Applications open for Jacobson Scholarship in International Law

Tuesday 20 December 2022


St Catharine’s is pleased to invite applications from current and prospective postgraduate students for its Jacobson Scholarship in International Law by 31 March 2023.

Alumnus Alex Jacobson (1968, Law) left a generous bequest to St Catharine’s to further the study of international law. The College established the Jacobson Fund in his honour, which continues to support scholarships for postgraduate students of public or private international law at the University of Cambridge. The Jacobson Scholarship, which is currently in the region of £25,000 per annum for a single doctoral scholar, is renewable for two further years on evidence of satisfactory progress.

Applicants must submit an application to the University of Cambridge for doctoral or other postgraduate courses due to start no later than October 2023 before applying for the Jacobson Scholarship. In the case of candidates not already members of the College, preference will be given to those who designate St Catharine’s as their first choice on their university application.

Christian Delev
Christian Delev

Christian Delev successfully applied for a Jacobson Scholarship in 2020 and is now in the third year of his PhD in international trade law. His PhD thesis is on the topic of ‘Figments of Fragmentation in International Trade Law: Examining the Relationship between WTO Law and Regional Trade Agreements’. He explains:

“Having been born in Bulgaria and growing up in the Middle East, I recognised at a young age that local context can be shaped by international processes. It has been an exciting time to study international trade law as this topic is generating headlines and attracting attention after Brexit.

“The generous financial support from the Jacobson Scholarship has been a breath of fresh air to my studies. It has given me both a sense of security and the freedom to pursue my academic interests –wherever they take me.

“For anyone thinking about applying this year, I appreciate that the application process can be exciting and daunting in equal measure. I’d definitely recommend reaching out to someone who has already been through it to get insights that can improve your application. I’m certainly happy to be contacted if anyone wants to drop me an email.”

Christian was encouraged to apply for the Jacobson Scholarship by, among others, alumna Dr Rumiana Yotova (2010, Law). Dr Yotova was herself a Jacobson Scholar at St Catharine’s and is in the process of finalising the monograph based on her PhD thesis on ‘The Public Policy of International Law’. She is now Assistant Professor in International Law at the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Law, and Fellow and Director of Studies in Law at Gonville & Caius College. She adds:

Dr Rumiana Yotova
Dr Rumiana Yotova

“My dream to study International Law at Cambridge came about when I participated in the Jessup Moot Court Competition and met with Prof James Crawford who was one of the leading international lawyers in the world and the Whewell Chair in International Law in Cambridge. I wanted to do my doctoral work under his supervision. Despite the Arts and Humanities Research Council funding my university fees, this dream was still out of reach until I found out the Jacobson Scholarship would be enough to comfortably cover rent and other living expenses.

“Catz is a wonderful place to be as a postgraduate student so I strongly encourage all students in International Law to apply for its prestigious and generous Jacobson scholarship. In fact, the College is the reason for me still being at Cambridge so many years later and finding my true calling– rather than working at a firm or being called to the Bar – it was Professor Mark Elliott (1998) who asked me to supervise International Law for St Catharine’s which is how I discovered I wanted to be an academic.”

Dr Massimo Lando
Dr Massimo Lando

When there is an absence of suitable doctoral candidates, St Catharine’s may choose to use the Jacobson Fund to support other postgraduate degrees relating to public or private international law For example, alumnus Dr Massimo Lando (2013, Law) was awarded the Jacobson Scholarship for two successive courses: his LLM and also his PhD on the establishment of maritime boundaries under international law. He is now Assistant Professor at the City University of Hong Kong’s School of Law, and continues to have a special focus on the law of the sea and the settlement of international disputes by judicial process. He recalls:

“The Jacobson Scholarship meant a lot to both me and my family because we didn’t have to incur any debt during my time at Cambridge – I was able to supplement the Scholarship with additional funding from the Cambridge Trust and a paid role at the Faculty of Law. I am grateful to Catz for supporting my postgraduate studies, particularly the late Dr Philip Oliver (1988) who picked out my application for admission to the College in his role as Graduate Tutor, and Dr Peter Turner (2009) who awarded me the Jacobson Scholarship for both my LLM and PhD.

“As someone new to Cambridge, Catz offered me the chance to connect with brilliant people from a wide range of disciplines: from algebraic geometry to classic poetry. I was fortunate to forge life-long friendships within my first few months thanks to the close-knit postgrad community living in College accommodation on Barton Road. I wish future Jacobson Scholars an equally happy time at Catz.”

Visit the Jacobson Scholarship webpage for further details, including eligibility requirements and how to apply.