Welcome to the LA-DEM-MED research centre.

A shared space where we advocate for social transformation through collaboration, engagement and empathy.

Explore the LA-DEM-MED projects

LA-DEM-MED predoc training course

LA-DEM-MED post-doctoral research

Publication writing

LA-DEM-MED predoc training course

The LA-DEM-MED predoc training course involves 16 participants from the three Ethiopian partner universities. The training is run by Prof. Wil Hout, Prof. Karin Arts and Dr Tefera Negash Gebregzhiabher, all at the International Institute of Social Studies. Between January and December 2021, participants discuss their ideas for a PhD project, with the aim of formulating a solid PhD proposal for submission to a PhD programme at a university in Ethiopia or abroad.

The plenary part of the training course focuses on the various elements of a PhD research proposal, which were covered in assignments for the sessions of the course:

  • Defining the research objective;
  • Establishing a research framework;
  • Formulating a research question;
  • Connecting the design to research methods;
  • Towards the full research proposal.

After the six plenary sessions, the training course takes the form of individual coaching of participants, who are guided to further develop their research proposal.

The training course is concluded with a workshop in which the full drafts of the proposals are discussed with experts in the field.

LA-DEM-MED post-doctoral research

The LA-DEM-MED postdoctoral research is specifically designed to assist outstanding early career researchers to broaden their specialized research and explore avenues to publish their findings. Postdoctoral fellows are paired with experienced supervisors who are experts in their fields.

Current Research Themes, Post-Doctoral Fellows and Coaches:

  1. Women Political Participation in Ethiopia
    Postdoctoral fellow: Seblewongiel Ayenalem (PhD), Bahir Dar University
    Project coach: Prof. Ida Sabelis, VU Amsterdam & NWU, Potchefstroom, South Africa.
  2. Environmental Law Courts and Tribunals in Ethiopia
    Project coach: Prof. Karin Arts, International Institute of Social Studies
  3. Access to Justice for Women and other Vulnerable Groups in Ethiopia
    Postdoctoral fellow: Tessema Simachew Belay (PhD), Bahir Dar University
    Project coach: Dr. Prosper S. Maguchu LLM, VU Amsterdam

During the coaching programme, the postdoctoral fellows will be professionally advised, supported and supervised. They will learn to formulate and test scientific hypotheses, refine their writing and present their research to the greater scientific community. These scientific skills will be instrumental in shaping their independent research careers after their postdoctoral coaching is completed.

Fellows devote their full time to scholarly activities in furtherance of their individual research agendas. In addition, fellows contribute to the intellectual life of the LA-DEM-MED through mentoring predoc students, presenting their research and editing for the LA-DEM-MED Working Papers Series (WPS).

Publication writing

Each postdoc project is expected to result in 6 publications. One of the criteria on the basis of which the postdoc researchers have been selected is their publication strategy. The postdoc researchers would take the lead in drafting articles and the Master students are invited to contribute actively as well as to expose them to this relevant aspect of academic research , so they gain experience with publication writing and are hopefully encouraged to pursue an academic career after graduation. It is possible – and even encouraged – that the postdoc coaches also have a role in writing or reviewing draft articles and in identifying suitable academic journals to submit articles to.

The LA-DEM-MED project document envisages the following output in publication writing, although in practice the thematic focus may differ:

  • on the performance of government institutions, and in particular of justice sector organisations and how to improve these: 6 publications
  • on the election process and role of the electoral boards and media: 6 publications
  • on access to justice, in particular for vulnerable groups and women and social economic problems, such as poverty and unemployment, domestic violence, etc.: 6 publications

While the coaches will assist the postdoc research teams in writing and publishing their work, the LA-DEM-MED project will offer a publication writing workshop to the postdoc researchers and to (selected) participants of the predoc training course who have the the talent, the ideas and the ambition to write and publish on relevant topics about law, democratisation and media in Ethiopia.

As part of the communication strategy to disseminate results and outcomes of the LA-DEM-MED project not only publications in relevant academic journals are considered but also the publication of research reports and articles in (non-academic) magazines and newspapers and on websites.


LA-DEM-MED is funded by NUFFIC under the Orange Knowledge Programme.