UCL Faculty of Laws


Jeevan Hariharan, Faculty Research Scholarship

Jeevan Hariharan
Programme, and year of study: PhD, 1st year
Where you are from: Australia
Area of research: Privacy Law and Legal Theory 
PhD supervisor: Professor George Letsas
Scholarship received: Faculty Research Scholarship

Why did you choose to apply to study at UCL Laws?
I chose to apply to UCL Laws in order to study at a world-renowned institution involved in cutting-edge legal research. For me, the main drawcard in this respect was the prospect of working with my research supervisor who analyses legal issues using a methodological approach I find especially useful. Our correspondence prior to application and then subsequently in my PhD interview was pivotal in my decision to apply and then study at UCL.

What are your favourite things about studying at UCL Laws?
There are three things I particularly enjoy about studying at UCL Laws. The first is the rest of the PhD community. The small size of the PhD cohort and the range of interesting topics being worked on helps foster a vibrant and supportive research environment where everyone learns from each other. The second is being situated in Bentham House. Having excellent research facilities and dedicated study space in the heart of London is invaluable, especially as it allows me to attend talks and conferences throughout the city. The third is the opportunity to engage more widely with the work being undertaken by the UCL Law Faculty and UCL as a whole. The opportunity, for example, to attend and contribute to staff work-in-progress seminars and attend discussions in other faculties gives me a cross-disciplinary insight and makes my work more holistic.

What do you hope to do once your studies are complete?
I hope to enter legal academia and be a full-time researcher and teacher. Long-term, I would also love to be involved in policy and law reform work. 

How did you hear about the UCL Laws scholarships?
I heard about the scholarship through the UCL Laws website when I was researching and applying for PhD positions. 

What impact has receiving this scholarship had for you?
Especially as an international student, this scholarship has had a massive impact. Without it, I simply would not have been able to engage in doctoral study. 

If you hadn’t received this scholarship what do you think your plans would be, if not studying at UCL Laws?
Given my interest in academia, I probably would have sought to pursue my studies at another institution or perhaps even applied again in a subsequent year after building my experience further. If this was not possible, I would either return to practice in some way or pursue more law-reform/policy-oriented work. 

If someone was thinking of applying for a scholarship what would you say to them?
In most cases, the decision to apply for a scholarship comes after the decision to apply for a PhD at a particular institution. The decision to apply for a PhD somewhere can be a long process. It requires you to think about whether you are truly interested in your work and whether a particular institution and supervisor will support you in achieving your goals. But once you have chosen to apply for study, applying for a scholarship is a no-brainer! You have nothing to lose and, in many cases, the scholarship decision will dictate whether or not you are actually able to pursue your studies. 

If someone was thinking of funding or sponsoring a scholarship what would you say to them?
As a student who has been supported by scholarships throughout my secondary education, undergraduate degrees, master studies and now the PhD, I cannot emphasise enough the difference that funding has in someone’s life. By funding or sponsoring a scholarship, you provide someone with the means to pursue important work that they very likely would not have been able to engage in without your support. Improving access in this way means that those who are truly well-suited or have a flair for a particular discipline can contribute to that field. That is to say, it allows a particular field to have knowledge and insight generated from the right kind of people, not only those who are already equipped with the financial means to be properly qualified in that discipline. In my case, I feel extremely grateful to all those who have contributed to my studies and particularly those who allowed me to pursue doctoral studies at UCL Laws.