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Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Programme

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Programme is an innovative scholarship designed to invest in talented and motivated undergraduate students from all disciplines and walks of life. The Programme aims to develop their potential, equip them with strong leadership and research skills and give them the experience to become active global citizens and future leaders.

Are you ambitious, self-motivated, and keen to grow academically and personally beyond the classroom? You could be a Laidlaw Scholar at Trinity!

This webpage will give you everything you need to know about how you can become Laidlaw Scholar. The Laidlaw Programme is funded by the Irvine Laidlaw Foundation. You can learn more about the Laidlaw community and our international partners at the Laidlaw Foundation website.

More information about new applications to the Laidlaw Programme will be available in the 2020/2021 academic year.

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

Joel McKeever | | 01 896 1227

Laidlaw Programme 2020 information session

You can view the Panopto video of the 2020 Information Session here.

You can download the slidedeck from the 2020 Information Session here.

What is involved?

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Programme has three components - a research project, a leadership development programme, and a 'Leadership in Action' experience. Laidlaw Scholars will receive financial support to the value of €6,500.

Research project

A research project where Scholars will pursue and report on a research question they have identified, with the support of a Trinity academic research supervisor. This project will take place in Summer 1 of the Programme and will normally be 6 weeks in duration.

Laidlaw Scholars receive a stipend of €3,300 for Summer 1 of the Programme.

Leadership in Action experience

An immersive 'Leadership in Action' experience, preferably international, that will be undertaken in Summer 2 for 5-6 weeks (from a range of options – listed below) which will give Scholars the opportunity to put their leadership skills into practice. These options will be adapted where possible to incorporate virtual and blended opportunities in Summer 2021 to accommodate developments in relation to COVID-19.

  • 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. It is expected that this will include virtual international opportunities in Summer 2021.
  • Leadership Placement

    A leadership placement for 5-6 weeks in a not-for-profit/community-based organisation to give the scholar the opportunity to develop and apply their leadership skills in a practical setting, which will involve building on their research project, creating and implementing a strategy, and leading others in a new and challenging environment.
  • In-field Application of Research

    A second research period of 5-6 weeks, which includes continuation and 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 beyond of Trinity and could include:

    • A placement in an international university to develop and continue your research
    • Application of your research within industry, e.g. with a relevant company
    • Research field work in a community setting

Students will be asked to indicate their preference at the time of application. Places on each Leadership in Action option may be limited so a review will be undertaken after Summer 1 to discuss and agree the Summer 2 option.

Leadership development programme

An integrated leadership development programme, which includes seven core leadership training days over a 18 month period, with a focus on developing valuable transferable skills in leadership, communications, team working, project management in addition to enhancing self-knowledge and awareness.

The leadership component of the Programme is made up of development days, online reflection modules, and coaching. Three leadership sessions will be full weekends, with a focus on interactive learning and teamwork. These core leadership activities will be complemented with other ongoing activities which will include working with primary and secondary schools through university access programmes, community outreach, as well as opportunities for networking, reflection, and online learning.

The leadership development programme will be linked to the Laidlaw Foundation Leadership Framework.

Eligibility criteria

You are eligible to apply if you are currently in the:

  • 2nd year of a 4-year undergraduate degree programme


  • 2nd or 3rd year of a 5-year undergraduate degree programme


  • 2nd or 3rd year of a 5-year integrated masters degree programme (e.g. MAI, Pharmacy)

Applications are encouraged from all undergraduate programmes.

EU and Non-EU students are eligible to apply.

Applications are not open to one term or one year visiting students due to the length of the programme. Students applying to outbound Erasmsus or Non-EU exchange opportunities are eligible to apply and must declare this information in their application. If successful in both their Laidlaw and exchange application, those students will be responsible for ensuring they are available to attend all required activities.

Application requirements

For more information on specific aspects of the application process please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

You need to submit the following in your application:

  1. A research project proposal (1000 words max.)

    This proposal will include your research project title and a short summary of the research question to be explored in the 6 week research period including key project objectives and impact in simple terms that can be understood by a non-expert. Projects with an international dimension or of an interdisciplinary nature are encouraged.

    You should define and design an original project which must be distinct from an existing ongoing project. It must also be entirely separate from any work submitted for credit as part of your undergraduate degree. You are otherwise encouraged to build on the interests, knowledge, and experience you have already developed through your studies. When identifying the initial 6 week project of your choice you should approach potential supervisors in Trinity to support your application.

