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Components of the Laidlaw Programme

The Laidlaw Scholars Leadership & Research Programme is a diverse and engaging learning opportunity.

Participating students will:

  • Complete a unique 18-month leadership and personal skills development programme
  • Conduct an original student-led research project in Summer 1
  • Undertake a Leadership-in-action experience designed to make a positive impact in society in Summer 2
  • Build a community of practice with Laidlaw Scholars and staff through peer-to-peer activities, networking, mentoring, and volunteering

Laidlaw Scholars are supported by funding to the value of €10,000 including:

  • A living stipend of €3,300 in both summers while conducting their projects
  • Opportunity to apply for additional Project and Travel funding up to €1,900 to support research and leadership development work in both summers
  • Tailored development training including individual personal coaching, bespoke workshops from expert facilitators, and collaboration with Laidlaw Network partners

Leadership Development Programme

Laidlaw Scholars will join a committed learning community to undertake an intensive and rewarding 18 month leadership development programme.

This will include a minimum of 7 days core leadership training with a focus on developing valuable and transferable skills across a range of key competencies including project management, ethical behaviour, communications, team working, resilience, cultural and social awareness, and inclusive community building.

The leadership development component of the programme gives Scholars a range of opportunities to develop experience and practice the skills they will need to become a next generation leader. The leadership activities are based on the Laidlaw Leader Attributes.

Activities include group development training days and residential weekends, peer-to-peer learning groups, guided reflective exercises, one-to-one coaching, community outreach activities, and opportunities to connect across the Laidlaw Network. These core leadership activities will be complemented with other ways to explore leadership such as working with primary and secondary schools through university access programmes, volunteering and tutoring, presentations, showcases, and guest speakers.

Research Project

Laidlaw Scholars will design and deliver an original student-led research project.

Over 6 weeks during Summer 1 of their programme they will investigate and report on a topic of interest while developing research capability and experience with the support of an academic staff supervisor.

The research component of the programme allows Scholars to approach an academic supervisor to support them in delivering an original, student-led 6 week research project. Research projects with an international dimension or of an interdisciplinary nature are encouraged. The main project aim must be original and distinct from an existing and ongoing project. The project must also be entirely separate from any work submitted for credit as part of the undergraduate degree. Students are otherwise encouraged to build on the interests, knowledge, and experience already developed through their studies.

Scholars recieve a living stipend of €3,300 during Summer 1 and can apply for additional project and travel funding to develop their project.

Examples of previous research projects by Laidlaw Scholars can be found on the Laidlaw Scholars at Trinity page.

There are opportunities available in 2022 for students to apply to central Laidlaw Foundation projects which include a pre-defined research project in Summer 1 and an integrated Leadership-in-action experience in Summer 2. For more information, please visit Laidlaw Scholars Network - Prospective Scholars.


Laidlaw Scholars will put their leadership skills into practice in an immersive setting which will give them the opportunity to expand their perspective of different cultures and environments and make a positive impact to society.

There are a variety of ways that Laidlaw Scholars can achieve this goal such as creating a placement project with an organisation such as a charity/NGO/not-for-profit, through an in-field application of their Summer 1 research, or by joining a cross-university expedition to support a community in need, organised centrally via the Laidlaw Foundation.

The Leadership-in-Action (LiA) experience is an opportunity for Scholars to own and deliver a project in a new and challenging context which will deepen their leadership development while doing something which makes the world a better place.

Scholars will propose an initial plan for their LiA at the start of their programme which will be refined and confirmed between before the start of the LiA component in Summer 2.

There are three categories of LiA experience:

  • Category A: Central Laidlaw Foundation Project

    An immersive experience where Scholars will engage with projects and expeditions offered by organisations partnered with the Laidlaw Foundation. This will include working with Scholars for other participating universities to own and deliver on leadership projects addressing key societal issues. This can only be undertaken as part of an approved Laidlaw provider.

  • Category B: Leadership Placement

    Scholars will design and deliver a project in partnership with an external organisation to make a positive impact for society and a community in need. Potential partner organisations identified by the Scholar can include charities, NGOs, or not-for-profit community based organisations. This placement can be linked to the theme of the Summer 1 research or can be in a new area of interest. The placement will include objectvies where the Scholar can create and implement a strategy, lead others, and make a demonstrable impact.

