Congratulations to the 2021 CIBEL Global Network Young Scholar Workshop Prize winners


UNSW Law & Justice’s China International Business and Economic Law (CIBEL) Centre congratulates the 2021 CIBEL Global Network Young Scholar Workshop Prize winners on their outstanding achievements:



Paper title

CIBEL Global Network Young Scholar Prize 

Josef Ostřanský, Max Weber Fellow, European University Institute

New Multilateral Development Banks and Reconfigurations of International Economic Development Discourses

CIBEL Global Network PhD Scholar Prize 

Raymond Yang Gao, PhD Scholar, Australian National University

How Could Public International Law Address Human Rights in Investor-State Treaty Arbitration?

The Workshop was held on 6 August 2021. It focused on the theme of “New opportunities and challenges to international economic law” and explored the impact of the changes the world economy was facing as it was entering a new and complex landscape which included new approaches by different states, new trade agreements, and new digital currency.

After a competitive selection process, 15 speakers from world-leading institutes were selected to present at the Workshop, including PhD students and early career researchers from the National University of Singapore, McGill University, Cornell University and Peking University. 

The prizes recognized academic excellence of Josef and Raymond who, together with their peer presenters, shared their fresh takes on commercial law, global trading system, international dispute settlement mechanism and finance and currency with international audience and gained constructive feedback from preeminent experts in a supportive and friendly environment.

Thank you to all 2021 CIBEL Global Network Young Scholar Workshop participants and those who supported their success! For information on the Workshop and session recordings please click here.


Meet our winners

In the lead-up to 2022 CIBEL Global Network Young Scholar Workshop (submit your application by 5pm 13 July), we spoke to the 2021 prize winners Josef Ostřanský and Raymond Yang Gao who shared their experience and advice with future participants.

  1. What was your biggest takeaway from the 2021 CIBEL Global Network Young Scholar Workshop?

Josef Ostřanský: International economic law as a field of scholarship and practice is a highly vibrant community. The various sessions and panels in the 2021 CIBEL Global Network Young Scholar Workshop were a testament to that. While recent developments in the field may make many anxious about the future (e.g. with the decline of the multilateral trade regime), the Workshop showcased a variety of novel and innovative regulatory approaches being deployed and developed by many actors. Navigating the changing legal landscape may be challenging for young scholars. But the workshop showed that a significant number of creative young scholars are willing to tackle the emerging challenges. The CIBEL Global Network Young Scholar Workshop helps bring them together and contributes to a lively exchange in discussion with more senior scholars.

Raymond Yang Gao: Scholars can benefit a lot from high quality discussions with peers and experts who share the same passion, same goal. Writing an academic paper is not a one-shot game, but more of a recursive process. Often, it takes several rounds of writing, revision, and editing to produce a great paper. In this process, it is important to keep an open mind, critically reflect on our arguments, and incorporate constructive feedback from others. In this way, we can really improve our work.  

  1. What did you most enjoy about the event?

Josef Ostřanský: My paper dealt with an area which was, to some extent, relatively new to me; in a sense that it focused on the area of international development finance and, specifically, on new multilateral development banks sponsored by China. In the past, I have researched and written mainly on international investment law. For that reason, I particularly appreciated the friendly and constructive spirit in which the Workshop was led. I really enjoyed the discussion on my paper with both the senior convenors and the fellow early career researchers. No less did I enjoy discussing the other brilliant presentations on the panel. Finally, I very much appreciated that the convenors succeeded in making the panels – and the Workshop as a whole – very diverse in many respects, for instance, by including speakers from all continents.

Raymond Yang Gao: A bunch of brilliant doctoral students and young scholars from different countries and with diverse backgrounds can convene and present their recent work-in-progress, share their insights, have a live discussion, gain a lot of food for thought, and get valuable feedback from renowned experts in their fields.

  1. Do you have any suggestions for future CIBEL Global Network Young Scholar Workshop applicants or speakers?

Josef Ostřanský: I decided to apply for the workshop with a paper that was a work in progress, and, as mentioned above, that meant, for me at least, branching into a relatively new area of law. So, I was humbled and delighted to learn that I had won the CIBEL Global Network Young Scholar Prize. What I mean to say is that the workshop is a great forum to test new ideas in an atmosphere of well-intentioned and constructive feedback. My suggestion for future applicants is to take advantage of this platform to test run new ideas or projects. The comments they receive may be precisely the kind of boost needed to get the new projects running.

Raymond Yang Gao: Seize the chance and apply for the event, as you can gain insights from your colleagues' work, polish your presentation skills, and make friends with inspiring young scholars and well-established academics. It is well worth it!


About the CIBEL Global Network

The CIBEL Global Network is a hub initiated by the CIBEL Centre in late 2018 to connect and engage with scholars, practitioners, regulators and the public in its field. It aims to build a prosperous global community of people working in the CIBEL field.

The CIBEL Centre supports and promotes this network by holding conference and Young Scholars workshop annually. It also organises social and networking events for members to facilitate possible collaborations.