School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Márcio Pereira

PhD student, Law

Márcio Pereira

Dual Doctoral Degree Student Creates International Inter-Disciplinary Connections

By Karl Hardy
February 2016


Márcio Pereira’s academic interests have always been as ambitious as they are wide-ranging. Márcio, who did his undergraduate and master’s studies in his native Brazil, has studied law and philosophy. He has been deeply inspired by the struggles that emerged around the globe since 2011, including the Spanish Indignados and Occupy Wall St, that directly address the question of democratic governance. During the past few years Márcio has been participating in and learning from these social movements, and has led him to research questions surrounding contemporary challenges to representative democracy. So in 2014, Márcio was torn between applying to the Law PhD program at Queen's University and the Philosophy program at University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil.

“I ended up choosing Queen's mainly because, for me, pursuing a PhD in another country seemed more challenging. However, despite being very enthusiastic with my acceptance at Queen's, I felt that I should keep exploring my academic possibilities with USP. I believed that an approximation between the two universities could not only be rewarding to my research project but also the institutions themselves could benefit from this international academic exchange,” Márcio explains.

Thus, during his first PhD year (2014-2015), Márcio received the consent of his thesis supervisor, Professor Chris Essert, and of the coordinator of the Law PhD program at the time, Professor Sharry Aiken, and decided to try a dual doctorate agreement between Queen's and USP. He recalls it was a long and demanding process, which involved creating an agreement in both English and Portuguese under the supervision of the staff of both institutions. The agreement was finally signed by all parts in June 2015.

“In the process of getting the agreement done, the support from the staff of both universities - SGS, from the part of Queen's, and FFLCH, from the part of University of Sao Paulo - was crucial, says Márcio. “In particular, I feel privileged to have the support of my thesis supervisor, Professor Chris Essert, from my thesis co-supervisor, professor Homero Santiago, and from the coordinator of Law PhD graduate program, Professor Michael Pratt. I am deeply indebted to all of them. I am also very indebted to Dilton Ribeiro, a former Law PhD colleague, who constantly encouraged me to get the dual doctorate agreement done.”

Márcio’s dual doctorate program requires him to fulfill all the academic requirements from each graduate program. For example, this means he will have to take all the mandatory courses required by each graduate program, and his thesis committee will be jointly appointed by the two universities. His thesis will be submitted in English accompanied by a title, resume, and key-words in Portuguese. Upon passing the Oral Defense and satisfying all the degree requirements at both Queen's and USP, each university will award him a doctorate degree.

At the moment, Márcio is living in Sao Paulo and taking a mandatory course at USP, which he expects to conclude at the end of June. 

“The cities of Kingston and Sao Paulo are very different. While Kingston is a calm and quiet city with a strong sense of local community and wonderful landscapes, Sao Paulo, with a population of almost 12 million people, is an enormous busy city with an intense cosmopolitan culture. I appreciate the fact that I have been in contact with such diverse cities. I try to benefit from the peculiar characteristics that each city offers me,” says Márcio.“Similarly, the two universities, as expected, are also different. Different cultural backgrounds, atmospheres, and practices. Nevertheless, I feel that their graduate programs are both committed to produce high quality research. In both institutions I find stimulating conditions to bring out the best in me.”

Márcio holds a professorship position at a public university in Brazil (Federal University of Ceara). Currently, he is on leave permit from this institution to pursue his dual doctorate studies. After he completes his dual doctorate degree, Márcio plans to compete for a professorship position as a research-oriented professor in Brazil and perhaps abroad.