UCL Faculty of Laws


Alonso Gurmendi Dunkelberg, UCL Graduate Research Scholarship

Alonso Dunkelberg

Programme, and year of study: Ph.D. year 1
Area of research: Laws of War, History of International Law
PhD supervisor: Ralph Wilde
Where you are from: Lima, Peru
Scholarship received:ORS/GRS

"I would simply not have been able to pursue this Ph.D. without access to this scholarship. It was an absolute game-changer in my life and my career" - Alonso Gurmendi Dunkelberg

Why did you choose to apply to study at UCL Laws?
That UCL is a superb place for researching and learning, I think, goes without saying. Of course, that reputation for excellence played a role. But, for me, what really puts UCL ahead of the competition, is the welcoming environment it has created. UCL makes you feel, from the get-go, that it wants you here and that it believes in your goals. Not that you are “worthy” of being here, but that you will add to what the fantastic and diverse community of academics, researchers and students are doing to move UCL forward. I immediately connected with this ethos and knew UCL was the place for me.

What are your favourite things about studying at UCL Laws?
First, the amazing resources at my disposal. I come from the Global South, so I am used to paywalls and lack of access to sources. Now, at UCL, it is rarely the case that I cannot have access to what I need for my research – and in the rare occasion in which I do, the British Library is a five-minute walk away from Bentham House; which leads me to my second favourite thing about UCL: it is in London. There are very few places in the world where you can find a city like this. It is a massively diverse and international city, pooling the talents of people from literally all over the world. It has an incredibly diverse amount of activities to do, from theatre to Museums and historical sites (and many of them for free!) and it’s a short train ride from other amazing places, from Oxbridge and The Hague, to Paris and Amsterdam.

What do you hope to do once your studies are complete?
I intend to continue my career in academia

How did you hear about the UCL Laws scholarships:
I was aware that UCL offered a very competitive scholarship package because of my prior research into its graduate programme, especially through the UCL website. However, throughout my application process, UCL always took care that I knew what my options were and what scholarships I could apply to.

If you hadn’t received this scholarship what do you think your plans would be, if not studying at UCL Laws?
I am stubborn, so I would have probably applied again couple of years later! In the meantime, though, I would have continued with my academic career in Peru.

If someone was thinking of applying for a scholarship what would you say to them?
UCL’s scholarships are incredibly competitive, you will compete with some of the brightest minds in the world to get one, so make sure you prepare a good application, and believe in what you have to offer!

If someone was thinking of funding or sponsoring a scholarship what would you say to them?
I come from Latin America. There is a lot of talent and a lot of amazing people doing fantastic research and studying in the Global South. By funding a scholarship, you will be giving some of these scholars and students an opportunity they will not otherwise have. You will be making a significant difference in someone else’s life. I think that is a very fulfilling way to spend your money!