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Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Programme


The Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Programme is an innovative scholarship designed to help undergraduate students from all disciplines and walks of life to develop strong research and leadership skills which will allow them to excel in both their degree programmes and their careers.

If you have any questions after reading, please contact the Student Employability Officer, Trinity Careers Service:

Joel McKeever | | 01 896 1227

Applications for the 2019 Programme will open in December 2018.



What is the Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Programme?

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Programme is an innovative scholarship designed to help undergraduate students from all disciplines and walks of life develop strong research and leadership skills which will allow them to excel in both their degree programmes and their careers.

The programme is sponsored by Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay and is in two parts - an integrated leadership development programme, and a research project comprised of two periods of research of five weeks each carried out over two consecutive summers. Activities for the 2019 session will take place from June 2019 until October 2020 and will be also include regular networking events and mentoring.

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Programme was established in 2014; the long-term vision is to create a wide-reaching and diverse network of Laidlaw Scholars who will reinvest their knowledge, skills and experience in their communities. Laidlaw Scholars will gain valuable skills in research, communication and leadership and improve their employability by participating in workshops designed to develop self-awareness, initiative, motivation and creativity.

The programme has already been introduced in universities across the UK - Oxford, Durham, Leeds, York, St Andrews and UCL - and Trinity is joining Columbia University, Tufts, and the University of Hong Kong in introducing the Laidlaw scholarship in 2018.

What do Laidlaw Scholars from other universities say?

"Now that I have completed my leadership training and my two summers of research I can see just how much I have benefited from the scheme. I have become more confident and assertive. I am thrilled to tell you I have successfully gained an industrial placement in a cancer research lab in Singapore.”  Rachael, Leeds University

"It was a great opportunity to mix with people from different departments and disciplines and to step out of your comfort zone and get exposed to alternative ways of approaching tasks etc.”  Katie, St Andrews.

What is involved?

Leadership development
The leadership development section of programme is made up of residential weekends, online reflection modules, and mentoring, with an emphasis on personal development, self-awareness and communication skills. Two leadership workshops will be residential and will be run off-campus, with a focus on interactive learning and team activities. There will also be ongoing mentoring and online learning activities, in addition to opportunities for networking and reflection.

Research project
A research project made up of two periods of research of 5 weeks each carried out over 2 consecutive summers (Summers 2019 and 2020 for the 2019 cohort) during which time you will pursue and report on a research question, with the help of your research supervisor.

If you are successful in becoming a Laidlaw Scholar, you will receive a stipend of €550 per week for the 10 weeks of your research project. There will also be a travel fund available which you can apply to if you feel your research requires travel outside Trinity.

Information for research supervisors

The role of research supervisors is central to the Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Programme. This summary will outline the opportunities and responsibilities involved in the programme for you, as a potential supervisor.

What is my role as a research supervisor in the student’s application process?

If you agree to work with a student as their research supervisor you will need to complete a statement of support as part of the student’s application. By completing this you are confirming that allocated work space and equipment will be provided by your Department/School for the duration of the project. You should ensure that the student identifies a realistic research project that is achievable within the 10 week research time frame.

What is my role once a student is awarded a Laidlaw scholarship under my supervision?

  • To have a formal meeting at the beginning of the period of research to work with the Scholar to set out clear project outcomes and timescales for their two periods of research (Summers 2018 and 2019).

  • To advise and guide the Scholar through any necessary processes ahead of their research, e.g., ethics approval, risk assessments, training in lab safety.

  • To meet with the Scholar on a regular basis to review their progress. The Scholar will provide an update for those meetings to include a review of progress and action points for discussion.

  • To provide ongoing guidance and encouragement to the Scholar throughout their project.

  • To provide a short report at the end of the Laidlaw Scholarship on the standard of the Scholar’s work.

How will I benefit from being a Laidlaw research supervisor?

  • A unique opportunity to support ambitious and motivated students as they undertake an original research project.

  • The chance to accompany your students to the celebration event which will be organised for all Trinity Laidlaw Scholars.

  • A payment of €700 for each Laidlaw Scholar is payable to the research supervisor to meet incidental costs and/or towards the supervisor’s continuing professional development.

  • An opportunity to become part of the prestigious international Laidlaw Scholarship community and to become involved in profile-raising opportunities during the programme.

How can I get involved?

  • Promote this opportunity to your students and colleagues.

  • Bring the programme to the attention of promising eligible undergraduates.

  • Provide information and support to potential applicants.

  • Give guidance and advice to applicants about designing, writing and delivering a research proposal.

  • Contact colleagues in related disciplines to support an interdisciplinary project.