  2. A Leadership in Action statement (500 words max.)

    This statement will indicate your preferred option for the Leadership in Action experience in Summer 2 and should outline how you would apply your research from Summer 1 or develop your leadership learning during this experience.
    Where in-field application of research is selected, potential international/industry/community-based opportunities should be identified where possible. Applicants can be advised on this by the Careers Service.

  3. A statement of support from your academic project supervisor(s)

  4. A personal statement on how you wish to develop as a leader and what difference you want to make through leadership (300 words max.)

You are encouraged to use Trinity’s Guided Reflection Tool to strengthen your application.

Required time commitment

The 2020 cohort of the Laidlaw Programme is in session from April 2020 to October 2021. As a condition of the scholarship, it is compulsory for Laidlaw Scholars to attend all core Laidlaw events and every effort should be make to engage with any additional activities. The core requirements include:

  • 6 weeks full-time research in Summer 1
  • A minimum of 7 full days of leadership training
  • A minimum of 1 individual coaching session
  • Scholars must produce and submit:
    • A reflective report on the research project and leadership development during Summer 1
    • A research poster
    • A multimedia report on the overall programme experience at the end of Summer 2

Laidlaw Scholars may be assigned additional activities or exercises as the Programme progresses, in line with the Laidlaw Leadership Framework.During the agreed core Laidlaw dates in each Summer the Laidlaw Scholars will be expected to work full-time on their project or their Leadership in Action experience and may not simultaneously take holidays or undertake other paid work.

Students who fail to satisfy the mandatory requirements and standards of a Laidlaw Scholar may be asked to discontinue with the Laidlaw Programme. Additional guidance for students also applying to Erasmus/Non-EU Exchange opportunities is available in the FAQ.

Scholars will also be expected to take part in other Laidlaw related activities such as fostering a Laidlaw community in Trinity, mentoring newer Laidlaw Scholars, and promotional activities for the Programme.

Laidlaw Programme timeline

The below timeline outlines the provisional dates for the Laidlaw Scholars. At times it may be necessary to amend these dates, any alteration will be communicated as soon as possible. Due to the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19 the below timeline is under review.

2020 cohort

Applications open

25th November 2019

Information evening

28th November 2019 [Click here to register]

Applications close

27th January 2020

All applicants contacted with feedback/ shortlisted candidates invited for interview

Late February 2020


March 2020

Scholars announced

April 2020

Welcome event and introductory session

April 2020

Summer Period 1
Research project

Summer 2020

Leadership Days 1 and 2

8th and 9th May 2020

Laidlaw Summer 1 Showcase

17th September 2020

Leadership Days 3 and 4

 6-8th November 2020

Leadership Days 5 and 6

26-28th February 2021 (residential)

Summer Period 2
Leadership in Action experience

Summer 2021

Final Submission

End September 2021

Leadership Day 7

October 2021

Final Ceremony

End October 2021

2019 cohort

15th November 2018 Applications open
22nd November 2018 Information session - Maxwell Theatre,
Hamilton Building [6-8pm]
1st February 2019 Applications close [5pm]
Mid-March 2019 All applicants will be contacted with feedback
April/May 2019 Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview
May 2019 Laidlaw Scholars announced and welcome event
Summer 2019 Research Period 1
10th - 12th May 2019 Leadership Training 1 (1 full day and 2 half days)
16th September 2019 Submission of video summary for showcase
19th September 2019 Laidlaw Showcase 2019
9th November 2019 Leadership Training 2 (full day)
23rd January 2020 Laidlaw networking event
28th February - 1st March 2020 Leadership Training 3 (two full days)
Summer 2020 Research Period 2
10th October 2020 Leadership Training 4 (1 full day)
15th October 2020 Submission of final report and project poster

Learn more about our Laidlaw Scholars

Many of our Laidlaw Scholars are happy to chat informally to students applying to the programme about their experience - if you'd like to connect with a current Scholar just send us an email!

