Ph.D. Programs

Summary of Regulations

Hebrew University – Doctoral Studies in Law (LL.D.)
Summary of Regulations

 

This document contains a summary of the main provisions of the Hebrew University and the Law Faculty Regulations governing studies for a doctorate in law (LL.D.). It is produced in order to inform non-Hebrew speaking applicants about the study procedures; only the Hebrew version of the Regulations is binding on the University and Faculty.

 

  1.  Nature and purpose of studies:

    LL.D. candidates studying for a doctorate in law are referred hereinafter as "research students." Their program of studies shall comprise of two main elements: 1) academic courses; 2) a scientific dissertation, referred to hereinafter as the "doctoral dissertation." A doctoral dissertation is a work of research, which makes an original and substantial contribution to the world of science. It shall be written in accordance with the structures, terminology and styles accepted in the relevant academic literature.

  2. The Authority for Research Students

    The Authority for Research Students (hereinafter "the Authority") is the University body responsible for overseeing the quality of the doctoral research work. It approves the proposed research plans, the academic courses taken by research students, the identity of supervisors, the composition of academic committees, decisions by academic committees and appeals thereon; it monitors the progress of the research work; it may terminate the studies of a research student; it appoints external referees to review the dissertation; and it confirms dissertations after considering the referees' written evaluations.

  3. The Committee for Graduate Studies

    The Committee for Graduate Studies (hereinafter "the Committee") is the Faculty body responsible for doctoral studies in the faculty of law.

  4. Admission of Research Students

    The Law Faculty offers three admission tracks for doctoral studies, each with its own specific eligibility conditions. The Committee will review applications of eligible candidates for all tracks and decide whether or not to recommend their admission to the Authority.

    a) Ordinary admission track, open for candidates who have graduated from the LLM program at Hebrew University and have written an LL.M. thesis, provided that their grade point average and their thesis evaluation grade are both 85% or more. Graduates of other universities will be considered as eligible if the Committee regards their academic achievements to be comparable to the aforementioned grade requirements. The Committee may also consider admitting students with a first degree in law (LL.B), who have completed a Master's degree in a field other than law, if they have written a thesis on a topic relevant for their proposed doctoral studies.

    In exceptional cases, the Committee may admit to the ordinary track candidates who have graduated from an LL.M. program without writing a thesis, if there is alternative proof of exceptional research capabilities.

    b) Direct studies track, open for candidates who have graduated from the LL.B. Program at Hebrew University with honors, and are among the top 20% of students graduating in the same year. The Committee may consider graduates of other law faculties, if it regards their academic achievements to be comparable to the aforementioned grade requirements. Direct studies track research students could proceed with their doctoral studies if they finish within one year after the date of admission a 24 credit program of preparatory studies (see below), with a grade point average of 88% or more (no less than 80% in any individual course). While engaged in preparatory studies, direct track students will be registered as LL.M. Students.

    Students who have completed the aforementioned 24 credit program may complete, if they so choose, the necessary course credit requirements which shall entitle them to obtain an LL.M. Degree.

    Academic committees assigning research students with courses as part of their doctoral studies may exempt direct studies track students from some or all of their courses on the basis of the aforementioned preparatory studies.

    c) Research fulfillment track, open for candidates with an LL.M. but without a thesis, whose grade point average is 85% or more. Research fulfillment students could proceed with their doctoral studies if they:

    i) complete within 18 months from the date of admission a 12 credit program of preparatory studies (see below) with a grade point average of 85% or more (no less than 80% in any individual course). While engaged in preparatory studies, direct track students will be registered as research fulfillment students; and

    ii) write an academic paper comparable in quality and length to an LL.M. thesis, which shall be evaluated by a grade of 85% or more.

    If allowed to proceed with their doctoral studies, the thesis-equivalent paper can be incorporated as a chapter of the doctoral dissertation. Academic committees assigning research students with courses as part of their doctoral studies work may exempt research fulfillment track students from some or all of their courses on the basis of the aforementioned preparatory studies.


