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Postgraduate Research Student Board

The Postgraduate Research Student Board (PGRSB) is the representative body of the PGR Community (PhD and LLM by Research students) within Edinburgh Law School.

PGRSB Board Members 2024 Feb

The Board aims to support the community by overseeing the PhD offices and reading groups, organising academic and social events and responding to any concerns. The Board also represents PhD and LLM(R) students to the wider School, including liaising with staff regarding issues and matters which impact the community.


Leo Kritikos (he/him) – President

I started my PhD in September 2021 thus now being in my third year. My background is in law and criminology, though my doctoral research adopts a socio-criminological approach. I’m particularly interested in LGBTQ+ issues, security studies, urban governance and planning, and the socio-political implications of law and policy. 

In my free time, I like practicing yoga, experimenting with analogue photography, playing the piano, and reading (non-academic) books.

This is my third year as a member of the Board, which I started to support in the capacity of the President in September 2023.  My intentions for this role are to: a) try to ensure that the Law School PGR community is a welcoming and safe space for everyone who is a part of it; b) to maintain equity within the PGR community, and; c) to safeguard its standing within the Law School.

View Leo Kritikos's profile

Grayson Bartels (he/him) – Vice President

I am a third year PhD student studying how carceral and community systems impact autonomy and recovery relating to drug use. Within the University, I am currently in the second year of my three-year term sitting on the Student Discipline Committee which hears and adjudicates individual cases of alleged breaches of the Code of Student Conduct. I am also an ordinary tutor for criminology and sociology courses in both the Law School and the School of Social and Political Science.

Outside of my studies, I am active within Scottish harm reduction community. I was recently appointed to Crew2000’s Board of Directors which oversees and supports the charity to achieve their mission of reducing drug and sexual health related harms and stigma. Additionally, I am a member of the Scottish Centre for Crime & Justice Research.

Before taking on the role of Vice President of the PGRSB, I spent one year as an ordinary member and another as the EUSA Law PGR Representative. Now as the VP, I aim to support the President and other Board members achieve the PGRSB’s goals to support the PGR Community within the Law School.

View Grayson Bartels' profile

George Dick – Treasurer

I'm George, a second year PhD student who started in September 2022. My research is in the area of legal theory, whereby it revolves around the matter of theory-choice in regard to theorising about the nature of law. In my (ever-decreasing!) spare time, I am an avid gamer of the video and board variety.

As Treasurer, I am responsible for the allocation of the PGRSB's budget to support reading groups in the Law School and other initiatives for the Law PGR community.

Jin Wang – Secretary

I am Jin, I started my PhD in January 2023, and am about to enter my second year. Within the intriguing realm of international commercial arbitration, my research focuses on third-party funding and its impact on access to justice. Beyond academics, I'm passionate about exercising and collecting vinyl records. 

As the secretary of the Board, I am responsible for ensuring seamless communication within the Board and supporting my colleagues. My mission is to help prepare for meetings meticulously and manage our mailbox, making certain that important messages and documents reach the right hands promptly.

View Jin Wang's profile

Ruby Reed-Berendt (she/her) – Social Events Officer

I started my PhD in January 2020 and am now in my fourth year of part-time study. My PhD examines mental capacity law from an intersectional perspective, and I undertake my research as part of the Mason Institute. My research interests include mental health, mental capacity, feminist bioethics and feminist legal theory, and NHS systems and regulation.   

As Social Events Officer, I help organise social events and other activities that the Board oversees.  These events aim to bring the students together, make them feel like part of a larger community, and connect with their peers in a relaxed and non-judgmental environment.

View Ruby Reed-Berendt's profile

Emily Asgari – Social Officer

I started my PhD in January 2023 and am now going into my second year of full-time study. My PhD thesis focuses on deepfake technology. My research interests include the law and technology, artificial intelligence, intellectual property, and free speech. I am a formerly practising intellectual property attorney from California.

As Social Officer, I assist in organising the Law PhD students’ social events. These events are organised with the aim of bringing the postgraduate law community together, allowing them to connect with their peers, and enhancing their experience at the university.