Laidlaw research projects at Trinity (2020)

Laidlaw Scholar Programme Research Project Title Supervisor
Jin Zhe Ang Medicine An investigation of environmental and genetic risk factors for comorbid psychiatric disorders in autistic patients. Dr Louise Gallagher
Jason Basquill Theoretical Physics Use of boundary element methods for wireless radio wave propagation modelling Dr Kirk M.Soodhalter
Shane Coleman Macken TSM English Literature and History Playing Sexuality: The Role of Contemporary Drama in Diversifying Understandings of Queer Identities. Dr Philip Coleman
Dylan Cuskelly Physical Sciences Inkjet printing of novel nanoparticle conductive inks for improving silicon solar cell performance. Dr David McCloskey
Ceola Daly TSM Drama Studies and English Literature "The Woman in the Scene": Engendering Language in Shakespeare's 'Coriolanus' Dr Andrew Murphy
Stefan Elekes Medicine Title: The role of gamma/delta (γδ) T cells in immunity against Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. Dr Derek Doherty
Xiaolou Feng Drama and Theatre Studies Game Theatre and Its Application in Theatre Education for Young People in Classroom Dr Sarah Jane Scaife
Gabrielle Fullam PPES Ticking the ‘Other’ Category: A Study Into the Insufficient Categorisation of Mixed-Race Identity Dr Elaine Moriarty
Beverly Genockey Biological and Biomedical Sciences Exploring the Suitability of Abundant Plant Species in Urban Areas for Use as Nature-based Solutions. Dr Marcus Collier
Janina Knörzer History Understanding end time scenarios as a tool of political agitation: Historical perspectives, environmental humanities’ dimensions and implications for today’s political education Dr Katja Bruisch
Margaret Larson Mathematics Nuance in Fact-Checking: the effects of ambiguous verdicts on readers' perceptions Dr Constantine Boussalis
Sophie Lawlor Medicine Distinct pathogenic mechanisms underlying Down syndrome associated arthritis and JIA - implications for therapeutic response Dr Ursula Fearon
Sinéad McAteer Midwifery An Investigation into the need for Birth Reflection Clinics in the Irish Maternity Services as an aid to recovery after birth trauma Dr Déirdre Daly
Ben McConkey PPES Domination of Healthcare Policy as a tool of the Autocrat – A case study of President Jammeh’s HIV treatment programme in The Gambia Dr Michelle D'Arcy
Michael Mitchell Theoretical Physics Real-time Non-local Electron Microscopy Image Denoising by Adaptive Random Patch Fusion Dr Lewys Jones
Claire Morgan-Busher TSM Ancient History and Archaeology and Latin Nestor’s Cup in context; combining archaeological and literary approaches to place an inscription and an artefact into its wider social context in the Greek world of the 8th Century BC. Dr Shane Wallace
Harry O'Brien Management Science and Information System Studies How will climate change impact coastal communities in Ireland? A study of southern coastal communities Dr Susan Murphy / Dr Paula Roberts
Aminata Roth Business Economics and Social Studies Learning from other jurisdictions to improve EU lobbying regulation Dr Raj Chari
Ana Sainz de Murieta Theoretical Physics Constraining the origin of dark energy through measurements of exploding stars Dr Kate Maguire
Mia Sherry TSM English Literature and Film Studies Mothers of Nationality: A study of the cinematic function of ‘home’ in contemporary Lebanese cinema Dr Ruth Barton
Lucija Sili Pharmacy (Integrated) The Development of Drug Delivery Systems to Treat Pulmonary Disease States Associated with Excess Mucus Dr Anne Marie Healy
Jennifer Waters TSM History and Philosophy Develop a Descriptive Case Study of the Progression and Impact of 'Scientific Expert Testimony' in a Court of Criminal Law Dr Daniel Geary

Laidlaw research projects at Trinity (2019)

Laidlaw Scholar


Research Project Title


Bidemi Afolabi


An Assessment of the Efficacious Role of cannabinoids in an in vitro Cell-Based Model of Cachexia

Dr Richard Porter

Alexandra Bodor


The impact of being a second generation immigrant and having a different cultural background to the country you are living in, on young people’s understanding of mental health

Dr David Ralph and Dr Charlotte Wilson

Damien Doherty


The effect of a maternal ketogenic diet on foetal brain development

Dr Denis Barry

Jack Doherty

TSM Mathematics and Music

Mathematics for the Ears: An Explanation of the Hidden Mathematical Structures in Post-Tonal Music