  5. Applications for admission

    Candidates meeting one of the three sets of eligibility criteria may submit an application for admission to the Committee. The Committee will consider applications twice a year, before the beginning of the first and second semesters (deadlines for application are published on the Law Faculty webpage). Applications shall include the following documents:

    a) A letter from a faculty member expressing willingness to serve as a doctoral supervisor (supervisors should be full-time professors or full-time senior lecturers; the Chair of the Committee may allow, with the Dean's consent, other faculty members, including emeritus professors, to serve as supervisors; if needed, a doctoral dissertation may be supervised by more than one supervisor).

    b) A 1,000 words statement of intent describing the proposed research question and main methodology to be applied.

    c) A past academic work authored by the applicant (LL.M. thesis, if available, if not then a law article or seminar paper).

    d) Letters of reference (not obligatory).

    The application documents will be sent for evaluation by the Chair of the committee to a faculty member, other than the proposed supervisor. The said faculty member will write an evaluation of the application, opining on the quality of the proposed research and the applicant's past work, and in particular, on whether the applicant appears to have the needed research capabilities for writing a  doctoral dissertation that would meet the high standards of the Hebrew University.

    The Committee will decide on the application on the basis of the application materials and the evaluation report. It may, if it so chooses, ask for another evaluation by another faculty member.


  6. Course of studies

     

    The doctoral studies program is comprised of three stages: preparatory course work, preparation of a proposed research plan (Stage A) and writing of the doctoral dissertation (Stage B).


    Preparatory courses: Doctoral students are required to study 12 credits. All research students, in all tracks, are required to enroll for the following courses towards the fulfillment of their studies quota:


    Doctoral students and junior researchers' workshop (2 credits)
    Academic reading – Masterclass (2 credits)
    Introduction to social science research methods (2 credits) 
    Introduction to statistics (2 credits)
    Academic writing in English (2 credits)


    In addition, all research students are required to participate throughout their studies in the doctoral students and junior researchers' workshop (without the need to submit written works for grade evaluation).


    Research students in the research fulfillment track are required to fill out the remainder of their credit quota by selecting courses from the following list (with the supervisor's, and where applicable, the academic committee's consent):


    One LLM obligatory course (2 credits)
    One or more of the obligatory courses in the different LLM specialization tracks (4 credits)
    Two of the courses offered in English by visiting professors (2 credits)
    One seminar in the field of specialization (4 credits)
    One research workshop in the field of specialization (2-3 credits)


    Research plan
    Research students shall submit their proposed research plans to the Authority no later than 18 months from the time of enrollment. (Research plans are typically 7,500 word documents describing the field of study, the state of research, the research question, the methodology applied, the proposed contribution of the dissertation and a selective bibliography).



    The Authority will designate, at that stage, an academic committee comprising of 3 or more academics, that will meet with the student, review the proposal, and decide whether to authorize it (as is or subject to modifications). The academic committee may require the research student to undertake more studies or may release him from some or all of his additional study requirements. It may also release non-Hebrew speakers from the need to study Hebrew. The student may appeal before the Authority any decision of the academic committee.


    Stage B
    During this stage, the supervisor will periodically advise the student and monitor his or her progress. The academic committee will meet the student at least once more before submission of the dissertation, and in any event, whenever a significant change in the direction of the research is considered.  The student shall report in writing on his/her progress at the end of every academic year to the academic committee and the supervisor.


    The academic committee will authorize the submission of the dissertation to the Authority. It may hold in this context a public or closed session in which the research student will be required to defend his dissertation.


    The academic committee may recommend that the Authority terminates the student's doctoral studies, if the aforementioned progress report was not submitted at the end of the academic year, and if 60 days from the date in which the student was reminded about this omission have passed. The supervisor or the academic committee may also recommend termination of studies if they are of the view that the student's progress in the last year has not been sufficient. The student will be entitled to appear before the committee and present his or her claims regarding the grounds for termination.


    Research students may approach the Authority and ask for the replacement of their supervisor.

  7. Conduct of doctoral research outside the University

    Doctoral studies shall be conducted at the Hebrew University. However, the Authority may permit a research student to conduct his or her research at another university or research institution in or outside Israel, provided that the University recognizes the said university or research institution as a suitable environment for the conduct of doctoral research. In this event, the studies will be co-supervised by supervisors from the Hebrew University and host university or research institution, who were approved by the Authority.


