Call for interest: PhD Scholarship Business and Human Rights

Research Topic:
Human rights violations by companies are at the heart of the European Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CSDDD), which is an important piece of EU legislation that will require companies in the EU and third countries to conduct due diligence on environment and human rights in their operations, subsidiaries and value chains.
The CSDDD will require Member States to designate national supervisory authorities to ensure correct application and monitor the correct implementation of the rules. Supervisory authorities will be able to investigate and, if necessary, sanction companies that violate the rules of the CSDDD.

The objective of this study is to quantify the negative human rights impacts of EU companies and to develop an integrated assessment model (and related policy tool) that is able to estimate the social and environmental costs associated with business violations of human rights. The costs may concern the costs imposed on the legal system (costs linked to administrative, civil and criminal disputes), on the national health system (linked to adverse impacts of business activity on the health of workers or the community), among others. The project is expected to use a mixed method approach and combine quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Among the final outputs of the project is the
development of an open access “human rights cost calculator”, a policy tool that can support companies and other stakeholders to measure the economic costs of business related human rights violations for societal actors and for companies.

To accomplish this goal, we offer a fully funded 3-year scholarship, and the candidate is expected to work in Pisa, Italy. The PhD programme is in Sustainable Development and Climate Change, an interdisciplinary national PhD programme (Dottorato di Interesse Nazionale – DIN) involving over 30 Italian Universities. The doctoral programme is in English.

The host university will be University of Pisa. Further information about this PhD programme is available here: The fellowship is co-funded by a large Italian union (UIL- Unione Italiana del Lavoro) [DM630/2024 – M4C2 – Inv. 3.3. – Dottorati Innovativi].

This fellowship is part of the doctorate’s economics/management curriculum “Socio economic risks and impacts” (CU2).

Applications open on the 26 June 2024 and close on the 26 July 2024 (at 17.00 CEST), interested candidates are invited to check the PhD website for updates on the application procedure (

An online seminar to support applications for interested candidates is planned for the 25th June at 15.00 CEST. Don’t miss out! Registration for the seminar at the link:

Research team and environment

The PhD student will be affiliated to the University of Pisa (UNIPI) and to REMARC. REMARC is part of the UNIPI Department of Economics and Management – DEM. REMARC’s primary goal is to conduct research on responsible management and sustainable development and to have an impact on managers, policy makers and other stakeholders. The research center team includes DEM faculty members and external collaborators from different disciplines including Economics, Management, Statistics, Political Science, International Law, Development Studies and Business Ethics.
REMARC is part of the Sustainability Centres Community (SCC), hosted by the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS), and member of the BHRights Initiative. The research project is also connected to the Horizon Europe project “Rebalance” – Rebalancing capitalism and democracy.

For more information contact:
Elisa Giuliani
Professor of Management
Coordinator of the Horizon Europe REBALANCE project
Pro-Rector on Sustainability and 2030 Agenda
Dept. Economics and Management
University of Pisa

For further information, download the document at this link.