Dr Sergey Mozgovoy

Deirdre Donohue


Moving to, and Growing Up in, Ireland: Immigrant children’s experience of early life stress, supportive relationships, and long-term psychological wellbeing

Dr Lorraine Swords

Lile Donohue


Improving Ireland's Recycling System: A Comparative Analysis of Welsh and Irish Waste Management

Dr Anna Davies

Kate Duggan

Human Genetics

A multi-model approach to the action of the Bcr-Abl kinase and imatinib resistance in Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML)

Dr Adrian Bracken

Ciara Finan

Nanoscience Physics and Chemistry of Adv. Materials

Observing Carbon Dioxide Reduction at Single Enzymes

Dr Kim McKelvey

Filip Grajkowski

Nanoscience Physics and Chemistry of Adv. Materials

Polydopamine-functionalised electrodes: fabricating tailored materials for cathodic processes with applications for a sustainable energy economy

Dr Paula Colavita

Alannah Grealy


Can the Cingulum get you down? A study into the cingulum bundle's more outré deviations and their involvement in depression

Dr Veronica O'Keane

Daniel Hall

Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

An investigation into the material properties of various polymers for the purposes of filling tram tracks for cyclist

Dr Ciaran Simms

Zahar Hryniv


From ISDS to MIC: The Underlying Factors Behind the EU Establishing a New Model for Investor-State Relations

Dr William Phelan

Aoife Kearins


Applying mathematical insights on transient dynamics to ecology, what can we learn about how plant populations respond to disturbance in a changing world?

Dr Kirk Soodhalter

Ellen McGrady Hogan


Does intense physical exercise (e.g. gymnastics) have a notable effect on the genetic potential for the onset of puberty in pre-adolescent children? If so, how does this differ between males and females?

Dr Louise Gallagher

Claire McNamara

Computer Science

An interaction tool for clinical researchers to analyse Linked (RDF) Data

Dr Declan O’Sullivan

Amy Monahan

Nanoscience Physics and Chemistry of Adv. Materials

Using Microcantilevers with Bio-Functionalised Surfaces for Malaria Vaccine Diagnosis

Dr Martin Hegner

Anurag Nasa


An investigation of the efferent pathways of the amygdala in Major Depressive Disorder using high resolution, multimodal MRI

Dr Erik O’Hanlon

Jean O'Brien

Theoretical Physics

Microplastics and Nanoplastics in the Environment: Investigating Microplastics Down to the Nanoscale

Dr Rachel Kavanagh and Dr Lewys Jones

Camilla Persello


An investigation into the application of Frankfurt-cases as an alternative approach to the problem of freedom of time-travelling agents

Dr Alison Fernandes

Gráinne Sexton

TSM English Literature and History

‘Tear down this wall’: Borders and boundaries in the Native American literature of Leslie Marmon Silko

Dr Philip Coleman

Jack Synnott

Law and Political Science

The Constitution as a Tool of Oppression: A Comparative Analysis of Constitutional Impacts on Property Rights and Social Justice

Dr David Kenny

Roisin Winters


Exploring the benefits of exercise for the brain: the role of inflammation

Dr Áine Kelly

Laidlaw research projects at Trinity (2018)

Laidlaw Scholar


Research Project Title


Andrew Cleary

Theoretical Physics

Leaking Exoplanets: Understanding how Stars affect Atmospheric Escape in Exoplanets

Professor Aline Vidotto

Aaron (Chee Cheng)


Impact of the antioxidant vitamin ergothioneine on the development of idiopathic pulmonary

Dr Carsten Ehrhardt

Colin Wilburn


Waste Heat Harvesting Using Thermally Charged Capacitors

Professor David McCloskey

Conor Fitzmaurice


Advances in Nanotherapy in Dermatology

Professor Alan Irvine

Deirdre Power

English Studies

Ireland's Empowered Girls: The Pollard Collection of Children's Books and its Contemporary

Dr Jane Carroll

Elle Loughran


The impact of codon usage on gene expression variation in human copy number variants and

Professor Aoife McLysaght

Kate Johnston


Comparison of patient experiences of chronic arthropathy in severe haemophilia before and
after the switch over to extended half-life factor VIII and factor IX concentrates

Dr Niamh O’ Connell

Luke Fehily


Atom-by-atom structural characterization of nano-materials using aberration-corrected
electron microscopy