  8. Duration of studies

    A research student must enroll and pay tuition for at least two consecutive years. The period of studies commences on the date of enrollment most proximate to the decision to admit the student to the doctoral studies program. Research students must re-enroll every new academic year.

    Research students may request the Authority to suspend their studies for a specified period of time. Suspension without authorization, or suspension exceeding the period authorized, may result in termination of studies.

    The total duration of studies (Stage A and Stage B) shall not exceed six consecutive academic years. In exceptional cases, the Authority may permit research students to extend their studies by one more year.

  9. The doctoral dissertation

    Dissertations shall not exceed 350 A4-size double spaced pages (630,000 symbols). Annexes, index, and bibliography are not included in this size quota. The academic committee may authorize in exceptional cases deviations from this size quota.

    The dissertation shall be written in Hebrew or English, or another language authorized by the Authority, at the request of the research student (with the consent of the supervisor). A dissertation not written in Hebrew shall include a summary, table of contents and cover pages in Hebrew. 

    There is an option of writing the dissertation as a compilation of several independent (but related) articles, with the consent of the supervisor and academic committee.

    The dissertation will be submitted to the Authority in 4 printed copies.

  10. Refereeing

    The dissertation will be refereed by two anonymous referees other than the supervisor. One of the referees may be a member of the academic committee; at least one of the referees should not belong to the Faculty in which the doctoral studies were conducted. The process of refereeing shall not exceed two months (during the summer break, a third month may be afforded to the referees by the Authority). The Authority will decide whether to confirm the award of a doctoral degree on the basis of the referees' reports; it may request modifications of the dissertation before confirmation of the degree. No grades are awarded for dissertations. Research students may appeal before the University Rector a decision to refuse to confirm a doctoral degree.

  

  

  

The Doctorate Research Fellows Program at the Faculty of Law

The Doctorate Research Fellows Program at the Faculty of Law

 

Overview of the Program

  1. The Faculty of Law launched its Research Fellows program in the 2007/8 academic year. The program is intended for outstanding research students who are interested in devoting all their time and energy to research activities in the Faculty. The program is open to students who are registered at the Law Faculty as research students (LL.D. degree) in the ordinary or direct track. As detailed below, candidates who are not yet registered at the Law Faculty as research students may also apply for the program, provided they meet the conditions of admission for LL.D. students.
     
  2. The participants in the program will serve as research fellows in the Faculty for three years. As detailed below, research fellows will be entitled to a living stipend during their time in the program. In the 2013/14 academic year, the stipend is expected to be in the range NIS 6,500 – 7,300; the precise sum will be determined at the beginning of the year. Students in the direct track, who are considered by the university to be LL.M. students in their initial stage, will be entitled to a full scholarship subject to the approval of the university authorities. If approval is not received, they will receive the maximum permitted scholarship for LL.M. students (NIS 6,000) during their initial stage. Research fellows will also be entitled to a work space at the Faculty.
     
  3. Research fellows will be integrated in the academic activities of one of the research workshops (“forums”) active in the Faculty. Research fellows will devote their time fully to research work, although they will be able to teach up to four academic points a year within the framework of the Faculty (see below). Ongoing payment of the living stipend is dependent on adequate progress toward the doctorate thesis as detailed below.

 

Conditions of the Program

  1. Subject to the conditions detailed below, research fellows will be entitled to receive a living stipend during their time in the program. Research fellows will also be entitled to a work space at the Faculty.
     
  2. Research fellows will be integrated in the academic activities of one of the research workshops (“forums”) active in the Faculty, related to their doctoral thesis. Each forum includes faculty members, experts from outside the university, and graduate students working in the relevant field. Involvement in the forum’s activities will include attending academic meetings held by the forum; presenting research work to the forum members; and regular meetings with forum members and with researchers from Israel and abroad who are being hosted as part of the forum’s activities. In the case of forums that are running a special research project, the forum members will attempt to involve the research fellows in the research in a way that contributes to their work. The Faculty website will include a special section providing a brief description of the research fellows in the Faculty.
     
  3. Research fellows will devote their time fully to research work, although they will be able to teach up to four academic points a year within the framework of the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University and to pursue academic activity within the forum in which they are placed. The scholarship is not intended for students who are working outside the university while pursuing their studies.
     
