UCL Faculty of Laws


Felipe Osorio Umaña, Faculty Research Scholarship

felipe osorio umana
Programme, and year of study: PhD, 1st year
Where you are from: Chile
Area of research: I am researching in the area of intellectual property, in particular, copyright law. Specifically, I’m studying how the new technologies and the new creative practices are reshaping what we understand as the public and the private on copyright law.
With computers and the internet, you can access, copy, use, and remix works created by others with an ease never seen before. In this context, there has been an expansion of copyright, focused on, precisely, control the access, copy and uses of previous works. The, one of the issues that I want to research is to what extent authors and owners of works can prevent the public from accessing and using their works for creating new expressions. 
PhD supervisor: Dr Daniela Simone
Scholarship received: Faculty Research Scholarship

Why did you choose to apply to study at UCL Laws?
First, my supervisor, Dr Daniela Simone, is a leading scholar in copyright law. Having the possibility of doing my research under her supervision was a major opportunity for me personally and professionally.

Moreover, UCL Laws has an active group of researchers in intellectual property, under the umbrella of the Institute of Brand and Innovation Law (UCL IBIL), which is continuously convening events with both practitioners and scholars from different institutions. To have the opportunity of engaging with different approaches to your own research was a key factor for choosing UCL Laws.

Thirdly, UCL Laws is a world-leading institution. Studying here for almost six months, I have realised that the reputation of the University meets the expectations. In terms of the academic advantages of studying at UCL is the large and prestigious faculty. This has a direct impact on my work since as first-year PhD student, I have the possibility of having seminars with leading scholars of different areas of law, which enrich my own research. Moreover, UCL puts all its resources to allow PhD students to get the most of our capacities, funding assistance to seminars and congresses in other institutions, studying materials, and courses to enhance the required skills for completing our research.

Finally, a strong element for choosing UCL was its location. Studying and researching in London allow you to be at the centre of the UK’s legal world. This is particularly important for my own research, for I can attend different seminars and events with both practitioners and scholars specialised in intellectual property.

What are your favourite things about studying at UCL Laws?
I really enjoy the PhD student community of UCL Laws. It is very stimulating to be surrounded by people who are dedicating a significant part of their professional life to the study of a particular area of the law. You get to be acquainted with their research, which helps you to think about your own research from a different perspective. The work of a PhD student can be very isolated, to have a strong group of people engaging and supporting you every day contributes to your professional and personal life.

Outside professional life, I have really enjoyed living in London. You have the chance to visit great museums, galleries, art expositions, concerts, etc., all in one city. The city has all you can imagine from a world capital, and to have the opportunity to live here for three years is a life-changing experience.

What do you hope to do once your studies are complete?
I would like to keep involved in the academic world, whereas here in the UK or back in Chile. I think that the skills and experience that the environment of UCL provides can help me to achieve that goal.

How did you hear about the UCL Laws scholarships?
I started to look for scholarships to fund my PhD when I was doing my LLM. The UCL Laws’ website is really helpful for finding the available scholarships.

Since my application was in the context of a special call for proposals, my scholarship was not in the list of permanent scholarships. I was finishing my LLM and my master's supervisor told me about the possibility of applying to UCL and get funding through the Faculty Research Scholarship.

What impact has receiving this scholarship had for you?
Since my undergraduate studies back in Chile, I dreamt with researching in a world-leading institution. The scholarship has allowed me to achieve that dream. However, that is just the starting point; now starts the fun part, to complete the research project.

The scholarship has also allowed me to come to London with my partner. To emigrate to another continent is a complicated process, and to do it without my partner would have been impossible. Thanks to the Faculty Research Scholarship, I can be in London with my family.

Overall, the scholarship has impacted for good both my professional and personal life.

If you hadn’t received this scholarship what do you think your plans would be, if not studying at UCL Laws?
First, if I hadn’t received the scholarship, I wouldn’t be here working in London. It would have been economically impossible for me to fund the studies and living costs. I will be grateful for my entire life for the trust that UCL Laws put in me by granting me the scholarship.

Probably I would be in Chile, working as a lawyer. However, I am sure that I would have applied again to UCL to pursue a PhD.

If someone was thinking of applying for a scholarship what would you say to them?
Try! UCL has several scholarships to help talented students. I think that the best advice that I can give is to prepare a strong application. To research the scholarships, Faculty members, the University as a whole, and try to show why you are suited to study or research in an environment such as the one that UCL provides.

Coming from a small and far country like Chile, I cannot stress more that UCL provides opportunities for all. Don’t hesitate and try!

If someone was thinking of funding or sponsoring a scholarship what would you say to them?
On a personal level, a scholarship can change someone’s life, and you will be helping to do that. There are really intelligent and talented people that simply cannot get access to education because of economic reasons. They (we) depend on scholarships to enhance and express their talents. To fund someone is to contribute to access to education and to give a person the life possibility of pursuing her professional and personal goals.

If we turn to a more professional point of view, the level and diversity of the research done in UCL is impressive. Scholarships are a fundamental aspect of a world-class academic institution. Without real people, there is no possible research to be done. If I focus solely in UCL Laws, I have colleagues working in all the areas of law that you can imagine, from commercial law, criminal law, feminist studies, intellectual property, legal theory, so on and so forth.  That range of different researches is possible thanks to the funding available.