country of origin. This fee is waived for candidates with scholarships granted by the Italian Minister of Education, the DAAD or by the Partners. The EDLE Board can decide upon a (partial) waiver in exceptional cases, which has to be requested (by the candidate) to the Board in a motivated email. The Board may decide to give a (partial) waiver for the second (and third) year if there is sufficient progress after the first year.


Living fees

Approximate living expenses can be taken from the tables below.



See: Living costs in Bologna



Room (shared apartment) 300 – 500 €
Room (student hall) Approx. 350 €
Food 250 – 300 €
Health insurance 80 €
Work/study materials 20 €
Other expenses 150 – 200 €
Total 800 – 1100 €

Some prices of basic products (estimates) in EUR:

1 loaf of bread 2 -3 €
1 kg apples 1.99 €
1 kg potatoes 0.99 €
1 litre milk 0.90 €
1 bottle of mineral water (0,75 Liter) 0.80 €
1 cup of coffee (at a café) 2.50 €
1 glas of beer (at a bar) 4 €
1 pizza (at a restaurant) 10 €
1 ticket for the theatre (reduced fare) 8 – 30 €
prepaid tariffs cell phones 0.10 € per minute and SMS
Meal in mensa 2 – 4 €
Dinner at restaurant 15 € – 30 €
Club entrance 5 – 10 €
Gym membership 35 €
Cinema 6 – 10 €


For an overview of the living expenses see:



Accommodation (furnished, including (shared or individual) utilities) 500 – 700 €
Daily expenses (food, drinks, clothes, going out, public transport, etc.) 450 €
Insurance 100 €
Total 1.050 – 1.250 €


Some prices of basic products (estimates) in EUR:

Bicycle (secondhand) 75 – 125 €
Cup of tea or coffee in a café 3.50 €
Cheese sandwich 5 €
Big Mac 4.5 €
Meal in a typical student restaurant 15.00 €
Cinema 15 €

The EDLE Faculty has the ability to supervise any Law & Economics research topic. Applicants may formulate research proposals in areas of interest for interdisciplinary Law & Economics research. However, on the following sites the EDLE Partner Universities suggest subject areas and specific topics for doctoral research. It is a strong belief shared by all Partner Universities that successful doctorate research in large part depends on a continuing and intense exchange with a team of expert supervisors.

Please take into account that formulating a proposal in one of the subject areas listed by the Partner Universities here can increase your chances to be selected as a new EDLE candidate.

EDLE presents a combination of course work and research. The curriculum is devised to provide advanced and challenging education both to lawyers and economists. Where applicable/possible candidates will be able to choose between basic and advanced courses depending on their educational background.

EDLE Empirical Track
Even though the EDLE programme is open for different types of research, including theoretical and conceptual, we also offer an Empirical Legal Studies track. Empirical research is becoming more and more prevalent in legal scholarship. Although theory is important in the economic analysis of law, some questions require an evidence-based approach that would test the theories. The aim of the EDLE Empirical Track is to provide the PhD researchers with the necessary tools to understand empirical studies, to develop a critical perspective on such methods and finally, to conduct their own empirical research. This track is designed both for lawyers and for economists. Lawyers without prior background in statistical analysis will attend introductory courses before continuing to empirical studies. Economists, even with background in statistics, will benefit from this track by learning how to apply those methods to legal questions.

Research Topics
The EDLE network counts on a large faculty able to offer supervision on a very large set of topics. Depending on the academic background, the thesis can be more economically or legally oriented. Some theses are rather theoretically focused, others more policy-oriented and some are empirical. Research topics may be proposed by the candidate or by the faculty. More detailed information on research topics of interest to the Partner Universities can be found here.
From the first day onwards the candidates start working on their thesis, based upon the research proposal on the basis of which they were admitted to the EDLE programme. The candidate is assigned a (provisional) supervisor who will help to identify (and in many cases narrow down) a suitable thesis topic.

EDLE Academic Calendar (full cycle of the programme)

Time Location Programme  
September 1st year Bologna Arrival in Bologna and preparatory courses on a voluntary base
Upon arrival The candidate is assigned a (provisional) supervisor who will help to identify a suitable thesis topic
October – March 1styear Bologna Research + taught courses
By December at the latest The candidate has decided the thesis topic and is assigned two supervisors.
November 1st year Bologna Introduction meeting with partner universities &