  4. As a general rule, participants in the program must submit a research proposal approved by their supervisor to the Research Students Authority within 12 months from joining the Research Fellows program (at the latest). Research fellows will usually be required to complete writing their doctorate within three years from the date of joining the program, or four years in the case of fellows admitted to the program prior to the approval of their doctorate research program. In special cases, the committee will be entitled to extend the scholarship period by one additional year (a fourth year).
     
  5. The Committee for Advanced Studies (“the Committee”) is entitled to recommend that the Dean of the Faculty allow an exceptionally outstanding research fellow to visit a leading university outside Israel for the purpose of studies or research during his/her time in the program, and to provide financial assistance to this end.
     
  6. As a general rule, participation in the program will be for a single continuous period of three years. Fellows may ask the Committee to allow them to suspend their participation in the program for a period of not more than one year, stating their reasons for this request.
     
  7. Research fellows will be required to inform the Committee of any scholarships or prizes they receive in addition to the living stipend awarded for the period of the stipend. University scholarships will be offset in full from the sum of the living stipend (in other words, these payments will be considered part of the Research Fellows stipend for any purpose and mater). External scholarships will be offset partially at a rate to be determined by the Committee (usually half the sum). Research fellows will be required to make an effort to secure competitive scholarships both from the Hebrew University and from other sources. Specifically, they will submit their candidacy for any university scholarship if asked to do so by the Committee.
     
  8. By June 15th each year (or by another date as determined by the Committee), research fellows will submit a report to the Committee detailing their progress in their research over the course of the year. The report will include a detailed description of their activities over the year, additional sources of income (if any), and plans for the coming year. A letter will be attached from the supervisor detailing the fellow’s research progress.
     
  9. Even if a period of three years has not yet passed, the fellow’s participation in the program will terminate at the end of the academic year (i.e. September 30th) in which the research fellow submitted a doctorate thesis to the university’s Research Students Authority.
     
  10. The Committee will be entitled to order the cessation of participation of a research fellow in the program if it emerges that the fellow has discontinued his/her studies; failed to make adequate progress in the research work; or violated the undertaking not to engage in other activities and to devote his/her time fully to research work. The Committee will be entitled to instruct the research fellow to repay sums he/she received over the course of that year. The Committee will only be entitled to exercise this authority after consulting with the research fellow’s instructor or the coordinator of the relevant forum, and after giving the fellow an opportunity to state his/her case.

 

Conditions of Admission to the Program

  1.  The Committee for Advanced Studies will select the research fellows each year in consultation with the coordinators of active forums in the Faculty.
     
  2. The decision to admit students to the program will be based on an evaluation of academic excellence and clear research potential.
     
  3.   Admission of new candidates to the program:
     
    1. Students registered as research students (LL.D.) in the ordinary or direct track in the Law Faculty are entitled to submit an application to the program. 
       
    2. Applications will also be accepted from persons who are not yet registered as research students in the Law Faculty, but who meet the conditions of admission for LL.D. studies. 
       
    3. Students admitted to the program may only begin to serve as research fellows after they have been registered as research students at the Faculty. Students may only continue to serve in this capacity for as long as they are registered as stated. 
       
    4. The application to join the program will be submitted to the coordinator of Doctorate Studies in the Faculty, using the form attached at the end of this document. The application will include all the details specified in the form, including a commitment to observe the conditions of the program. We recommend that candidates contact the coordinator of the forum they are applying to join at the time they submit their application, in order to present their research plan. The chairperson of the Committee can provide details concerning the active forums in the Faculty and the forum coordinators. 
       
    5. As a general rule, participation in the program will begin on October 1st of the year in which the candidates were admitted to the program. 
       
    6. The application to join the program must be submitted by January 15th of the year preceding the year in which the applicant wishes to begin the program (or by another date as published by the Committee). The Committee will inform applicants whether they have been admitted to the program approximately one month later. In unusual instances involving exceptionally outstanding candidates, the Committee is entitled to examine applications submitted after the above-mentioned deadline. 
       
    7. Students will be admitted to the program for three years, provided that the Committee approves their annual application to continue their participation as detailed below. In special cases, the Committee will be entitled to extend the period of participation in the program by one additional year (a fourth year).

