Pre-doctoral preparation program

You are a Sciences Po Law School student, currently registered in the M1 or doing a gap year. You are interested in legal research. You are considering a career in academia and research, but you are not sure whether this is the right choice for you. Sciences Po Law School offers you the opportunity to participate in the Pre-Doctoral Preparation Program (PIR).

What is it ?

This program intends to help you to produce a research thesis on a specific subject chosen by you. A professor who specializes in this particular subject will supervise you. During the second year of the master, you’ll have fewer courses to give you time to write your thesis. You will be invited to events organized by the Law School PhD Program (seminars, symposiums, the intensive doctoral week, etc.).

Your can build on your thesis if you decide to apply to a doctoral program (either at Sciences Po or elsewhere).

When and how do I apply?

If you want to participate in the PIR, you must contact Zina Osmani and Dina Waked and send them :

  • A resume
  • A cover letter explaining why you are applying, and which law field you want to explore in your thesis
  • Your grades in law courses you have already completed

You can apply to be part of the program, while in your M1 or during your gap year, either in January or June. The two deadlines for  admission are January 15th or June 10th.  You will be called in for an interview once youapplication and then notified by email regarding your admission in the program (which is not automatic) and notified of the name of your supervisor.

What are my obligations?

You will follow courses provided by the course list of your master's program and you may be able to select other courses depending on your study objectives after approval from your advisor (and provided that there is availability).

You are required to attend a methodology seminar course taught by Professor Xifaras, unless you have scheduling conflict with other courses. 

To not participate in the Moot, Jessup, Clinic.

During your M1 year you will participate in one reunion with all PIR students with Professor Dina Waked to be provided with all necessary information about the program.

During your M2, you can reduce your course-load by two electives per semester to allow you to write your master's thesis. At the beginning of your M2 year you will have one reunion with all PIR students in September to organize you into writing groups paired with current PhD students at the Law School. These writing groups will meet over the M2 year for 4-5 meetings to help you with the writing of your thesis.

To Defend :

Your master’s thesis will be between 80-120 pages and will be defended at the latest at the end of May of your M2 year, if you need the 10 credits of the PIR for your Sciences Po Diploma. To prepare for your defense, you need to send the thesis at least 3 weeks before your scheduled defense date to your jury members and a copy to Zina Osmani. You select a jury of 2-3 members from Sciences Po or outside. You need to inform Zina Osmani of your scheduled defense date and jury members at the latest 3 weeks before the scheduled date.

During the defense, you will present your work in 10-15 minutes followed by questions from the jury members. Following a successful defense, you will obtain a Certificate of Pre-Doctoral Preparation mentioning the curriculum that you followed.

Attention, your defense replaces your Grand O and therefore needs to take place before the 31st of May. 

If you abandon the program after the 30th of September of your M2 year, it will result in a failure appearing on your transcript.