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Catherine (Kiki) Brölmann is the newly appointed PhD in Law programme director. The programme, which launched in 2018, was previously headed by Marija Bartl. The programme director’s responsibilities include overseeing PhD instruction, embedding PhD research within the faculty, and facilitating cooperation with the research community. Catherine answered a few of our questions.

Kiki Brölman

Why did you apply for the position of PhD in Law programme director?

“I like the idea of being involved with high-quality academic research - and in a variety of legal areas at the faculty. I also like the fact that I now have a role in helping PhD students develop themselves into skilled, independent researchers.”

What is your current position? What does your research entail?

“I am an associate professor in the International Law Department. My research activities focus on the law of treaties, the law of international organisations, and the international law and governance of water (for individuals, states, and the ecosystem).

In addition to my responsibilities at the UvA, I am a member of the Advisory Committee on Issues of Public International Law (Commissie Advies Volkenrechtelijke Vraagstukken– CAVV) and co-editor in chief of Oxford International Organizations (OXIO), an OUP publication. As for my direct experience with the PhD process, I have enjoyed supervising PhD students for many years now and am a regular member of PhD committees at the UvA and elsewhere.”

What are your expectations as PhDin Law programme director?

“PhD candidates are an essential subset of our faculty; they are vital to the dynamism of an academic community. PhD candidates, in turn, need to derive significant experience and meaningful development from the PhD process, and it is important that they are offered the best possible context in which to do so.

The PhD in Law programme, which started in 2018 under Marija Bartl, was designed to achieve this goal. The programme encompasses the entire PhD process, from admitting a candidate to defending the dissertation. The programme director is thus responsible for various forms of PhD instruction, for creating the parameters for embedding PhD research within the Faculty, and for facilitating cooperation at the research community level, which is beneficial for the pleasure a candidate derives from doing research and for productivity. 

PhD in Law streamlines the PhD process to the benefit of our faculty's internal and external PhD candidates. It guarantees quality control and provides support during the entire PhD process, all of which needs to be done optimally and with great care by all parties involved. This is in the interest of the PhD candidate, the supervisor, and the faculty.”