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Research training

Empirical research skills do not belong to the traditional toolbox of legal scholars. As a national research school, the ELS Academy aims to fill this gap by developing research skills in our participants and help them develop into independent empirical legal researchers.

In 2023, we sent out a survey to explore the training needs of our community. The methods and techniques that our community wants to learn about are highly diverse, including (but not limited to) interviews, systematic case law analysis, thematic coding, surveys, statistical analyses, focus groups, participant observation, and text analysis. The ELS Academy is in the process of developing a high-quality training programme, with basic and advanced workshops to freely choose from.

Our research training program consists of three parts.

Part #1

Faculty-Specific Seminars

The partner universities of the ELS Academy regularly organize seminars that are relevant to anyone doing empirical legal research. Many of these seminars are open to researchers and teachers from other universities. Have a look at the events calendar to discover the events that meet your training needs.

Part #2

Graduate School Courses

For years now, courses about theory and methods of empirical legal studies are being taught at Dutch law schools. Different PhD researchers have different needs. The ELS Academy therefore aims to foster exchange between the graduate schools in the Netherlands. The listed courses are open to PhD candidates from other Dutch universities.

Part #3

ELS Academy Events

The ELS Academy organizes three recurring events throughout the year. The content of these events is different each year.

We always start the academic year with a kick-off event that brings PhD participants together in a new cohort. Around March, we organize a midseason event.

Since 2022, we collaborate with the VSR (Law & Society) to organize a pre-conference PhD school packed with workshops.