 

Application to approve continued participation in the program:

  1. At the end of each year of participation in the program, research fellows may ask the Committee to approve their participation for an additional year, up to a total period of three years (or four years, as noted above). An application to approve continued participation in the program must be submitted by June 15th (or by another date as published by the Committee). 
     
  2. The request to approve continued participation in the program will include a report detailing the fellow’s progress in his/her research over the course of the year. The report will include a detailed description of activities undertaken over the year, additional sources of income (if any), and plans for the coming year. A letter will be attached from the supervisor detailing the fellow’s research progress. 
     
  3. The Committee will approve continued participation in the program for an additional year on the basis of its evaluation of the fellow’s research progress and other activities. 

Guidelines and Clarifications about LL.D. Studies

Guidelines and Clarifications about LL.D. Studies at the Faculty of Law(For Applicants and Students) 

  1. These guidelines provide information and clarifications about the doctorate (LL.D.) studies at the Faculty of Law from the application stage through completion of studies. The guidelines complement the content of the official regulations (the Faculty Regulations for LL.D. studies [English summary also available) and the University Regulations for doctoral studies) and provide some additional information, including on less formal aspects. In the case of any contradiction, the official regulations naturally take precedence. 

  2. The Faculty does its best to pay individual attention to every student. We aim to provide a study experience that is not only enriching and fruitful at the highest academic standard, but is also pleasant and adapted as far as possible to each student’s individual needs. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact the Doctorate Studies Coordinator (Ms. Yafa Eliahu, 02-5883880 or yafae@savion.huji.ac.il) or the Chairperson of the Graduate Studies Committee (Dr. Reem Segev). 

  3. Information for LL.D. students (also referred to in this document as “research students”) in the Faculty is distributed routinely through the mailing list intended for this purpose (law-d). We recommend that you contact the Coordinator and join this list as soon as you are accepted; you must do so by the time you begin your studies. 


    Study Tracks


  4. The Faculty offers three LL.D. tracks: 

    The ordinary track is intended for students who have completed an LL.M. degree with a thesis. Students admitted to this track are required to take the special Faculty courses for doctorate students, totaling 10 credit points, and to complete a further two credit points of their choice as agreed with the supervisor. This requirement is in keeping with the University-wide rule that doctorate students must take courses (“complementary studies,” as they are termed in the University Regulations) totaling 12 credit points. In addition, of course, they must write a doctorate dissertation. 

    The direct track enables particularly outstanding students to begin doctorate studies immediately after completing their LL.B. degree. As far as the Faculty is concerned, students in this track move directly on to their LL.D. studies. However, the University rules state that the initial registration is with LL.M. status. This track requires studies totaling 24 credit points, including the special courses for doctorate students (10 credit points) as well as various courses from the LL.M. syllabus (as detailed in section 4.2 of the Faculty Regulations). Students in this track must maintain high grades (an average of 88, and not less than 80 in any course). Students in this track do not have to write a master’s thesis. In order to be admitted, the Committee must be convinced, even in the absence of a thesis, that they have strong research capabilities (on the basis of papers they have written during their LL.B. studies or in other frameworks) enabling them to move on directly to writing a doctoral dissertation. 

    The research fulfillment (completion) track is intended for students who have completed an LL.M. degree but have not written a thesis. The course requirements for this track are the same as for the ordinary track, but students must maintain a grave average of 85, and not less than 80 in any course. In practice, most of the special doctorate courses are graded on a pass/fail basis without a specific grade. In addition, students in this track must write a paper analogous to a master’s thesis. This paper will be examined on the same basis as a master’s thesis, and students must receive a grade of at least 85 for the paper. The paper can subsequently be integrated in the doctorate dissertation. 


    Application and Admissions Process 


  5. The Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University is one of the leading institutions in the world in its field. Accordingly, the standard of admissions for the LL.D. program is extremely high. The Faculty’s Graduate Studies Committee accepts students at its discretion. As detailed in the regulations, the threshold requirements are 85 in LL.M. studies and 85 in the thesis. For the direct track, the threshold requirement is inclusion in the top 20 percent of the class in our Faculty. However, it is important to emphasize that these are only the threshold requirements: not all applicants who meet these standards are admitted for studies. The Committee admits only students who show a strong potential for excellence and are very likely to write a doctorate dissertation that will stand up to the high standards of the Hebrew University. 