Professor Valeria Nicolosi

Mollie O’Neill


Investigating the potential of resveratrol synthase inhibition in management of Japanese

Dr Joanna McGouran

Philip Smyth


Characteristics of patients presenting with traumatic brain injuries to an urban university
department of emergency medicine

Dr Geraldine McMahon

Robert Clampett


Helium Ion Beam Defects in the Creation of Silicon Waveguides

Professor David McCloskey/ Professor Hongzhou
Zhang/Professor James Lunney

Robert Power


Examining the characteristics and germline mutations of upper gastrointestinal cancers in the
Irish population

Professor Maeve Lowery

Samuel Bateman

Theoretical Physics

Helium-Ion microscopy of tumour cell-platelet interactions

Professor Hongzhou Zhang/Professor Maria Santos-

Sarah Honan


Justice After Destruction? Legal Avenues and Obstacles for Prosecution of the Yazidi Genocide

Professor Rosemary Byrne

Seán McMahon


The synthesis of electromechanical strain sensors based on graphene/polymer nano-
composites: Measuring the cyclical defection of bike frames for performance analysis

Professor Jonathan Coleman

Seán O’Neill


The value of outcomes: the intersection of Population and Animal Ethics

Dr Kenneth Pearce

Stefan Nixon

Theoretical Physics

Luminous Supernovae across the Universe

Professor Jose Groh

What do Laidlaw Scholars at Trinity say?

About the Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Programme

The Laidlaw Programme is sponsored by Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay. It invests in talented and motivated undergraduate students, giving them the knowledge, skills and experience to become active global citizens and future leaders. The Programme is in three parts - a research project of 6 weeks in Summer 1, a Leadership in Action Experience in Summer 2, and an integrated leadership development programme over the 18 month duration of the scholarship. Activities for the 2020 cohort will take place from April 2020 to October 2021.


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.

Laidlaw Scholars and supervisors at Trinity are part of a global network of partner universities which currently includes 12 other institutions. Trinity joined Columbia University, Tufts, and the University of Hong Kong in introducing the Laidlaw scholarship in 2018.

Laidlaw Supervisors Additional information for current and prospective supervisors of Laidlaw Scholars Laidlaw Network Overall information on the Laidlaw partnership universities

Frequently asked questions


How will your application be assessed?

Applications are assessed by a Review Panel chaired by the Senior Lecturer/Dean of Undergraduate Studies, including senior academics and Laidlaw Programme staff in the Careers Service. The Review Panel will assess and review the applications, taking in terms of the quality of the candidate, research project content, and leadership potential. Applications will be assessed in these areas:

i. The viability of the research project within the 6 week period in Summer 1
ii. The student’s potential and ambition for leadership roles in the future
iii. The extent to which the student can envisage how they can apply their research or develop their leadership learning in Summer 2
iv. The student’s academic record
v. The Research Supervisor’s supporting statement

Interviews with shortlisted applicants will be used as part of the selection process. The decision of the Review Panel is final.

How do I write a research proposal?

You can check out the following resources to help you define your research question:

An Overview of Trinity’s Research Themes
Trinity’s Policy on Good Research Practice
Guidelines on writing a Laidlaw research proposal
Trinity’s Research Homepage

You can use the keyword search facility on the research homepage to identity experienced members of the academic staff and their research interests.

Research and Supervisors

Laidlaw Research Supervisors Click here for more information for current and prospective Laidlaw Research Supervisors

Who can I ask to be my supervisor?

You can ask any member of Trinity’s academic staff who is available to supervise you for the duration of the 18 month period of the Laidlaw Programme to support your application. This staff member must have a contract with Trinity which extends beyond the duration of the Programme and they would ideally have research interests in the same area as your proposed project. Their responsibilities will include regular meetings with you as you progress through your schedule of work, providing needed resources in the department, reporting on your progress and advising you on any requirements in terms of ethical approval and risk assessment, if required.

You can ask more than one supervisor to support your project, either from another department in Trinity or an external supervisor e.g. an academic at another insititution. Your Trinity supervisor will be your primary supervisor and they will both need to sign a letter of support. You can also search the Trinity research pages to search for academics who have research interests which overlap with your project.

Any questions on supervisor eligibility should be directed to

What format is required for the supervisor's letter of support?

