students around a table

Postdoctoral studies

Postdoctoral students at the uOttawa Faculty of Law are offered a wide array of opportunities to broaden their specialized research or explore avenues complementary to their training.

The postdoctoral research environment

The University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law is the largest in Canada, boasting a distinguished and diverse assembly of faculty members at the forefront of legal research and education. Through their scholarship, many of our professors have contributed to the transformation of Canada’s legal systems as well as the ways in which law is practiced, taught and conceived. Our law school boasts a thriving research environment, hosting numerous research chairs, and a broad and deep assortment of centres of research excellence. Located in the heart of downtown Ottawa, within walking distance of Parliament Hill and the Supreme Court of Canada, the University of Ottawa provides the best opportunity in the world to study Canada’s legal systems in English or in French.

Postdoctoral students at the uOttawa Faculty of Law are offered a wide array of opportunities to broaden their specialized research or explore avenues complementary to their training. Our dynamic and inclusive research environment invites postdocs to take part in invigorating activities such as the new Autumn School on the Methodology of Research in Law, and the Faculty of Law Writing Group. Postdoctoral fellows also find repeated opportunities to be invited to speak in regular conference series, or to participate in work-in-progress workshops. They can also access the services of the Research Office and benefit from our communications support to disseminate their research and accomplishments. We are proud of the level of excellence displayed by our researchers, and are eager to add new voices to our research enterprise.

Postdoctoral fellows based at the Faculty of Law

Karni Chagal-Feferkorn

Karni Chagal-Feferkorn

Scotiabank Postdoctoral Fellow in AI and Regulation
Faculty of Law, Common Law Section
University of Ottawa

Karni Chagal-Feferkorn is the Scotiabank Postdoctoral Fellow in AI and Regulation at the University of Ottawa AI + Society Initiative, under the supervision of Professors Teresa ScassaFlorian Martin-Bariteau and Michael Geist.

Karni Chagal-Feferkorn’s research at the AI + Society Initiative examines different aspects of the intersection between artificial intelligence (AI) and the law, including legal liability for AI-induced damages, admissibility of AI evidence in courts, and the educational challenge of teaching lawyers and programmers to work jointly in order to design more ethical AI systems.

Karni Chagal-Feferkorn pursued her PhD at the University of Haifa (Israel), where she also obtained her LL.B. degree in Law and her B.A. in Economics. She holds an LL.M. in Law, Science and Technology from Stanford University, and is a licensed attorney in Israel, California and New York. Among her passions is teaching, and she has previously taught courses on AI, ethics & the law; Intellectual Property; Property Law; Tort Law; and Constitutional Law. 

In addition to academic research, Karni Chagal-Feferkorn is one of the founding partners of a consultancy firm that specializes in comparative research pertaining to law and regulation, and conducts research for governments, law firms and companies on various regulatory matters, including technology in general and AI in specific. She also advises an Israeli start-up focused on automating the drafting of complex legal documents.

Email: [email protected]

Michael Da Silva

Michael Da Silva

Alex Trebek Postdoctoral Fellow in AI and Healthcare
Faculty of Law, Common Law Section
University of Ottawa

Michael Da Silva is the Alex Trebek Postdoctoral Fellow in AI and Healthcare at the University of Ottawa AI + Society Initiative, under the supervision of Professor Colleen Flood.

As the Alex Trebek Postdoctoral Fellow in AI and Healthcare, Dr. Michael Da Silva will explore the legal and ethical implications of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) for health and healthcare. He will apply his graduate and post-doctoral training in law and philosophy to examine how to weigh and implement – and then reassess – competing values in ‘real-world’ institutional contexts. He will begin by contributing to ongoing work on the ethical regulation of A.I. in/as medical devices.

Dr. Da Silva takes an interdisciplinary, transnational approach to research and has published works in numerous disciplines, including law, philosophy, and bioethics. Several of Dr. Da Silva’s past works focused on ‘social rights.’ For instance, his forthcoming book offers a new conception of the right to health care and measures for realizing that right. He is thus particularly interested in exploring the relationship between A.I. regulation and human rights during the course of his fellowship.

