The Center supports the development of the academic business and human rights field by creating a platform for emerging scholars. Each year, the Center co-hosts a research summit aimed at PhD students and early post-doctoral researchers.

The Summit presents a unique opportunity to discuss interdisciplinary research in the business and human rights field with experts and other emerging scholars from around the globe.

The Summit, co-organized by the Institute for Business Ethics at the University of St Gallen, the Business and Human Rights Journal, and the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights. Other sponsors are Nestlé, Frank Bold, and ICAR. 

In April 2016, the inaugural Young Researchers Summit was held in St. Gallen, Switzerland . In 2017 the Summit again took place in St. Gallen, Switzerland. In 2018 NYU Stern hosted the Summit for the first time.

The 2019 Summit will, once again, take place at St. Gallen in Switzerland. The Call for Abstracts for the 2019 Summit is here

Florian Wettstein, Professor for Business Ethics at St. Gallen University and Editor in Chief at the Business and Human Rights Journal and Dorothée Baumann-Pauly, the Center's Research Director, are the founders and principal organizers of the event.

The interest of emerging scholars to participate in the Summit has been rising since its inception. From at least 40 applications, the organizers select 10-15 projects for presentation in the Summit. Participants of previous Summits are listed below. Participation in the Summit is for free and participants receive travel stipends.

All other applicants are invited to join a global network of emerging Business and Human Rights scholars. The current network comprises over 100 emerging scholars from different academic disciplines and geographies.

Two of the 2016 participants, Nana Frishling and Brynn O'Brian, wrote a summary of their experience at the conference, "Inaugural BHR Young Researchers’ Summit an enriching experience."

Photos from the 2016 and 2017 Business and Human Rights Young Researchers Summit

The Summit was an invaluable opportunity for young researchers to critically appraise and reflect upon each other’s work, to share ideas and innovations, to form connections with the growing international research community and to discuss its future elaboration.
— Nana Frishling & Brynn O'Brian, 2016 participants


  • Ekaterina Aristova, "Tort Liability of Transnational Corporations: The Challenge of Jurisdiction" (University of Cambridge)
  • Maximiliano Vila Seoane, "Messaging Apps and Human Rights" (National University of San Martín)
  • Marisa McVey, "Human Rights and Accounting: A Viable Partnership?" (University of St Andrews)
  • Kebene Wodajo, "Multinational Enterprise Social Responsibility and Liability Rules: Economic Analysis" (Shanghai Jiaotong University) 
  • Laura Knöpfel, "Socially embedded mining enterprises and the implementation of the business & human rights agenda through contract governance" (Transnational Law Institute of King’s College) 
  • Johanna Schenner, "State Legislation and Human Rights Abuses in Supply Chains: A Practical Tool to Address Forced Labour?" (University of Vienna) 
  • Juan Francisco Chávez R., "Business Coalitions and the Creation of Self-Regulation on Indigenous Peoples Rights: Institutional Creation and Change in Institutional Fields" (University of Victoria) 
  • Ingrid Landau, "The promise and perils of human rights due diligence as transnational labour regulation" (University of Melbourne)
  • Cynthia Arredondo,  "Transnational activism on business and human rights: a multidimensional approach"(National Autonomous University of Mexico)
  • Başak Bağlayan, "The OECD National Contact Points and 'Specific Instance' Procedure as a Corporate Accountability Tool" (Max Planck Institute Luxembourg) 
  • Karen Vazquez, "New energy transitions, same old conflicts? Consultation and due diligence in renewable energy projects in Mexico" (Clark University) 
  • Lucas Roorda, "Instrumentalize this! - Civil jurisdiction in EU business and human rights cases" (Utrecht University) 
  • Joseph Kibugu, "Human rights concerns in the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition: insights from Tanzania" (University of Witwatersrand) 
  • Chairman Okoloise, "The role of the African Union in advancing corporate human rights accountability in Africa" (University of Pretoria)

2017 participants

  • Abe Oyeniyi (University of Capetown)
  • Romola Adeola (University of Pretoria)
  • Rachel Chambers (University of Essex)
  • Ludovica Chiussi (University of Oslo)
  • Kim Dae-Wook (Seoul National University Seoul)
  • Vivian Kube (European University Institute)
  • Daniela Heerdt (Tilburg Law School)
  • Berit Knaak (University of St. Gallen)
  • Erin Leitheiser (Copenhagen Business School)
  • Rajiv Maher (Trinity College Dublin)
  • Sarah McGrath (University of New South Wales)
  • Johannes Norpoth (Ruhr-University Bochum)
  • Michelle Staggs-Kelsall (University of Nottingham)
  • Ioana Tuta (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies)
  • Rebecca Wolitz (Yale University)

2016 Participants

  • Romola Adeola (University of Pretoria)
  • David Birchall (City University of Hong Kong)
  • Nana Frishling (University of New South Wales, Sydney)
  • Samantha Goethals (Oxford Brookes University)
  • Dilan Gözükara (University of Zurich)
  • Anneloes Hoff (University of Oxford)
  • Brynn O’Brian (University of Technology Sydney)
  • John Paul Ongeso (University of Witwatersrand)
  • Ahmed Shahid (University of Sydney)
  • Kirsten Stefanik (University of Western Ontario)
  • Veronica Torres (University of Greenwich)
  • Franziska Wohltmann (University of Erlangen-Nürnberg)
  • Liang Yu (Maastricht University)