  6. Applicants interested in the Faculty’s doctorate program must begin by finding a supervisor who is willing to supervise them (in the regulations, the supervisor is referred to as an “instructor.”) With very rare exceptions, applicants will not be admitted unless a supervisor has stated that he/she is willing to fill this function. First and foremost, you should find a supervisor who is active in the field you plan to research. Alternatively, you must be willing to adjust your field of interest to meet those of the supervisor. Faculty members may use various “tests” at their own discretion in order to decide whether they are interested in supervising you. They often ask applicants to present papers they have written, and they may ask to see a preliminary research proposal. However, there are no binding rules on this matter. 

  7. As a general rule, supervisors should hold the position of senior lecturer, at least. Retired Faculty members can in principle serve as supervisors, but it is highly desirable that they work together with an active Faculty member. In some cases, the Research Students Authority, which is responsible for approving supervisors, will insist on this. 

  8. Ideally, an application should not merely be accompanied by the formal agreement of a Faculty member to supervise the applicant, but by an enthusiastic recommendation to the Committee stating that the applicant is worthy of admission to the LL.D. program. 

  9. Securing the agreement of a supervisor does not guarantee admission. The next hurdle is acceptance by the Committee, and this is just as crucial. You must submit all the material to the Faculty’s Doctorate Studies Coordinator (as detailed in section 3 of the Faculty Regulations). According to the University’s procedures, students in the ordinary track should submit their application to the Research Students Authority. However, we recommend that you submit your application to the Coordinator, who will make sure to forward a copy to the Authority. 

  10. Alongside grade transcripts, references and previous research papers (a thesis and/or published articles, if any, a seminar paper otherwise), applicants must also submit a “Research Intentions” document. This document should take the form of a preliminary research proposal, sufficiently developed to show (even if concisely) research capability, an understanding of the relevant field, and familiarity (at least in a preliminary way) with the relevant research literature. The Faculty Regulations state that the document should be 1000 words long, but this is not a rigid limit. The intention was to stress that the document should be relatively short. However, it is important to understand that this document plays a very important role in the admissions procedure. If you need to go into greater detail in order to describe your proposed research, do so – the document must provide enough information to enable us to evaluate your application. The document should be drafted in coordination with the intended supervisor. It will be sent to another Faculty member for review before it is discussed by the Committee. 

  11. Applications may be submitted twice a year, by the deadlines published each year – usually in June for students beginning in the first semester and January for those beginning in the second semester. In exceptional cases, and when justified, the Committee also considers applications submitted outside the usual deadlines. 


    Research Fellows and Other Scholarships 


  12. One of the Faculty’s goals is to nurture the next generation of law scholars. Accordingly, we invest considerable resources in helping particularly outstanding research students who have the potential to find a place in the academic world. This is the purpose of the “research fellow” status. Every year, about three students are admitted to the status of research fellows. They receive a living stipend and a work space at the Faculty. In return, the research fellows undertake to devote all their time to research (they may not work outside the University); and to be active participants of the Faculty’s academic community (particularly by attending and contributing to Faculty seminars and the doctorate workshops, and also by joining a research forum relevant to their field). For full details, see the Research Fellows Constitution. 

  13. Active research students and applicants who have submitted their candidacy to the Faculty may apply for the status of research fellows. From the 2013/14 academic year, applications for research fellows will be submitted in January to join the program in October. 

  14. Additional scholarships are available from the University and from other sources. Information about scholarships is circulated from time to time through the mailing list. In many cases, the Faculty is asked to rank or recommend the various candidates. We do this after consulting with the supervisors, and on the basis of our impression of the student’s overall contribution and involvement as a research student at the Faculty. 


    Stage 1/Stage 2 (Writing the Thesis; Working with the Supervisor and the Committee) 


  15. According to the University’s rules, doctorate studies begin with Stage 1, when students prepare the research proposal that will form the basis of their thesis. The intention at this stage is that you will engage in broad-based and in-depth reading expanding your knowledge in fields relating to the subject of your dissertation. This should enable you to formulate (at least tentatively) the central argument around which you will structure your thesis. Thus Stage 1 is devoted to developing the Research Intentions document into a more founded and detailed research proposal. Of course, you will work closely with your supervisor throughout this process. You should also aim to complete your course requirements as quickly as possible, although you do not have to complete all your courses in order to move on to Stage 2. 

