Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Interested in all proposals relating to medical law and ethics, especially health research regulation, privacy, and legal responses to advances in genetics and genomics.

Watch out for regular partial PhD scholarships via our McLagan Fund, administered by the Mason Institute (see above).

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Personal profile


Graeme Laurie is Professorial Fellow in the School of Law at the University of Edinburgh and Founding Director of the JK Mason Institute for Medicine, Life Sciences and the Law. He held the Chair of Medical Jurisprudence from 2005-2019, and was Principal Investigator of a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award for a project entitled Confronting the Liminal Spaces of Health Research Regulation from 2014-2021. This was a £1 million interdisciplinary project that sought to reimagine the regulation of human health research. All publications are free access and available on the legacy website here

Currently, he is the Editor-in-Chief of the Asian Bioethics Review.  He is also a member of the Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society, also funded by Wellcome to over £1 million, which is in interdisciplinary initiative to examine social science, legal and ethical contributions to biomedicine and novel partnerships in the co-production of biomedical knowledge and innovation, details available here

Graeme Laurie served as the Director of Research for the School of Law (2011-2014). He previously held the role of PI and Director of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property and Technology Law - also known as SCRIPT - from 2007-2011 until he took up the position of Director of Research. He is Founding Director of the JK Mason Institute for Medicine, life Sciences and the Law, established in 2012, and he held the role of Director from 2012-2017.


His research interests include the role of law in promoting and regulating science, medicine and technology. He has been involved in numerous successful collaborative bids with groups of law and non-law colleagues, including clinicians, geneticists and medical social scientists, to the total value of c.£15 million. These include: AHRC/SCRIPT Phase 1 c.£1 million (2002-2007); ESRC Innogen Phase 1 c.£1.9 million (2002-2007); Generation Scotland [SHEFC] c.£1.8 million (2003-2008); AHRC/SCRIPT Phase 2 c.£1.5 million (2007-2012); ESRC Innogen Phase 2 c.£2.5 million (2007-2014); Wellcome Trust Scottish Health Informatics Programme - SHIP consortium c.£3.6 million (2009-2014); and MRC/WT et al. Farr Institute, c.£4 million (2013-2018). The total sums directly attributable to Edinburgh Law School are in excess of £4 million. The focus of these collaborative efforts has always been legal and ethical dimensions of medical and scientific developments, with particular emphasis on the responsible promotion of medical science. 

In addition to the Wellcome Trust Liminal Spaces Project, Graeme Laurie was most recently involved in three other externally-funded initiatives:

- EU Commission's Innovative Medicines Initiative on stem cell banking: EBiSC (2014-2017)

- ESRC Administrative Data Research Centres: ADRC Scotland (2013-2018)

- 10-funder consortium on data linkage for health research: Farr Institute (2013-2018)


Collaborative Activity


In policy terms, Graeme Laurie was the Chair of the permanent UK Biobank Ethics and Governance Council from 2006-2010 and Chair of the Privacy Advisory Committee in Scotland from 2005-2013. He served as the Founding President of the European Association of Health Law from 2008-2013. He has also held membership of a number of external professional and policy bodies including the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and the British Medical Association's Medical Ethics Committee, both from 2009-2015. He served as a member of the Royal Society Working Group on Science as an Open Enterprise (2011-12), and the Canadian Academies' Expert Panel on Timely Access to Health and Social Data for Health Research and Health System Innovation (2014-2015). He was the UK representative on the Council of Europe Expert Group on the revision of Recommendation 2006(4) on research on biological materials of human origin(2012-2016), which led to the adoption of a new Recommendation in May 2016. He is currently a member of the International Council of Reference of Health Data Research UK

Laurie was the Chair of the Local Organising Committee when Edinburgh hosted the 13th World Congress of the International Association of Bioethics in 2016. The theme of the Congress was Individuals, Public Interests and Public Goods: What is the Contribution of Bioethics?  The IAB2016 event had a particular focus on early career researchers and art+ethics. It attracted over 700 delegates from 44 countries and the spirit of the Congress is continued via its Twitter feed @IAB2016.

Graeme Laurie is co-editor of the Cambridge University Press monograph series on Bioethics and Law (with Richard Ashcroft, City Law School). He is also a member of the editorial teams of the European Journal of Health LawMedical Law InternationalLaw, Innovation & TechnologyInternational Journal of Population Data Science, and the SCRIPT Centre's own online journal SCRIPT-ed.



External positions

Editor-in-Chief of Asian Bioethics Review, National University of Singapore

1 Feb 2020 → …

Member of the International Council of Reference for Health Data Research UK


Member of Scottish Government Data Management Board


Member of the Canadian Academies' Expert Panel on Timely Access to Health and Social Data for Health Research and Health System Innovation


UK representative on the Council of Europe Expert Group on the revision of Recommendation 2006(4) on research on biological materials of human origin


Member of the Royal Society Working Group on Science as an Open Enterprise


Member of Nuffield Council on Bioethics


Member of the British Medical Association Medical Ethics Committee


Founding President of the European Association of Health Law


Chair of UK Biobank Ethics and Governance Council


Chair of Privacy Advisory Committee in Scotland


Series Co-Editor of Cambridge University Press Bioethics & Law monograph series

Member of the editorial teams of the European Journal of Health Law, Medical Law International, Law, Innovation & Technology, and SCRIPT-ed


  • K Law (General)
  • medical law
  • medical ethics
  • health research
  • regulation
  • privacy
  • health law
  • healthcare
  • public health
  • bioethics


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