There is no set format required for the letter of support. Your supervisor should outline their support for your project, that the resources of the department will be made available, and their availability to supervise for the duration (and any factors relevant at this time). Where you intend to engage with other insititutions or organisations, e.g. as part of your preferred Leadership in Action experience, they should detail any relevant partnerships. Any additional pertinent details of support from the supervisor, e.g. if your research project requires ethical approval, should also be included in this letter.

What happens if my supervisor leaves Trinity during the Programme?

Supervisors and students should discuss the length of the Programme as part of the initial proposal meeting and it is expected that the supervisor commits to supporting you for the entire duration of the Programme. Your supervisor should also make their Head of School or equivalent aware of their role in regards to your project so appropriate support can be put in place if required. If your supervisor leaves their post in Trinity due to unforeseen circumstances we will support you and your department in identifying an alternative academic in Trinity who can replace your supervisor for the remainder of your project.

Will I be able to take part in this Programme if I am applying to Erasmus/Non-EU Exchange?

Students interested in an Erasmus/Non-EU Exchange are eligible to apply and participate in the Programme. If you are considering this you must mention it in your initial application and include details of how you will ensure your research project and leadership development will be continue as normal. If you are accepted to the Programme and are later successful in your exchange application you must notify the Student Employability Officer. Students on exchange are required to make and fund their own arrangements to ensure they are available for all core Programme activities and are strongly encouraged to consider how they will engage with any other additional events in the Laidlaw community throughout the duration of their exchange.

I'm an international student - will I be able to take part in this Programme under my visa?

Students from the European Economic Area (EEA) and students from outside the EEA who have been granted a Stamp 2 visa are able to take part in the Laidlaw Programme.

Students from the European Economic Area (EEA) may take up employment in Ireland while studying. If you are unsure about your status, please contact the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS).

Students from outside the EEA attending a full-time course of at least one year's duration leading to a qualification recognised by the Minister for Education and Skills are granted a Stamp 2. If you have a Stamp 2 you are entitled to take up employment in Ireland during your studies. Stamp 2 entitles you to undertake casual part-time work for up to 20 hours per week during term time, and up to 40 hours casual full-time work per week from 15th December to 15th January and during June, July, August and September.

In order to work in Ireland you will need to get a Personal Public Service Number (PPS Number), but you need to have evidence of a job offer to secure one. The first step is to find work, and then apply for a PPS number. Find out more at the Citizens Information Board website.

What do I do if my project isn't working out?

Uncertainty and change is an unavoidable factor in the research process. Throughout your time in the Programme your research project will likely encounter setbacks and unexpected developments. You should discuss this in detail with your supervisor in the first instance - be open about the challenges involved and decide on a future direction for the project. You can also contact the Student Employability Officer who will be able to discuss and advise on any concerns.


What is a Leadership in Action Experience?

The Leadership in Action Experience is a core aspect of your leadership development on the Programme and will form the basis of your Summer 2. You will be asked to indicate your preference at time of application which will be discussed and confirmed after Summer 1. The options are:

  • 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 your research
    • Application of your research within industry, e.g. with a relevant company
    • Research field work in a community setting

What happens in leadership development?

The leadership sessions of the Programme is made up of development days, residential weekends, online reflection modules, and coaching, with an emphasis on personal development, self-awareness and communication skills. Two leadership workshops will be full weekends and may take place off-campus, with a focus on interactive learning and team activities. There will also be ongoing coaching and online learning activities, in addition to opportunities for networking and reflection.

What happens if I can't make a leadership day or meet a reporting deadline?

The Laidlaw Programme requires dedication and committment from Scholars - all mandatory dates are provided in advance and Scholars are expected to take responsibility for ensuring they can fully engage with all requirements. In the event that an unexpected clash does arise you should contact the Student Employability Officer as soon as possible. Laidlaw Scholars who do not complete the Programme attendance and submission requirements to a satisfactory level may be asked to discontinue from the Programme and any associated funding.

Funding and Resources

What funding and resources is provided to students?

Successful applicants will receive financial support to the value of €6,500 during the programme. This includes a stipend of €3,300 for the Summer 1 research project, with the remainder used to fund their Leadership in Action experience in Summer 2. Stipend funding is intended to support the Laidlaw Scholar's living expenses such as accommodation, food, and normal travel to allow them to engage fully with the Programme.

