Doctoral Program in Law, Finance, and Economics

Fully funded

SAFE offers funding to excellent applicants to its Doctoral Program in Law, Finance and Economics for three years with the option to extend for one additional year. Funding usually translates into a grant of 1,200€ per month in the first program year and a research assistant position in the following years. The research assistant position comes as a 50% employment contract in the second program year that is upgraded to 70% from the third year onwards. In the first year, mandatory course work will bring applicants from the field of law “up to speed” in the methods used in quantitative research in the field of studies.

SAFE offers its doctoral students the exciting and inspiring environment of an inter- and cross-disciplinary research institution dedicated to excellent research output and research-based policy advice. Methods of research in law at SAFE include law and economics, law and finance, behavioral law and economics. Topics of research at SAFE comprise, among others, capital market regulation, corporate governance, the regulation of household finance, competition, and judicial enforcement.

SAFE pursues a “pool concept” for its doctoral students: these are expected to choose a supervisor from among the SAFE professors. At the same time, they are encouraged to interact and write papers with any other SAFE researchers. This gives them the opportunity to get an impression of the research of potential supervisors before they decide for one and provides them with different perspectives and methodological approaches to law, economics, and finance while they complete their thesis.

Requirements and expectations

  • Scholarship holders are expected to entirely focus on their course work during the first year (see schedule)
  • They shall pass the examinations of the economics courses they take. A research assistant contract after the first year is conditional on passing these exams.
  • SAFE research assistants are expected to choose a supervisor from among the SAFE professors no later than by the first month of the second year. The choice does not exclude research projects with any other SAFE researchers.
  • The candidate can choose to either write a book or a paper-based dissertation in English aiming at peer-reviewed international publication in renown law journals (actual publication is not a prerequisite for graduation, however, the doctoral committee has to certify sufficient quality for a decent chance of publication).


Applicants must have completed a law degree with honors (top 15%) at a research university. Please submit your application by handing in the following documents: CV, letter of motivation, certificates, transcripts. Reference letters are not mandatory but welcome. Please send the documents via mail or email (in one pdf file, please) to

Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE
Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 3
60629 Frankfurt am Main (please add “Application Doctoral Program Law” in the subject line of your email)

Deadline for applications for the program start on 1 October 2024 is 31 May 2024.

Contact for questions

Prof. Dr. Dr. Alexander Morell

Coordinator PhD Program Law & Finance

Prof. Dr. Tobias Tröger

Director Research Cluster "Law and Finance"