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Call for papers

Legal Research Programme

European Central Bank, Frankfurt am Main

Application deadline: 15 February 2015

The European Central Bank (ECB) is seeking applications from promising researchers for up to four Legal Research Scholarships to be awarded in 2015. The Legal Research Programme was launched in 2008 to foster analysis of areas of law relevant to the ECB’s statutory tasks, and to establish closer contacts with scholars. Each scholarship is endowed with a grant of EUR 10 000, which is not compatible with any other fellowships or grants received from third parties in relation to the research project for which it is awarded, unless the ECB has expressly declared its consent.


Applicants who are awarded a scholarship under the Legal Research Programme (the ‘Scholars’) will be required to write a research paper during 2015 on one of the following research projects:

  1. The coexistence of national and European Union (EU) law, for example in the field of banking and financial regulation, where EU legislation allows scope for Member States’ discretion under national law, especially in the context of the CRD IV/CRR and the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), for instance with regard to the application of the ne bis in idem principle in the case of overlapping sanctioning powers at national and EU level. The analysis should take into account relevant case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the national courts, as well as of the European Court of Human Rights, as relevant. Comparisons with other areas of EU law, such as competition law, which may be relevant in predicting how the Courts may decide in future cases involving the ECB and national competent authorities in the SSM context, would also be welcome;
  2. The analysis of differentiated integration in EU law in cases such as cooperation between euro area Member States under Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and outside the framework of the EU Treaties, the coexistence of the internal market with subdivisions of the EU, such as euro area Member States and those Member States that participate in the Single Resolution Mechanism or in the SSM (including the relationship between SSM Member States and those in close cooperation);
  3. The actual extent of the banking supervisor’s powers, in particular with respect to the capacity to effectively influence the decisions of banks as private undertakings. What legal boundaries apply to the actions of supervisors beyond the limits laid down in legislation? What limit is there on the supervisor’s discretion, and what safeguards do credit institutions have to avoid undue interference in the conduct of banking business?
  4. How can greater coordination of economic policy between Member States in the EU be achieved under the current Treaty framework, for example with regard to strengthening the integration of capital and labour markets, developing functioning fiscal stabilisation mechanisms or establishing permanent decision-making arrangements to adopt common structural reforms and economic policies?


Each Scholar will have to prepare a high-quality research paper (the ‘Research paper’) of approximately 15 000 words in length, excluding footnotes, which must meet the standard of being publishable in a well-recognised, internationally renowned academic journal. The Scholar must submit a first draft of his or her Research paper to the ECB by 15 June 2015, and must immediately inform the ECB if there is a risk of not meeting that deadline. The ECB will review and referee the Research paper within a reasonable time period. The Scholar will take the remarks and suggestions of the ECB’s referee report into consideration and complete the Research paper within a reasonable deadline set by the ECB. Following acceptance of the Research paper, the ECB may publish it at its own expense in its Legal Working Paper Series. Once the Research paper has been published in the ECB’s Legal Working Paper Series, the Scholar is invited to publish the Research paper in other working papers and/or journals of his or her own choice at his or her own expense.


Researchers with an established reputation, relevant experience and a track record of publishing in the legal field, as well as researchers at assistant professor level and advanced PhD students are particularly encouraged to apply. None of the Scholars involved in a Research paper may be in an employment relationship with the ECB.


Applications must be submitted in English and include the applicant’s curriculum vitae and a proposal for one of the research projects described above. The proposal must consist of the following: (i) the selected research project; (ii) the proposed title of the proposed Research paper; (iii) an abstract of the proposed Research paper; (iv) an outline of the proposed Research paper; (v) an analysis of the originality and significance of the proposed Research paper in view of the existing academic literature; (vi) a list of the applicant’s relevant publications, and the applicant’s affiliations and prizes, if any; and (vii) the source from which the applicant learnt about this call for papers. In addition applicants may also submit a relevant bibliography to support their proposal. Applications should be sent by e-mail to: no later than 15 February 2015.