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Durham University


Laidlaw Scholarship in Research and Leadership

The creation of the Laidlaw Scholarship was made possible by Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay’s forward-thinking vision and unswerving commitment to student development. The Scholarship has grown considerably since its inception and is now being delivered at a number of institutions, both internationally and nationally. We aim to create an international network of diverse, passionate and ethical leaders who will reinvest their skills, knowledge and experience to help others succeed.

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship was established to build a community of leaders who can contribute effectively in all facets of society and positively benefit others. The main aim of the Scholarship is to equip undergraduate students with the necessary research and leadership skills to help them fulfil their ambitions beyond their course of study, whether they intend to pursue a career in research or in another sector. We invest in talented and motivated undergraduate students, who believe it is their moral imperative to lead with integrity and become active globle leaders and future citizens.

For more detailed information about this exciting and innotive opportunity please visit

The Laidlaw Scholarship aims to develop highly talented and motivated undergraduates as global citizens and future leaders and to support them to fulfil their potential and re-invest their skills in ways that will benefit others.

The scholarship is competitive and up-to 25 places will be offered in Durham each year. In addition to working alongside leading academics on a research project of your chosing, you will also undergo a bespoke leadership development programme and have opportunities to be able to put your leadership skills into operation in a way that contributes to various global communities.

The scholarships are supported by a generous stipend of up to £6000 to enable you to participate in two 6 week summer periods in both research and leadership activities.

Details of the Laidlaw Scholarship are available here.

All undergraduate students in year one of a three year degree programme, or year one or two of a four year degree programme at the time of application are eligible to apply. There are no restrictions on discipline/department, college, nationality or fee status (the programme is not open to visiting students). We particularly welcome applications from those under-represented, including people of minority ethnic origin, people with disabilities, LGBT+ people, and people who attended state schools and/ or are first-generation university students.

Your application to the programme will be assessed through the application form which consists of a personal profile and your research proposal. There will be an interview for shortlisted candidates.

The application form is available now in Pebblepad. Log in with your Durham University username and password. The Laidlaw Application form should be visable on your dashboard (Laidlaw Scholarship in Leadership and Research 20/21)

Your research proposal will be assessed by a panel of internal assessors and academics in a relevant discipline.

To apply for the scholarship you must:

  • Identify a research project which you are interested in.
  • Design your research project. Discuss your ideas with your chosen supervisor; your project can be original or related to research that is on-going in the University. If part of a larger research programme your project must be designed to make a specific contribution.
  • Write a research proposal. Your proposal will be assessed by an internal reviewer for the quality of the candidate, project content, and proposed environment hosting the study.
  • If you are interested in applying but are not sure of a research topic you would like to pursue, speak to a member of academic staff who will be able to guide you.

If the academic you speak to would like more information about the Laidlaw Programme, please send direct them to this information video specfically for academic staff.

The research proposal should be no more than one side of A4 and should cover:

  • The research question
  • The objectives of the research
  • A summary of the project in simple terms which can be understood by a non-expert in the field

What you need to do now:

  • Complete the application form which will be available on your Pebblepad dashboard, this includes the personal profile, which should be used to tell us more about yourself and your motivations for applying for the Laidlaw Programme.
  • Confirm the support of a supervisor. Ask them to complete the statement of support form which is part of the application form.

Applications for our 2021 intake are now open and will close at Midnight 17th January 2021

All applicants will be notified of their outcome.

For further information or advice:


Phone: +44 (0)191 334 6395