View Emily Asgari's profile

Rania Djojosugito – First Year Representative

Rania is a first-year PhD researcher focusing her work on the regulation of satellite and space debris re-entries to Earth. While her past time is focused on the study of space law, she is passionate about making the voices of her cohort heard and acknowledged within the PGRSB Board.

View Rania Djojosugito's profile

Lucy Tomkins (she/her) – Ordinary Representative

I am an ordinary member in the PGRSB, a first-year PhD Law student, and a Programme Officer for Ocean Voices. I am researching rights-based approaches in international ocean governance and have interests in the fields of international environmental law and the law of the sea.

View Lucy Tomkins' profile

The Reading and Discussion groups are a key part of the PGR community, and they put on academic events and sessions across areas of research at the Law School, with support from the PGRSB. Below is a list of active groups and contact details:

Commercial Law Reading Group

Contact: or 

The Commercial Law Reading Group (CLRG) is founded by PhD students at Edinburgh Law School. Its current convenors are Zekun (Eric) Chang and Claudia Paduano. The group members include teaching staff and research students. During term time, the CLRG hosts monthly events where teaching staff, visiting scholars, and group members present their recent works that fall in the commercial law category. The presentations are followed by discussions. Tea and coffee receptions are provided in each event to encourage the participants to socialise and network. These events are open to all Law School members. The CLRG hopes to facilitate the conversation of intelligence and networking between researchers in the commercial law field. If you would like to be on their email list, please email Eric or Claudia so that they can notify you of their new events. The CLRG is also looking for new convenors from academic year 2023/24 onwards, please get in touch with the convenors if you are interested.

Criminal Law Discussion Group


The Criminal Law Discussion Group (CrimLawDG) is a student-run space for research and discussion of criminal law topics for the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and the UK as a whole. Its main objective is to provide a permanent academic forum in which criminal law scholars and researchers can present their work, propose a discussion topic through a presentation, and workshop ideas with criminal law colleagues. In this sense, the CrimLawDG seeks to fill a gap in criminal law academia, namely that there are very few academic instances dedicated specifically to criminal law – most research or discussion groups are either focused on criminal justice as a whole or as an interdisciplinary effort to include social sciences (such as criminology or social theory) in the discussion of criminal matters. Though these are interesting and worthy projects, there are almost no instances in which criminal law itself – substantive criminal law, criminal procedure, criminal evidence, philosophy of criminal law and criminal law theory – is discussed in depth. Therefore, the CrimLawDG encourages the analysis of these topics in particular and creates a chance for open discussion for criminal law scholars and researchers.

The CrimLawDG also seeks to act as an open space for students who wish to explore criminal law themes more in depth. We seek to give undergraduate and LLM students an opportunity to participate in further study of the criminal law, and engage with current and ongoing ideas and research, through attendance to our events. It is our belief that the CrimLawDG serves as a motivation for embarking in further postgraduate studies in criminal law, acting as an interesting part of the University of Edinburgh’s academic community.

We run both online and in-person events. Together with scholars from the University of Glasgow and University of Stirling, we organise the Virtual Criminal Law Group - a space where criminal law scholars from around the world present work-in-progress papers for in-depth discussion. We also run an in-person Open Seminar Series every term, and Work-in-Progress sessions on an ad-hoc basis upon request from students or staff. If you would like to join our mailing list to keep up to date on our events or would like to contact us to organise an event of your own, please write to us at

Criminology Reading Group


The Criminology Reading Group (CRG) is a student-led group that aims to facilitate discussion and knowledge exchange between the University of Edinburgh PhD students and early career researchers in the fields of criminology and social and political sciences, as well as with the wider community. We organise a number of events throughout the year and invite internal and external speakers conducting research on contemporary issues in criminology and socio-legal sciences. 

We look forward to hosting exciting events for our community! 


