The UNCTAD Division of Investment and Enterprise (DIAE) and the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL) jointly establish an award for the best early-career academic research work on international investment law and development. The award is reserved to PhD students or early-career researchers with no more than five years of professional experience. 

UNCTAD and SIEL invite contributions that provide state-of-the-art knowledge and analysis of the national and international legal frameworks and practices related to cross-border investment, and their impact on development, including its economic, social, environmental or institutional aspects.

Reflecting the core value propositions of UNCTAD’s research mandate, the winning papers should meet the following criteria: 1) original and innovative research; 2) topical issues with a discussion of policy implication; and 3) focus on development (i.e. how to ensure that international investment and multinational enterprises contribute to sustainable development). The paper must not have been previously published. Co-authorship is permitted provided all authors meet the stated conditions.


  • The “UNCTAD-SIEL Award for Research on Investment and Development” to be officially conferred at the SIEL Biennial Conference.
  • Invitation to apply for a three-month consultancy contract at UNCTAD’s Division of Investment and Enterprise to work based on a mutually agreed timing. The contract will be issued in line with UN rules and regulations. 
  • Invitation to publish the winning paper in the peer-reviewed UN JournalTransnational Corporations, subject to the standard procedures.


    Selection Process:

  • The submitted papers will be evaluated by a Review Panel consisting of the UNCTAD DIAE leadership and eminent academics, including members of SIEL.