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Applications to the Laidlaw Programme

Click to download the Laidlaw Application Guide 2022

How to submit an application

Please read the Laidlaw Programme Application Guide 2022 before beginning your application. You will need to log into Office365 when prompted with your usual Trinity log in details in order to submit the Application Form.

Click here to watch our 2022 Laidlaw Information Session

Laidlaw Programme Application Form 2022

You need to submit the following in your application:

  1. Online application form
  2. Proposal for a research project in Summer 1
  3. Proposal for a Leadership-in-action experience in Summer 2
  4. Leadership statement video
  5. Letter of support from proposed supervisor(s)

Widening participation and inclusion

We recognise that a positive contribution to society requires diversity of experience, and a platform for meaningful inclusion of that diversity at all levels. We are commited to actively enabling students from all backgrounds to participate and develop and we particularly welcome applications from students in demographics that are often under-represented in specialist programmes. This includes but is not limited to students from ethnic minorities in Ireland, students with disabilities, LGBTQ students, students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and students who have participated in alternative admissions routes such as TAP (Trinity Access Programme).

We encourage you to contact us at  with any queries, clarifications, accessibility requests, or any other resources which would support you to complete an application.

Application criteria

Applications are assessed by a Selection Panel chaired by the Senior Lecturer/Dean of Undergraduate Studies which includes senior academics and the Laidlaw Programme staff in the Trinity Careers Service. The Selection Panel will assess the applications across a range of criteria including the merit and feasibility of the proposals for both summers as well as the potential demonstrated by the applicant to thrive in the leadership development programme.

Application assessment criteria will include:

  • The viability and merit of the research project in Summer 1 (i.e. sufficient planning, scope, and academic rigour to complete within 6 week period)
  • The student’s engagement with and ambition for their development of leadership skills
  • The suitability, impact, and developmental goals indicated for the LiA experience in Summer 2
  • The letter of support from the proposed project supervisor(s)
  • The student’s academic record

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

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)

There are no restrictions on discipline, School, or EU/Non-EU student status. Due to the duration of the programme, visiting students are not eligible to apply.

Finding a project and a supervisor

Self-defined projects

The majority of research projects undertaken by Laidlaw Scholars at Trinity are self-defined by the student and supervised by a member of the academic staff. To begin developing your self-defined research project proposal, please read through the Laidlaw Application Guide. You can also view examples of projects from previous Laidlaw Scholars below:

Laidlaw Research Projects at Trinity (2018 - 2020)

You can ask any member of Trinity’s academic staff to support your application. This staff member must be available to supervise you for the duration required, including your Summer 1 project, potential Summer 2 experience (depending on the LiA you undertake) and the additional time required to engage with the Laidlaw team with regards to your progress. They would ideally have research interests in the same area as your proposed project. You can also 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 institution. Your Trinity supervisor will be your primary supervisor in that scenario and they will both need to sign a letter of support.

The Trinity research pages can be used to search for academics who have research interests which overlap with your project. Each department will also have an academic staff page which will include the research interests of the staff member. If you don't already have someone in mind, the best place to start is with a short and polite email!

Supervisors and students should discuss the length of the programme and scope of your involvement as part of the initial proposal meeting and it is expected that the supervisor commits to supporting you for the duration required. 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.

For more information on the role and responsibilities of your Trinity supervisor, please refer to the Laidlaw Programme Application Guide.

If your supervisor wishes to know more about the Laidlaw Programme and their role as supervisor to a Laidlaw Scholar, please refer them to the staff webpage and the Laidlaw 2022 Supervisor Guidance. Any questions on supervisor eligibility or further queries from supervisors can be directed to

Pre-defined central projects (Laidlaw Foundation)

The Laidlaw Foundation offers several centrally organised opportunities for Laidlaw Scholars across the network of participating universities. These pre-defined projects include a structured engagement with a partner organisation on a research project in Summer 1 which will be linked to an integrated Leadership-in-action experience in Summer 2.

You must apply to the central project before submitting your application to Trinity. Each central opportunity will have its own selection process which will run prior to the closing date for applications to the Laidlaw Programme at Trinity. Students applying to a central opportunity will be provisionally selected for a place pending review of their application in terms of the overall criteria as part of the Trinity application process.

Students must apply to only one central project at a time. Students will be notified prior to the general closing date if they are unsuccessful with their central application, at which time they can proceed to submit a self-defined application if they choose.

Pre-defined Central Projects - Prospective Scholars

Applying to Laidlaw and Erasmus/Study Abroad

Students interested in an Erasmus/Non-EU Study Abroad opportunity 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 planned if you are successful in both applications. 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 their own arrangements to ensure they are available for all core programme activities. Every effort will be made to provide hybrid or alternative options where feasible - for some core activities it may be essential that students attend in person. Students will be required to make and fund their own travel arrangements to participate, and are strongly encouraged to consider how they will engage with any other additional in-person events in the Laidlaw community throughout the duration of their exchange.

International students

International students may need to consider relevant visa, work permit, and travel requirements as part of their undertaking in the Laidlaw Programme. More information on this is available on our International Students page.

Data Protection statement

Trinity College fully respects your right to privacy and actively seeks to preserve the privacy rights of data subjects who share personal data with the University. Any personal information which you volunteer to the Service in the course of applying to or participating in the Laidlaw Programme will be treated with the highest standards of security and confidentiality, in accordance with data protection legislation.

Before applying to the Laidlaw Programme, please read our full Data Protection Statement.