Visiting Doctoral Researchers

Visiting Doctoral Researchers are doctoral candidates enrolled in a doctoral degree program at another institution abroad who wish to benefit from spending one year of their research at NYU School of Law. They will be fully integrated into the JSD program as far as is relevant. The JSD Program invites approximately six to eight individuals each academic year to contribute to the Visiting Doctoral Researcher position in the JSD Program.

The Visiting Doctoral Researchers are actively integrated into the Law School community through various academic and social programs, including an invitation to participate in the JSD Forum where they may present their research.

Benefits of Participation
Participating in the Visiting Doctoral Researcher program will include the following benefits:

  1. Participation in all Law School events including those especially of the JSD Program
  2. Integration, as far as possible, into the activities and events of NYU School of Law's JSD program
  3. Workspace within the Law School. Please note that work space is not guaranteed; however, we will do our best to provide some work space if any is available to us
  4. Access to the NYU School of Law Library, including WestLaw and LEXIS
  5. An email account

The invitation to join the Law School as a Visiting Doctoral Researcher is also an invitation to a life-long relationship with the JSD Program at NYU School of Law, one that will continue to foster excellence in legal scholarship. If you are interested in applying, please view the program information and application instructions links.


Current Visiting Doctoral Researchers

Academic Year 2021-2022


Jan Keesen VDR Fellow

Jan Keesen 
Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Jan Keesen is a research assistant at EBS Law School at the Chair in Public Law, Empirical Legal Studies and Law & Economics (Prof. Dr. Emanuel V. Towfigh). His research interests include Law of Democracy, Comparative Constitutional Law, Economic Analysis of Public Law, Law & Politics as well as Law and Digitalization. At NYU, he intends to enhance his knowledge in the field of Law of Democracy.

Jan studied law at EBS Law School in Wiesbaden and Queen’s University School of Law in Kingston (Canada) with a major in corporate and restructuring law. He also holds a MA in Business from EBS Business School. He is editor of the JuWiss-Blog, a leading German Public Law Blog, and Co-Founder of the Working Group Young Academia in Law & Politics.

Jan's dissertation deals with intermediary organizations in democracy. He analyzes which functions constitutional law assigns to political parties and interest groups. Looking at the execution of these functions, he reveals that intermediary organizations do not sufficiently fulfill their task of aggregating interests. He seeks to explain this malfunction of the political market by applying law & economics methodology


Jan-Phillip Graf VDR Fellow

Jan-Phillip Graf 
Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Jan-Phillip is a PhD candidate and SYLFF Young Leaders Fellow at the German Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (Ruhr University Bochum). His PhD thesis ‘A Human Right to Asylum for Refugee Children’ focuses on the human rights of refugee children in the special context of international migration. His research objective is a comprehensive analysis of all procedural and substantive rights refugee children enjoy under international law and their domestic implementation. At NYU, Jan-Phillip will complete his analysis of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and begin with a comparative study of the immigration processes child refugees undergo in the U.S. and Europe.

Jan-Phillip holds a master’s degree in international law from the Graduate Institute in Geneva, during which he was an exchange student at Harvard Law School. He has also studied international relations at Dresden University and history at Ruhr-University Bochum. As a research associate at the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict and a former assistant to the UN’s International Law Commission, he regularly comments on current developments in international law on Völkerrechtsblog and Verfassungsblog.


Olanike Adelakun VDR Fellow


 Olanike Adelakun 
 Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Olanike Adelakun is a doctoral candidate at Faculty of Law, University of South Africa under the supervision of Prof. Marlene Wethmar-Lemmer and Prof. Jacqueline Heaton. Her research focuses on comparative investigation of human rights issues in surrogacy practice in India, Nigeria and South Africa.

Olanike holds a Master’s Degree in Law (LL.M) and another Master’s degree in Library and Information Science (MLIS) both from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. she was called to the Nigerian Bar as a Barrister and Solicitor in 2007. She is an alumnus of The Hague Academy of International Law, the Netherlands.

Olanike is an instructor at the School of Law, American University of Nigeria as well as the course coordinator for Gender Based Violence in Emergencies capacity building course, in collaboration with UNFPA. She has implemented capacity building programs on GBV in Emergencies and Ending Violence against Women and Girls, in collaboration with UNFPA and UN WOMEN respectively. Her area of scholarly engagements are human rights, family law, gender studies, reproductive health and rights as well as women and child protection, all within the field of Private International Law. Olanike has published widely in her area of engagement.

During her time at NYU, she hopes to complete writing her thesis as well as an ongoing research for journal publication.