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Components of the Laidlaw Programme

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Leadership and Research Programme is an active and engaging 18-month scholarship programme. It has several components including:

  • core financial support to the value of €6,500 including a €3,300 stipend in Summer 1
  • an 18-month leadership development programme
  • a self-directed research project in Summer 1
  • a funded leadership in action experience in Summer 2

Laidlaw Scholars also have other potential funded opportunities including travel grants, project resource funding, tailored workshops, and learning opportunities with expert facilitators.

Roadmap to the Laidlaw Programme at Trinity

Leadership Development programme

An integrated leadership development programme, which includes a minimum of seven core leadership training days over a 18 month period, with a focus on developing valuable transferable skills in leadership, communications, team working, and 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, outreach activities, and personal coaching. Some leadership sessions will be full weekends, with a focus on interactive learning and teamwork. These core leadership activities will be complemented with other ongoing opportunities which will include working with primary and secondary schools through university access programmes, community volunteering, as well as opportunities for networking, reflection, and online learning. The leadership development programme focuses on the development of the Laidlaw Leader Attributes which are linked to the Laidlaw Foundation Leadership Framework.

Research Project

A research project where Laidlaw Scholars will pursue and report on a research question they have identified, with the support of an academic research supervisor.

Research projects with an international dimension or of an interdisciplinary nature are encouraged and the project idea must be original and distinct from an existing ongoing project. The project must also be entirely separate from any work submitted for credit as part of the undergraduate degree but students are otherwise encouraged to build on the interests, knowledge, and experience already developed through their studies.

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

There are two kinds of research project proposals you can apply to: a self-defined research project on a topic which you have conceived or a pre-defined research project. There are several opportunities for central pre-defined projects available via the Laidlaw Foundation which provide unique opportunities for your research and leadership development. You can read more about these pre-defined projects here.

Leadership In Action

The Laidlaw Programme include an opportunity for Laidlaw Scholars to deepen their leadership skills in an applied setting. Following the completion of their initial research project in Summer 1, Laidlaw Scholars will continue to one of three ‘Leadership in Action’ experiences in Summer 2. In the event of travel restrictions there will be options to adapt the LIA experience for blended or remote delivery.

Leadership in Action Options:

  • 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 which may be related to the research subject or may be in another area of leadership development, for example, working in collaboration with a not-for-profit/community-based organisation which has positive impact for a disadvantaged community. This should give the scholar the opportunity to develop and apply their leadership skills in a practical setting, which will involve creating and implementing a strategy, as well as leading others.

  • In-field Application of Research
  • A project 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 project should expand on the scope of the Summer 1 project and have clearly defined objectives which will develop the Scholar’s leadership skills and have positive benefits for society. This option will ideally be undertaken outside of Trinity and could include: A placement in an international university to develop and continue the research, application of the research within industry, e.g. with a relevant company, research field work in a community setting

Funding and resources

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 your Leadership in Action experience in Summer 2. Stipend funding is intended to support your living expenses such as accommodation, food, and normal travel to allow you to engage fully with the Programme.

There is also a travel fund available to Laidlaw 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. Virtual opportunities will be considered while travel restrictions remain.

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.

Programme timeline for 2021 cohort

Please note that these dates are indicative and will be reviewed and finalised in light of the developing health situation with COVID-19. Confirmed dates will be advised to participants as soon as available. Where necessary, developmental activities will be conducted virtually and in-person activities will resume at the earliest advisable opportunity.

Applications open

4th December 2020

Online information session

6PM, 10th December 2020

Applications close

February 2021

All applicants contacted with feedback/ shortlisted candidates invited for interview

Late March 2021


Late March/Early April 2021

Scholars announced

April 2021

Leadership development programme and Laidlaw community events There will be additional opportunities and events for Laidlaw Scholars to take part in outside of their core sessions throughout the 18-month programme

Welcome event and induction session

April 2021

Research Project

Summer 2021

Leadership Days 1 and 2

May 2021

Leadership Days 3 and 4

November 2021

Leadership Days 5 and 6

February 2022 (residential)

Leadership in Action experience

Summer 2022

Final Submission

End September 2022

Leadership Day 7

October 2022

Final Ceremony

Hilary Term 2022

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. 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
  • 5-6 weeks participation in the leadership in Action project 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 during Summer 1
  • A research poster
  • A multimedia report on the overall programme experience at the end of Summer 2

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

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.