  • Category C: In-field application of Research

    Scholars will put the findings of their Summer 1 research project into action with the aim of creating positive change in society. This is not a second summer of research and must go beyond the scope and objectives of the Summer 1 project. This must include a practical aspect as well as clearly defined objectives which allow for leadership skills to be developed. This will be undertaken outside of the familiar research environment and could include working directly with causes identified in the Summer 1 research project, partnership with an international university to apply the research, or creating sustainable resources within the relevant community.

    This will normally be supervised by the same supervisor(s) as the Summer 1 research project and should be identified and scoped with them as part of the initial application and planning process.

All LiA experiences will include:

  • A learning experience of 6 weeks duration in a new and personally challenging environment
  • Working to support communities in need
  • Developing and demonstrating the Laidlaw leadership skills, attributes, and values
  • Clearly defined objectives and deliverables owned by the Scholar
  • Learning through service internationally/overseas

Scholars receive a living stipend of €3,300 during Summer 2 and can apply for additional project and travel funding to enable their Leadership-in-Action experience.

    Funding and resources

    Laidlaw Scholars benefit from funding to the value of €10,000 during the programme.

    This includes a living stipend of €3,300 in each summer for regular accommodation, travel, and expenses to support Scholars to engage with the programme full-time. This is normally paid directly to the Scholar - in the case of some LiA options in Summer 2 this may be paid to the partner organisation to cover the costs of the Scholar attending the expedition.

    Scholars can also apply to project and travel funding to support relevant expenses for research work and leadership development. Project costs can include books, subscriptions, software, equipment, lab consumables and any other reasonable resource as agreed with your supervisor. Travel costs can include visas, vaccinations, flights and accommodation for research trips, conferences, and travel to LiA experiences.

    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. Virtual opportunities will be considered while travel restrictions remain.

    Applications for funding to cover other relevant costs not otherwise provided for will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    Programme timeline for 2022 cohort

    Applications open

    29th November 2021

    Online information session

    6 PM, Thursday 2nd December 2022

    Applications close

    23:59, 7th February 2022

    All applicants advised of outcome, shortlisted applicants invited to interview

    By 7th March 2022


    Throughout March 2022

    Scholars announced

    April 2022

    Leadership development programme and Laidlaw community events Additional events and opportunities will take place outside of the core sessions throughout the programme

    Welcome event and induction session

    20th April 2022

    Research Project

    Summer 2022

    Leadership Day 1 and 2

    27th and 28th May 2022

    Leadership Day 3

    5th November 2022

    Leadership Day 4 and 5

    4th - 6th March 2023 (residential)

    Ethical Leadership Masterclass module Spring 2023

    Leadership-in-Action experience

    Summer 2023

    Final Submission

    September 2023

    Leadership Day 6

    8th October 2023

    Final Ceremony

    November 2023

    Time commitment and responsibilities

    The Laidlaw Scholarship is awarded on condition of full participation by the Laidlaw Scholar in the programme, including attendance at all core Laidlaw events and engagement with the intended learning outcomes. Events and activities will normally be in person, hybrid/remote options will be made available where possible. The core requirements include:

    • 6 weeks full-time research in Summer 1
    • A minimum of 7 full days of leadership training
    • A minimum of 2 individual coaching sessions
    • 6 weeks full-time LiA experience in Summer 2
    • Completion of project reports, reflective exercises, and other developmental activities
    • Engaging actively with the Laidlaw Programme team and contributing to the Laidlaw Scholar community


    Every effort should be made to engage with any additional Laidlaw activities throughout the duration of the programme, such as:

    • Participation in peer learning activities
    • Participation in outreach or volunteering activities
    • Participation in other Laidlaw community events and activities such as mentoring, attending Laidlaw Foundation webinars and the Laidlaw annual conference
    • Promotional activities related to the Laidlaw Programme


    Submission requirements of the Laidlaw Programme include:

    • A reflective report on the research project and leadership development after Summer 1
    • A research poster
    • A reflective report on the LiA experience and overall programme development after Summer 2
    • Blog posts on the Laidlaw at Trinity blog at various stages of the programme


    These responsibilities may evolve over the course of the programme in response to changing circumstances and new developmental opportunities.

    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 addition to their normal course work and activities. During the agreed core Laidlaw dates in each Summer the Laidlaw Scholars will be expected to work full-time on their project or their LiA experience and may not simultaneously take holidays or undertake other paid work.

    Scholars who are studying internationally as part of their programme will be expected to make their own arrangements and every reasonable effort to attend mandatory in-person activities. Laidlaw Scholars who do not complete the programme attendance and submission requirements to a satisfactory level will be unable to meet the minimum learning requirements and may be asked to discontinue from the programme and any associated funding.

    How to Apply