Our Student Research Community

The Centre for Law, Science and Policy has a thriving student community, supporting undergraduate and post-graduate students to research and learn about intersections of law, science and technologies.

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Undergraduate Opportunities

We welcome undergraduate students to develop their research skills and experience through contributing to projects undertaken within the Centre for Law, Science and Policy.
Opportunities >>

CLSP PhD Opportunities Image 341x139 - Books open on a table

PhDs and Award Schemes

Find out more about PhD opportunities with the Centre for Law, Science and Policy, as well as our support of the Prestigious Research Participation Award Scheme.
Opportunities >>

Our Funded Scholars

Stacey Hutchins Profile Picture 100x150 Stacey Hutchins

Stacey joins the Centre for Law, Science and Policy as a Leverhulme/ British Academy funded Research Associate to undertake research on medical clemency procedures across the USA.

Stacey holds a LL.B (Hons) and a LL.M. in International Law: Crime, Justice and Human Rights (Distinction) from the University of Birmingham.

Stacey’s post-graduate research focused on the dangers of an over-medicalised approach to capital punishment; critically analysing the USA’s use of lethal injection as a method of execution. Stacey has recently returned from an eight-month stay in Texas, where she interned at the Texas Defender Service. Whilst there, Stacey assisted in pre and post capital-conviction litigation.


Our Doctoral Researchers

The Centre for Law, Science and Policy supervises a range of doctoral research projects, including projects examining intersections of law, science and policy in the context of vaccines, shaken baby syndrome, and public health regulation. Whist PGRs, our PhD students often have the opportunity to gain teaching experience, travel abroad, and lead research dissemination activities. Find out more about our current PhD students below.


CLSP Sally Philips 100x150 - Profile Picture Sally Philips

Sally’s research focuses on the intersection of science and law, particularly in cases concerning Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma. Coming from a background in Criminology and Forensic Studies with a firm foundation in the natural sciences, she has a great interest in the use of science in criminal prosecutions and the judicial response to this complex juncture of disciplines.

Her thesis aims to collate and operationalise the ways in which SBS science is challenged and responded to in criminal courts in the US. Her model should not only provide insight into the way SBS science is dealt with in courts, but also act as a practical tool for advocates.


CLSP Amelia Shooter 100x150 - Profile pictureAmelia Shooter

Amelia is a PhD student examining judicial deference to agency science in the United States, through the lens of six reports of the National Academy of Sciences, published between 1992 and 2009. Each report focuses on different forensic science disciplines. Her research seeks to examine the extent to which judges in US criminal courts engage with the underpinning science contained in these reports through a “spectrum of deference.”

Prior to studying at Birmingham City University, Amelia spent time working in local government, after completing her LLM in Human Rights Law at the University of Nottingham, and an LLB in Law and French at the University of Leeds. Amelia holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Practice and a SEDA Accredited Teaching Qualification, making her an Associate Fellow of SEDA.


CLSP Laura Smillie 100x150 - Profile pictureLaura Smillie

Laura graduated from Birmingham City University with a LL.B (Hons) First Class in 2016. Whilst an undergraduate, she worked on various research projects including a pilot study about medical clemency in the USA, and a review of court approaches to forensic science evidence. Laura’s research examines US court approaches to the scientific complexity of a crucial biopharmaceutical: vaccines.

Focusing on products liability claims, Laura aims to create a unique typology of legal claims and judicial decision-making that can be used to inform lawyering and judicial practices, and the work of the World Health Organisation. In the first year of her PhD, Laura gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Practice and a SEDA Accredited Teaching Qualification, making her an Associate Fellow of SEDA.


CLSP Oleksandra Vytiaganets 100x150 - Profile pictureOleksandra Vytiaganets

Oleksandra’s research examines the intersection between the private rights of multinational investors and the obligation and right of sovereign nations to act in the public interest in regulating public health. Prior to joining BCU, she graduated from Liverpool University with First Class Honours LLM (IHR) degree, and from the National Law University in Ukraine with Master of Laws degree with distinction.

She also holds a Bachelor of Laws (General) degree (with distinction), having graduated from the National Law University in Ukraine. Oleksandra has practised law in the commercial sector, working in litigation and international arbitration. In Ukraine, she was also actively engaged in various NGO initiatives, including observational court monitoring for the Implementation of the Criminal Procedure Code.