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Durham University


Laidlaw Scholarship in Research and Leadership

The Laidlaw Scholarship in Research and Leadership programme was launched at Durham University in 2017, building upon Lord Laidlaw’s visionary commitment to supporting undergraduate student development and education.

Laidlaw Scholarships equip undergraduate students with research and leadership skills to help them pursue their academic and professional aspirations beyond their current course of study.

The Programme comprises two mandatory elements:

  1. Two periods of research, each of at least six weeks duration, designed and defined by the student. Research may be within a single discipline or be multi-disciplinary and may contain an international element.

  2. A leadership programme, completion of which is a required element of this scholarship

Successful applicants will receive a total stipend of up to £6,000 over the three year duration of the programme.

The programme will also provide opportunities for interaction between Laidlaw scholars in other Universities

The aim of the Laidlaw Scholarship Programme 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 are looking for ambitious and self-motivated individuals who have the capacity to design and carry out an original research project, and to commit to developing their leadership skills, knowledge and behaviours through the leadership training element of the programme.

A specification of what is expected of a Laidlaw Scholar, together with a person specification can be found here.

The leadership programme will be a required element of the scholarship. Initially you need to commit to being available for a weekend event in June 2019

Further information about the scholarship can also be found here.

All undergraduate students in year 1 of a three year programme or year 2 of a four year programme are eligible to apply. There are no restrictions on discipline/department, college, nationality or fee status. (The programme is not open to visiting students).

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

Your research proposal will be assessed 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. Attached is a list of areas of research which academics at the University have identified as suitable for them to supervise. You are not limited to these areas of research, if there is a specific subject you are interested in you can approach a supervisor and develop a research proposal.
  • Design your research project, following discussions 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.

    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
  • Complete the application form: 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 your supervisor. Ask your supervisor to complete the online statement of support form
  • Submit the application form

Applications for 2019/20 Entry open 6th December 2018 and close at 11.59pm on 25th January 2019

Shortlisting will take place between 18th February 2019 - 1st March 2019

Interviews will be held on 18th and 19th March 2019

Students will be notified of outcome of applications by 22nd March 2019

For further information or advice:


Phone: +44 (0)191 334 6395