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Applications to the Laidlaw Programme

Click to download the Laidlaw Application Guide (2024 Scholars)

How to submit an application

Please read the Laidlaw Programme Application Guide 2024 before beginning your application.

Applications are open until 12 noon, 12th February 2024.

Laidlaw Programme Application Form (2024 Scholars)

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)

Have a question about the programme or the application process? Get in touch with us at

You can view the Information Session slidedeck here.

There are online drop-in Q&A sessions available with the Laidlaw Programme Coordinator open to any interested student, no need to book a place just come along:

Tuesday 5th December at 1 PM

Monday 11th December at 1 PM

There will be another information session in early January 2024 - details will be available here once confirmed.

A recording of the information session for the previous cohort applications in November 2022 is available here for reference. Please note that the most up-to-date guidance for 2024 is available in the Application Guide above.

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). The programme is suitable for students from all academic disciplines.

If you think you are interested and eligible for the programme but you are not certain if it is “for students like you” – we strongly encourage you to make an application.

You can get in touch with us at about any queries, clarifications, accessibility requests, or to discuss any other support which would make it easier for you to complete an application. Our colleagues at Trinity Disability Service are also available as support through the DS Student Development & Engagement Drop-in sessions.

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

  • Students must be a currently registered undergraduate student at Trinity to apply, and must remain registered for the duration of the scholarship to participate in the programme
  • Students must be able to complete all of the programme requirements during the 18-month programme including two summers of 6-weeks full-time project work and up to 7 days of in-person workshops in Dublin on set days
  • Students may only submit one application during their time at Trinity
  • Students intending to study abroad during their degree are eligible to apply, if selected they will be responsible for ensuring they can complete all programme requirements, including travelling to attend in-person training days in Dublin
  • Due to the duration of the programme, incoming visiting students are not eligible to apply

Application process

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 interview format may include individual discussions and group exercises. Briefing information and interview dates will be communicated to shortlisted candidates. The decision of the Selection Panel is final.   

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)

Laidlaw Scholars international network projects

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 2024 Supervisor Guidance. Any questions on supervisor eligibility or further queries from supervisors can be directed to

Applying to the Laidlaw Programme 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 Laidlaw Programme coordinator.

Every effort will be made to provide hybrid or alternative options where feasible, however this is not possible for many of the core activities. Students on exchange are required to make and fund their own arrangements to ensure they are available for any essential in-person activity in Dublin, which will include all of the leadership training days.Additionally, students are strongly encouraged to consider how they will balance the workload for both opportunities and how they would 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.