Attending 3rd year seminar

March 1styear Bologna Presentation final research proposal that includes a clearly defined research issue, research question, chosen methodology and a literature survey
April – July 1styear Hamburg Research + EDLE Empirical course + Summer School
June / July 1st year Hamburg Presentation introduction chapter (introduction, problem definition, research question, limitations, methodology, scientific and societal relevance, preliminary bibliography) + summary of each planned content chapter
September – March 2nd year Rotterdam Research + EDLE Empirical course + academic writing course + EDLE seminars + topical seminars (publication strategy and presentation skills) + BACT and other relevant seminars
October / December 2nd year Rotterdam Presentation (new) content chapter
January / March 2ndyear Rotterdam Presentation (new) content chapter
March 2ndyear Attending joint seminar (Maastricht/Rotterdam/Paris)
From April 2nd year onwards Home university Research + presentation of research results
November 3rd year Bologna Presentation (new) content chapter at 3rd year seminar
March 3rdyear Presentation (new) content chapter at joint seminar (Maastricht/Rotterdam/Paris)
From October 3rd year onwards Rotterdam Defending thesis in Rotterdam



In their first semester, students attend advanced courses in Law & Economics at the University of Bologna.  The mandatory curriculum includes the following courses: Introduction to Law and Economics, Introductory Statistics, Experimental Economics, Modelling Private Law, Behavioural Law and Economics and Enforcement Mechanisms, Law and Economic Development, Behavioural Game Theory, and Introduction to European Competition Law. Candidates can choose to attend additional courses such as Mathematics, Microeconomics, Econometrics, and Financial Economics.
All courses require class work and participation, with assignments and presentations, and a final test. Candidates also attend Law & Economics seminars held by international scholars.

The curriculum will be focused on the individual student’s needs. The EDLEs can, on a voluntary basis, take all courses offered by the School of Economics.


In the second semester student move to Hamburg for the summer school.

From mid-June to July, the doctoral candidates will participate in the four-week long Summer School in Law and Economics, a lecture series held by internationally renowned scholars. Doctoral candidates will participate in all activities offered by the Summer School programme. Topics represent research challenges of fundamental or current interest in the field of Law and Economics. Within this Summer School, EDLE candidates have the opportunity to build-up an international research network with leading scholars.


In addition, doctorate students are welcome to attend the Hamburg Lectures in Law and Economics, a lecture series that takes place every Wednesday evening during the semester. The lectures, held by internationally renowned researchers from Germany and abroad, deal with current research results in the field of economic analysis of law and address a broad audience through their interdisciplinary approach.


During the first semester of the second year, from September to March, candidates attend and actively take part in the cycle of seminars and courses scheduled at the Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics (RILE). The format of these seminars includes a presentation of one or two candidates of their work in progress, (written) peer feedback and the discussion by a senior staff member of the faculty/institute/department, preferably (where possible) a leading researcher in the field. The mandatory courses may vary, but will include courses to (further) develop soft skills, Advanced Data Analysis, and Advanced Empirical Methods Research Design. In March the candidates take part in the Joint Seminar and give a poster presentation.


After one and a half years, candidates will move to their home universities, depending on their field of specialization. The remaining time in the programme is spent in close contact with the supervisors in Bologna, Hamburg, Rennes1 or Rotterdam.  In certain cases and under special conditions, in consultation with the supervisors and after approval by the EDLE board  it is also possible to spend one or two semesters elsewhere.

As mentioned above, on top of the coursework, candidates start working on their thesis from the inception.
The defence procedure can take up to approx. six months after completion of the draft manuscript. The general timetable is provided below.


Thesis defence – general timetable


Thesis final draft manuscript + propositions and mandatory annexes sent to supervisors for approval
8 weeks later Thesis final manuscript (approved by the promotors) sent to inner committee
6 weeks later Deliberation deadline inner committee
Time for finalizing the manuscript before it’s sent to the printer
5 weeks later Thesis to printer & plenary committee
After approval of the thesis and the plenary committee and by the registrar a date for the defence can be set by the promotors in consultation with the defendant and the plenary committee
5 weeks later Thesis book ready (sent to committee members, registrar, etc)
5 weeks later Defence date in Rotterdam



The EDLE is a joint doctorate programme with joint supervision and close monitoring. Participants are asked to send bi-annual updates to their supervisors on their progress, activities undertaken during the past six months and the planning for the next six months. Furthermore, the general planning of the individual PhD trajectory is checked (on feasibility) and adjusted where necessary. The document for reporting the individual research progress will be completed gradually during the PhD.


Monitoring – yearly general timetable


December PhD Progress report
January Supervisors report
February Evaluation individual progress EDLE board meeting
September PhD Progress report
October Supervisors report
November Evaluation individual progress EDLE board meeting & admittance to the next year
After termination of the scholarship:
December Annual general (short) report
January Update by supervisors

Arun Kumar Kaushik

wrote his thesis on ‘A Law and Economics Analysis of Trade Secrets: Optimal Scope of Law, Misappropriation and Alternative Damages Regimes’ in 2015 and is currently working as an Assistant Professor at Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, O.P. Jindal Global University in Haryana, India.

“Getting admitted to the EDLE program was one of the best things that ever happened to me. In addition to the academic excellence that is the foundation of the program, the international exposure it entails is simply commendable. Having experienced the socio-economic culture of three different countries, I gained an international perspective. It helped me to analyse issues with a global perspective. It also gave me an opportunity to attend various conferences of international importance.”