There is also a travel fund available to Scholars to support their travel outside Trinity.You can apply to the the travel fund if you feel your research requires travel outside Trinity, for attendance at conferences, or other relevant events which will deepen your learning on the Programme.

A stipend of €700 will be provided to your supervisor for any expenses related to your project - including but not limited to lab consumables, books, subscriptions, software, equipment or any reasonable resources needed to support your project, as agreed with your supervisor.

Resources are also provided to the Laidlaw Scholars in form of the travel, accommodation and training during leadership development days as well as access to individual coaching, networking opportunities, and online learning.

What is included in the travel fund?

Due to the ongoing circumstances in relation to COVID-19, deadlines and requirements for the travel fund will be extended. More information will be available from the Laidlaw Programme team as it becomes available.

You can apply to the travel fund if your research would be best supported by travel outside Trinity, either by an in-field research trip, a visit to another institution, a conference or similar. Your travel must have the support of you supervisor. This fund is primarily to cover the cost of travel abroad (flights, visas, inoculation, transport in-country). Applications for funding to cover other relevant costs not otherwise provided for can be included in the application will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For more information on applying to the travel fund please read:

Laidlaw Travel Fund Guidelines

Laidlaw Travel Fund Application Form

Laidlaw Travel Fund Risk Assessment Form

How can I connect with other Laidlaw Scholars?

Laidlaw Scholars are encouraged to join the Laidlaw Network which is a global community of fellow Laidlaw Scholars. This online platform provides a dedicated space for scholars at Trinity and international partner institutions to contribute and collaborate. Undergraduate scholars can publish their research, test their thinking, partner on projects and continue their leadership development. MBA scholars and alumni share career questions, advice and opportunities. The Network also includes Laidlaw supervisors at home and abroad.

What other activities will I be able to take part in to support the Laidlaw Programme?

As a Laidlaw Scholar you will have the opportunity to take part in social and networking events, lunch-time skills sessions, and contribute to ongoing activities such as blogs, social media, and marketing activities.

What other support is available?

By taking part in the Laidlaw Programme you will be going above and beyond the demands of your core undergraduate programme to develop your skills and experience. This may also involve additional time pressure and other unexpected developments. If you have any concerns or complications we encourage you to contact the Student Employability Officer who is available to support and advise Laidlaw Scholars during the Programme.


What reporting is required?

Laidlaw Scholars will be required to produce:

  • A reflective report on their research project and leadership development during Summer 1
  • A poster based on their research. All posters will be displayed at the final Celebratory Reception event (intended for October 2021 for the 2020 cohort) which will be a public event open to staff, students and members of the wider Trinity community.
  • A final multimedia report on their overall experience of the programme and the impact it has had on them.
  • An annual programme report will be sent to Lord Laidlaw detailing the scholarships awarded and highlighting particular successes. The report will also contain feedback from participating students.

Laidlaw Scholars may be asked to complete additional assignments and activities as the Programme develops, in line with the Laidlaw Leadership Framework.

How can show that I am a Laidlaw Scholar?

If you require confirmation of your scholarship please email the Student Employability Officer at The award of a Laidlaw Scholarship will also be included on your official final Trinity transcript.

What happens to my data if I am selected for the Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Programme?

As part of participation in the Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Programme, the University will share the following data about Laidlaw Scholars, which will be used for the purposes outlined, below. For more detail please Click here to read the Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Programme Data Protection Statement

  • Your name and project title will be published on the University’s Laidlaw webpage
  • Your name and email will be forwarded to the Laidlaw organisation to allow them to be added to the Laidlaw Scholars Network
  • You will be required to provide details of your research project; this will allow Laidlaw scholars to see the project titles of each other’s research and make contact with one another
  • Your name and dietary requirements will be forwarded to any external venues used in the leadership development programme
  • Any access requirements you disclose will be processed as necessary to provide reasonable accommodations
  • Photos, video and testimonials from Laidlaw scholars and Laidlaw events may be used for documentation, for displays, in newsletters, publications, on social media, on our website, or to promote the Laidlaw Programme, the Trinity Careers Service and Trinity College Dublin in future
  • You will be asked to provide your consent to further data sharing provisions in your scholarship agreement with the Laidlaw Foundation