  16. While you are working on your research proposal, or after you have prepared a draft, your supervisor should arrange the appointment of an academic committee. The committee should include two members, at least one of whom is not from the Faculty. After the supervisor and the academic committee have approved the research proposal, and the Research Students Authority has granted its formal approval, the student moves on to Stage 2. 

  17. In the past, students often took a long time to move on to Stage 2. We now expect students to complete Stage 1 as quickly as possible. Our main screening process is applied in the admissions stage, and not in Stage 1. Accordingly, we assume that all the students who have been admitted are capable of writing a decent doctorate thesis. Before they begin to do so, the goal is to make sure that they have prepared a detailed research proposal that has been properly approved both by their supervisor and by the academic committee. 

  18. It is possible – and indeed desirable – to begin Stage 2 within a few months, or up to a year. According to the recently updated University Regulations, students must begin Stage 2 within 18 months. 

  19. Students in the direct track must, as a minimum, complete the LL.M. courses (as detailed in section 4.2 of the Faculty Regulations) before they can formally register as research students (in Stage 1). However, these students may (and should) begin to work on their research proposal while they complete their courses. This will enable them to move on to Stage 2 soon after registering as research students. 

  20. In Stage 2, you are expected to continue your research and to write your dissertation. You will also need to complete your course requirements, if you have not already done so. At least once a year, students must submit a progress report to the supervisor and the committee including the chapters of the thesis that have been written to date. We believe that students can and should complete their doctorate studies within a total period of three years (for students who devote most of their time to their studies). In any case, doctorate studies must be completed within no more than six years (see section 8.4 of the University Regulations). 

  21. The dissertation can be written in Hebrew or in English. If you are interested in an academic career, you should seriously consider writing your thesis in English. You should discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this with your supervisor. 

  22. With the permission of the supervisor and the supervisory committee, a student may also submit an “articles doctorate”. An articles doctorate will usually include three or four articles (depending on their length, in any case at least three) that are sufficiently related to form a coherent sequence. An introduction and a conclusion should also be added.  For detailed instructions, see section 9.3 of the University Regulations. 

  23. Faculty members are required to follow the Code of Practice for Supervisors and Research Students. Please contact the chairperson of the Committee if you encounter any problem with your supervisor. You may also contact the chairperson of the Research Students Authority directly, if for any reason you prefer to do so. 


    The Doctorate Courses 


  24. A special curriculum of courses has been developed specifically for doctorate students in the Faculty. It includes two workshops overseen by the chairperson of the Advanced Studies Committee. In addition to students registered for these courses, all the doctorate students are also invited/expected to attend the workshops throughout their period of studies. The curriculum also includes three courses that seek to provide ancillary tools we consider vital for research students. 

  25. The Academic Reading “Masterclass” is a workshop that seeks to expose students to formative texts in legal research. In the workshop we discuss key ideas from diverse fields of law that could contribute (even if indirectly) to the students’ personal research. Another goal is to sharpen the students’ ability to engage in critical reading of academic texts. In each meeting, a different senior Faculty member is asked to lead a discussion based on a particularly important text from his/her research area. 

  26. In the Doctoral Students and Junior Researchers’ workshop, doctorate students (usually at an advanced stage) and post-doctorate fellows at the Faculty present their research. The idea is to give young scholars an opportunity to practice presenting their research and to receive feedback on their work; to expose the participants to the diverse research projects being pursued by young scholars at the Faculty; and to develop critical reading and discussion skills. The workshop also helps to promote the community of young scholars at the Faculty. 

  27. The English Academic Writing course seeks to develop and strengthen the students’ ability to write and present academic articles in English – a vital skill in the academic world. Two additional courses – Introduction to Research Methods and Introduction to Statistics – expose the research students to empirical research methods (quantitative and qualitative) from the social sciences. This basic knowledge is vital in order to enhance their understanding of articles from the social sciences and other sciences in the context of multidisciplinary research. This exposure also makes possible collaboration with researchers from other fields. Those interested in pursuing empirical legal research will have preliminary knowledge that can be developed to do so. 

