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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 future careers. Scholars are supervised by members of academic staff who engage with the student to support them in developing their research interests.

Laidlaw Programme overview Click here for overall information about the Laidlaw Programme and the student experience

Information for research supervisors

Are you interested in becoming the research supervisor of a Laidlaw Scholar and joining the international Laidlaw community? This webpage provides you with information on what's involved.

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

Joel McKeever | employability@tcd.ie | 01 896 1227

Am I eligible to be a Laidlaw research supervisor?

Any member of Trinity's academic staff who is on a permanent contract, or on a contract which extends beyond the duration of the relevant cycle of the Laidlaw Programme, is eligible to supervise a Laidlaw Scholar. The 2020 cycle of the Programme runs from April 2020 to October 2021. You can supervise a scholar jointly with another colleague (either at Trinity or another institution) for all, or part of the duration of the Programme.

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 6 week research time frame. If there are ethical requirements or other restrictions you should ensure that the project will be able to meet these requirements. Applications of an interdisciplinary nature, or with an international dimension, are welcomed. Staff are encouraged to explore opportunities to collaborate with colleagues in other Laidlaw network partner universities where feasible.

Laidlaw Scholars undertake a Leadership in Action Experience in Summer 2 of the Programme. As such their engagement with their supervisor during this period will vary and be informed by their assigned option. At point of application they will be asked to indicate a preference for this experience which can include:

  • Leadership Expedition

    Participate in a 5-6 week international expedition with a team of Laidlaw Scholars from other participating universities to work on community-based leadership projects. Can only be undertaken as part of a group organised through an approved Laidlaw provider.
  • Leadership Placement

    A leadership placement for 5-6 weeks in a not-for-profit/community-based organisation, which gives the scholar the opportunity to develop and apply their leadership skills in a practical setting, which will involve leading others. This will be identified by the Scholar.
  • In-field Application of Research

    A second research period of 5-6 weeks, which includes in-field application of the Summer 1 research project with the aim of creating positive change in society or that will allow leadership skills to be developed and applied.

    This option will ideally be undertaken outside of Trinity and could include:
    • A placement in an international university to develop and continue their research
    • Application of their research within industry, e.g. with a relevant company
    • Research field work in a community setting

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

The minimum requirement for supervision of the scholars is a formal meeting between scholar and project supervisor at the start, middle and end of each period of project work. The scholar will provide a record of each of these meetings, to include a review of progress and action points, to be confirmed in writing by the project supervisor. These meetings should set out and address clear project outcomes, timelines and progress throughout the research period.

In addition, as a Supervisor your responsibilities will be:

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

  • To facilitate any resources necessary for the project

  • To provide a short reports at intervals of the Laidlaw Programme on the Scholar's progress in their research and leadership development

  • Toensure the Scholar is supported in the event of a change of supervisor or other working arrangements is necessary

Supervisors are encouraged to attend Laidlaw events such as networking evenings and the final celebration event to support their student.

How will I benefit from being a Laidlaw research supervisor?

As a Laidlaw supervisor you will have:

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

  • A payment of €700 for each Laidlaw Scholar 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?

In addition to supporting an application to the Laidlaw Programme, to get involved you can:

  • Promote this opportunity to your students and colleagues

  • Bring the Laidlaw 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

  • Connect with colleagues in other institutions, in particular Laidlaw partner universities, to support a collaborative project

  • Join the Laidlaw Network, an online platform to connect Scholars and Supervisors in the 13 international universities delivering the Programme

Laidlaw partner universities Click here for information on the international Laidlaw network and partner universities open to potential collaborative projects

What do Laidlaw research supervisors at Trinity say?

    I was delighted to have the opportunity to be involved as a supervisor for the Laidlaw Programme. I think it is an excellent programme for undergraduate students and it allowed me to interact with a superb student. I have been recommending it wholeheartedly to my current cohort of students.
    Dr Celia Holland, Professor of Parasitology in the Discipline of Zoology, School of Natural Sciences

    The Laidlaw Programme offers a fantastic opportunity to network and learn. I think it has an unique impact on both the professional and personal growth of the participants and I am looking forward to the next year!
    Dr Carsten Erhardt, Professor in Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences