CIGI Begins Search for Permanent Director and Research Fellows for International Law Program

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The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is beginning a search for research fellows and a permanent director for its new International Law Research Program.

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is beginning a search for research fellows and a permanent director for its new International Law Research Program.

As announced this week by the Ontario government, the new program is a $60 million, 10-year initiative that aims to develop Ontario’s knowledge economy. It will build world-class intellectual strengths to understand and help shape the international laws and frameworks that are vital to Canada’s prosperity.

“The urgent and complex global problems we face often present issues in law. Solutions to resolving trade disputes, averting financial shocks and achieving environmental treaties, for example, require a deep understanding of multilateral legal frameworks,” said Dr. Rohinton Medhora, President of CIGI. “The International Law Research Program at CIGI will provide Ontario and Canada with significant intellectual capital to ensure we have an engaged and dynamic voice on the international stage in areas that affect our prosperity and security.”

Based at the CIGI Campus in Waterloo, the International Law Research Program will actively seek collaboration with scholars based at Ontario universities and faculties of law. Established legal scholars and others from relevant areas of expertise will have the opportunity to become fellows, while graduate students will be encouraged to participate in the program via scholarships, allowing participation in policy-relevant research projects, mentoring and related professional activities.

The program is being initiated under the interim leadership of David Dewitt, vice president of programs at CIGI. As the search for the program’s founding director begins, Dr. Dewitt and his colleagues are establishing an advisory committee to support the research program’s development and search for the inaugural complement of fellows.

“The CIGI law program will be a vital resource for Ontario’s and Canada’s policy makers, government leaders, and others in the public and private sectors,” said Dr. Dewitt. “As we search for outstanding personnel, both fellows and a director, who will contribute to the program’s excellence in research, we’ll also be looking to collaborate with academic institutions and professional organizations while providing unique opportunities for advanced scholarship and professional mentoring for graduate students in law and related disciplines.”    

CIGI and the Ontario government are fundamentally committed to the 10-year program, with funding of $30 million from the province’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and $30 million from CIGI, enabled through a donation from CIGI Chair and founder Jim Balsillie.

The program will fund up to 19 fellowships at any one time, for legal experts to engage in research, educational and mentoring activities in partnership with government, universities, business and international organizations.

The program will also fund up to 20 scholarships a year. These awards will offer graduate students an opportunity to advance their law studies and join International Law Research Program fellows in relevant, impactful research projects. While offering research opportunities for Ontario scholars, International Law Research Program also seek project collaborations with international institutions and the private sector.

An integrated, multi-disciplinary research and teaching program, the International Law Research Program will provide leading academics, graduate students and legal experts from Canada and abroad with the opportunity to contribute to advancements in three areas of international law:

  •     Intellectual property law
  •     International economic, financial and investment law, regulation and governance
  •     Environmental law and treaties

The program’s focus areas have significant importance to global prosperity. As major producers of intellectual property, Ontarians and, more broadly, Canadians face immense challenges in protecting their innovative and internationally important knowledge. As national positions on intellectual property continue to be influenced by trade-related considerations, it will be essential for government and industry to be fully aware of the legal arrangements at play.

Foreign trade and investment will continue to drive and dramatically change all economies. For Ontario and Canada’s future, it is vital that public and private sector leaders have a forward-looking analysis of the international, national and provincial laws and regulations that shape future economic arrangements.

Environmental issues, from climate change and infectious disease to food security and agricultural productivity, are important factors in global development. Where science intersects policy and regulatory matters, it is important for Ontarians and Canadians to have sound expertise and engage in the public debates that will shape critical solutions to long-term problems.

The International Law Research Program will be managed as part of CIGI’s research programs, guided by a special advisory committee. Composed of experts with backgrounds in research, teaching, legal practice and government or policy, the advisory committee will make recommendations to the Director in the development of the program’s strategic plan, research projects and activities.

For more information on the new program, please visit:

Declan Kelly, Communications Specialist, CIGI
Tel: 519.885.2444, ext. 7356, Email: dkelly(at)cigionline(dot)org
Kevin Dias, Communications Specialist, CIGI    
Tel: 519.885.2444, ext. 7238, Email: kdias(at)cigionline(dot)org
The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, non-partisan think tank on international governance. Led by experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI’s interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world. CIGI was founded in 2001 by Jim Balsillie, then co-CEO of Research In Motion (BlackBerry), and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visit

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Declan Kelly
Centre for International Governance Innovation
+1 (519) 885-2444 Ext: 7356
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