  28. With the supervisor’s recommendation, students may submit a request to the chairperson of the Committee for exemption from the courses detailed in the previous section, if they have prior knowledge in these areas, or if their work requires them to specialize in other research methods (such as research methods from the humanities/philosophy courses, or language studies for students focusing on comparative law). As a general rule, students who receive an exemption must take other courses instead in order to meet the University’s requirement of 12 credit points. In exceptional cases, however, students can be exempted from this requirement, on the recommendation of their supervisor and academic committee. 

  29. Research students who participate in seminars are not required to write a seminar paper. However, they must meet the other conditions of the seminar (active participation). In other courses, including workshops, students must meet all the course requirements, including examinations / reaction papers. 

  30. Students in the direct track who are required to take LL.M. courses at the beginning of their studies (including a seminar in their field of specialization) must also meet all the conditions of the seminar, including writing a seminar paper. 


    Additional Academic Activities during the Period of Studies 


  31. The Faculty seminar, which is held each Wednesday afternoon, is an important focal point for academic activity in the Faculty. At the seminar, Faculty members and guests present their current work and discussions take place. Research students are invited and expected to actively participate. Details of the lectures, including copies of the articles to be presented at each week’s session, may be found on the seminar website (usually conducted in Hebrew). 

  32. Research activities in the Faculty in different areas are usually organized by forums. We strongly recommend that students contact the heads/coordinators of forums in areas in which they have an interest and join in the activities of the forum (research workshop, lectures and conferences). 

  33. Every year, dozens of guests come to the Faculty from overseas to attend conferences, teach intensive courses and engage in research. It is recommended to be aware of such visitors and to take the opportunity to meet with guests in relevant fields. The information is published on the Faculty website, on the Visiting Faculty page and on the Events Calendar (in the case of conferences). 

  34. The University encourages groups of doctorate students from different departments who are studying related subjects to form study groups. This takes place through the Chevruta project. The project enables doctorate students from different disciplines to hold occasional meetings in order to enrich their learning experience and contribute to their research. The University provides a modest scholarship for students who initiate or coordinate such groups. 

  35. Presenting an article (based on part of your dissertation) at conferences is a desirable and recommended experience. It gives you a chance to present your work to the relevant community, receive feedback and create useful academic connections. Naturally, you will not want to do this too often, since it requires a considerable investment of time. The Research Students Authority provides funding for doctorate students who travel to overseas conferences (not more than once during their LL.D. studies). Contact the Authority directly for details and to submit an application. In special cases, the Faculty also provides additional support; requests should be submitted to the chairperson of the Committee. 

  36. It is possible, and indeed recommended, to spend a period of time at a foreign research institution during the course of your doctorate studies. You must contact the host institution directly in order to arrange such a visit, and you must secure the necessary funding independently. Please coordinate such visits with your supervisor and update the chairperson of the Committee. In the case of research fellows, it is usually expected that they will remain at the Faculty for their entire period of research. In special cases, however, the Faculty may approve a period abroad, and even provide financial assistance to this end. Requests should be submitted to the chairperson of the Committee. 


    Graduating… and the Next Stages


  37. The website of the Research Students Authority provides detailed technical guidelines for the preparation of dissertations. The dissertation must be submitted to the Research Students Authority after it has been approved by the supervisor, and after the academic committee has submitted a report on the student’s progress. 

  38. The Authority consults with the supervisor regarding possible referees and appoints three referees: The supervisor and two additional referees, one of whom may be a member of the academic committee (i.e. there is one “external” referee). The preference is to appoint referees from outside the University. Each referee must submit a separate and independent report within two months (or three months during the summer recess). The reports are then forwarded to the plenum of the Research Students Authority, which decides whether to require corrections before the dissertation is approved. 

  39. The research students in the Faculty organize a forum for informal meetings on various subjects (the Research Students Forum). The Forum organizes meetings on professional matters relating to academic work: how and when to publish, how to apply for post-doc positions and academic positions, etc. If necessary, the chairperson of the Graduate Studies Committee will arrange additional meetings in order to ensure that information on these matters is available to all those interested.