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Europa Postgraduate Research Group

Contact: or

Edinburgh Europa Research Group (EERG) is a PhD-led research group supported by the Edinburgh Europa Institute. Its aim is to bring together PhD researchers and early career researchers working on Europe-related issues at the University of Edinburgh. It provides the opportunity for students to present their research, receive feedback, and exchange ideas in a friendly setting at monthly meetings. The EERG will also be hosting a variety of workshops and events on European issues.

Please feel free to contact the co-convenors, Andrea Christou and Unai Gomez-Hernandez, to request further information. You can join the group by joining this Microsoft Teams page and subscribing to the mailing list on the website.

Visit the Edinburgh Europa Research Group website

International Law Reading Group

Contact: Lucy Tomkins (

The International Law Reading Group (ILRG) is a student-led group aiming to facilitate discussion between postgraduate students and researchers in the field of international law and governance. We are a new reading group, as of 2023/2024, and are aiming to organise a number of events throughout the coming year.

We currently intend to host two types of events, “book club” style meetings where we discuss papers and current topics, and larger events hosting speakers from different institutions to discuss their research. We aim to focus on various areas across international law; our current plans incorporate international criminal law, international human rights law, and international environmental law but we are eager to expand on this. We are keen for participants to join our events and contribute towards future topics.

Please get in touch with Lucy Tomkins ( to be notified about upcoming events.

Law, Borders and Migration and Reading Group

Contact: and

The Law, Borders and Migration Reading Group is a newly re-formed reading group created by PhD researchers at the University of Edinburgh. The current convenors are Valentina Rioseco Vallejos and Gaia Zanotti. We aim to offer our members a safe space and platform to discuss issues surrounding migration, citizenship, and human rights. Our intention is to convene on a monthly basis and grant our members significant influence over shaping the content of each session. Within our member-driven approach, participants in the reading group will have the opportunity to contribute by suggesting articles, blog posts, or presenting ongoing research for constructive peer feedback during meetings. This forum provides an excellent space for members to delve into their individual research passions and exchange their discoveries with fellow researchers who share similar areas of interest. Furthermore, following the success of the June 2023 Roundtable, we intend to reintroduce the Law, Borders, and Migration Roundtable in June 2024. Similar to its earlier iteration, we are in the process of arranging a full-day event where PhD students and early career researchers will have the chance to showcase their research and benefit from insights provided by scholars from the University of Edinburgh or other academic institutions. This event presents an excellent occasion for participants to expand their professional network, and gain exposure to ongoing research within the university and beyond.

In conclusion, this dedicated reading group for research students, with its focus on migration, serves as a platform for knowledge exchange, collaborative learning, and the exploration of diverse perspectives. Through this group, we not only expand our knowledge and understanding but also foster a vibrant academic community.

Legal Theory Research Group


Visit Legal Theory Research Group website

Private Law Discussion Group


The Private Law Discussion Group is a PhD-led group that meets to discuss a wide range of Private Law topics. Each meeting features an invited guest speaking on a paper or project they has been working on, followed by an open-floor discussion on the issues raised. Regular attendees include junior and early career researchers, senior academics, practicing lawyers, and members of the judiciary. The sessions are fairly informal and are followed by drinks, giving attendees the chance to mingle and build networks. Anyone is welcome to attend but places must be reserved in advance through Eventbrite. Events are advertised through Edinburgh Law School, a mailing list, and Eventbrite. For more information on upcoming events, to be added to the mailing list, and for all other queries please contact León Carmona Fontaine (the Convenor) on the email above.

The Mason Institute PhD Research Group


The MI PhD Research Group is a research group run by PhD students for PhD students who are interested in and/or are researching in areas at the interface between ethics, law, medicine, and the life sciences at the University of Edinburgh. It aims to support the research processes of these PhD students and lead to the creation of research outputs to strengthen the students’ research profile. Events include writing workshops, discussion seminars, writing retreat, career development session, ‘PhD taster’ sessions. Opportunities offered include publishing a blog on the Mason Institute Blog. The current directors are Emma Nance, Rebecca Richards, and Jamie Webb who can be contacted via the email above.

Visit Mason Institute PhD Research Group website