Hanneke Luth

wrote her thesis on ‘Behavioural economics in consumer policy’, published in the Series European Studies on Law & Economics, Intersentia, Antwerp, in 2010. Hanneke is working as a self-employed management and strategy consultant, specialising in cyber and information security issues.

“Being part of the EDLE group enables you to discuss your research with like-minded people from all over the world. Your academic skills will be broadened not only in regard to your own research topic, but in the entire field of Law & Economics. My research on the Regulation of Consumer Protection has brought me to a number of academic conferences and also to meetings at the European Commission. For me, deciding to participate in the EDLE programme was one of the best decisions I ever made. The EDLE is full of opportunities. It is up to you to take full advantage.”


Sofia Amaral-Garcia

defended her thesis ‘Quantifying the Economics of Medical Malpractice: A view from a civil law perspective’ on 29 November 2011 and currently holds a Post-Doc at the Professorship for Law at the ETH Zurich.

“The EDLE program has definitely changed my life. While I was doing my PhD I was able to discuss research ideas, present my work, and attend several international conferences. I was also very fortunate: being part of the EDLE gave me the opportunity to discuss with leading scholars, see the work they are doing, going to conferences and being introduced to the fascinating world of Law & Economics. Moreover, having colleagues from so many different countries is an amazing experience. This was a unique opportunity!”



Alexander Vasa

successfully defended his thesis on ‘The Effectiveness of the Clean Development Mechanism – A law and economics analysis’ in 2012.

“The EDLE programme enabled me to have the freedom to research and to discuss my work with critical thinkers within and outside of the EDLE community. During the programme I was able to gain practical experience, as well as to apply this experience in a theoretical framework. EDLE provided me with the opportunity to present my research at international conferences in France, Hungary, Italy and Switzerland just to name a few. Further it gave me the chance of participating in several summer schools held by top professors in the fields of competition, regulation, international law and economics, as well as empirical methods. I am glad that I participated in the EDLE. The new structure seems even to multiply the opportunities for new students.”




Elena Reznichenko-Kantorowicz

wrote her thesis on ‘Cost-Effective Criminal Enforcement: A Law and Economics Approach’ in 2015 and is currently working as a researcher and lecturer at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

“Taking part in the EDLE programme gave me a great opportunity to conduct my research in the area of economic analysis of criminal law. During this programme I received a lot of support and guidance from outstanding professors and peers. It enabled me to present my ideas in different conferences to a multidisciplinary audience. This experience enriched my knowledge and understanding of this fascinating field of research.”





Ayman Fouda

Ayman Fouda defended his thesis titled “Multi-Principal Agency and the Compliance with Professional Guidelines in Health Systems: Economic and Regulatory Perspectives” in 2022 and is currently working as an assistant professor (FH) at MCI | THE ENTREPRENEURIAL UNIVERSITY GROUP®.

“The EDLE program enabled me to research how legal and financial tools can regulate physicians’ clinical decisions in health markets. The program allowed me to explore different academic cultures and, more importantly, to develop my empirical knowledge and skills almost from scratch. I was lucky to work, meet, and connect with some brilliant minds across the EDLE universities whose comments and remarks on my research were pivotal for my development as a researcher.”



Chih-Ching Lan

Chih-Ching Lan defended her thesis on ‘A Law and Economic Analysis of Policy Instruments to Prevent Deforestation and Forest Degradation in the Tropics’ in 2019 and is currently working as a Sustainability Project Manager at an offshore wind developer.

“The EDLE programme provided an enabling environment to strengthen my research focus and expertise in the field of Environmental Law and Economics. During the years in EDLE, not only did I receive strong guidance and support, but also there were valuable opportunities and sufficient autonomy to explore and grow as an independent researcher. I traveled to numerous European countries for conferences and seminars but also had the chance to visit places such as Jakarta and Yaoundé. The program moreover presented a broad multidisciplinary network, which was an ideal place for me to integrate and formulate sustainability research with other important adjacent field of studies. EDLE advanced my professionalism and competence that are fundamental for my subsequent career development.”


Bryan Khan

defended his thesis titled ‘An Economic Analysis of the Intellectual Property Rights of Broadcasting Organisations’ in 2019. He is currently working as a legal researcher with the University of Turin, and is an independent consultant in Intellectual Property.

“Choosing the EDLE programme was one of the best academic decisions I ever made, and opened so many new doors – both in terms of career opportunities and intellectual curiosity. The fascinating thing about Law and Economics is that since its scholarly methodology can be applied to such a wide range of topics and issues, graduate research in this field truly expands one’s portfolio and skillset no matter what niche you specialise in for your own research. During my time at EDLE, I had the opportunity to learn from so many great economists and legal experts, all while maintaining remarkable flexibility to craft my own research path. Needless to say that this is much enhanced by the multicultural and international environment of the programme, which embraces diversity and inclusion.”