Dr. Da Silva completed his Doctoral of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) in the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where he was a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar. He then served as a CIHR Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the McGill University Faculty of Law and Institute for Health and Social Policy. Dr. Da Silva is a member of the New York bar. Among other past experiences, he served as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia and a Foreign Law Clerk at the Supreme Court of Israel.

Email: [email protected]

David Hughes

David Hughes

Alex Trebek Postdoctoral Fellow
Faculty of Law, Common Law Section
University of Ottawa

David Hughes has been recruited as part of the collaborative research project “Changing Orders: Shaping the Future and Securing Rights in a World in Transformation” (https://www.cips-cepi.ca/changing-orders-shaping-the-future-and-securing-rights-in-a-world-in-transformation/), funded by the Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue and awarded to the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC), the Refugee Hub, the Institute for Science, Society and Policy (ISSP) and the Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS).

He will work under the supervision of HRREC Director, Professor John Packer, and Refugee Hub’s Managing Director, Professor Jennifer Bond, to study how to secure fundamental human rights in the face of challenges to the rules-based international order.

David holds a Ph.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School. From 2017-2019, David was a Grotius Research Scholar at the University of Michigan Law School where he researched and wrote about various topics in international law, foreign relations law, and about the ways various legal orders interact. The resulting publications appear or are forthcoming in several legal journals including the European Journal of International Law, the Melbourne Journal of International Law, the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, and the British Yearbook of International Law. Prior to beginning his doctoral work, David earned an LL.M from University College London, an LL.B from the University of Leicester, and a BA from Queen’s University. After law school, David worked at the Council of Europe, in various roles for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and with a coalition of Israeli and Palestinian NGOs in East Jerusalem.

See David’s publications.

Email: [email protected]

Amanda van Beinum

Amanda van Beinum

Postdoctoral Fellow
Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics
Faculty of Law, Common Law Section
University of Ottawa

Amanda van Beinum is a Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Common Law under the supervision of Professor Jennifer Chandler.

Amanda’s postdoctoral research employs a critical science and technology studies (STS) perspective to explore the social and technological impacts of deep brain stimulation as an emerging therapy for the treatment of psychiatric illness. Amanda is also involved in HYBRID-MINDS, an international and interdisciplinary collaborative project aiming to provide the first systematic exploration of the experiential, ethical, and legal significance of the functional integration of neuroprostheses with the human mind.

Amanda completed her PhD in Sociology at Carleton University where her doctoral work involved an STS-informed analysis of the tensions and meanings of death amidst life-support technology in the intensive care unit. This cross-disciplinary project built on findings from her MSc. (Epidemiology) obtained previously at the University of Ottawa.

With training in both science and arts, Amanda has a passion for interdisciplinary work and is drawn to teaching, writing, and researching at critical intersections. She has recently co-designed and taught a course on race and medicine and has published work in medical journals in addition to her ongoing involvement in social science research communities.

Email: [email protected]

Former postdoctoral fellows

Lindsey McKay

Lindsey McKay

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2017-2018)
Faculty of Law
University of Ottawa

I am a sociologist specializing in the political economy of health, medicine, and care work. I completed my PhD at Carleton University in Ottawa following a near decade-long career in public policy. My research addresses issues of social equality, policy and ethics. I have a collaborative research agenda on care work, specifically parental leave, with Drs. Andrea Doucet (CRC, Brock University) and Sophie Mathieu (University of Montréal), and a longstanding individual research program on organ donation for transplantation.

My postdoctoral fellowship, under the supervision of Prof. Jennifer Chandler, allows me to broaden my research on deceased organ donation. Through work with her and on multidisciplinary teams, I am adding legal and ethical lenses to my sociological and political economy training.

My primary project during my fellowship examines the potential and limitations of what are called ‘Pre-Mortem’ Interventions for deceased organ donation. This set of medical interventions have the potential to expand opportunities for organ donation but are not practiced in many settings due to medical, legal, social and ethical issues. My original contribution will be a qualitative socio-legal study of health care provider attitudes towards Pre-Mortem Interventions.

Contact us

For questions regarding postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Ottawa, please contact the Office of the Vice-Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at postdoc@uottawa.ca.

For questions specifically related to postdocs at the Faculty of Law, please contact [email protected].