How to Apply




Are you interested in gaining world-class leadership skills and developing your leadership qualities? Do you want to join a global network of like-minded peers? Do you see yourself as one of the next generation of global leaders? Then this fully-funded programme may be the perfect opportunity for you.


We want to create a varied cohort comprising of scholars from diverse backgrounds. We want scholars with a range of personalities and interests. Above all, we want scholars with a desire to develop their leadership abilities and affect positive change.

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying for the Laidlaw Leadership and Research Programme 2024 please ensure that:

  1. You are available during the summers of  2024-2025
  2. You are 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

As the programme is merit-based, you are eligible to apply for it even if you are already in receipt of a scholarship from the University of Leeds.

If you have any questions regarding your eligibility for the programme, please don’t hesitate email the Laidlaw programme administrator at

Please note: students studying the following programmes are not eligible to apply for the Laidlaw Leadership and Research Programme:

Application Process

Support is available to help you with your application during the application period. Please contact 

Please see the presentation slides.


Step One: Identify a research project you would like to participate in during your first summer. There are two pathways available:

Option 1 – Self-Defined Research Pathway

If you have an original research project proposal, you need to discuss it with a potential academic supervisor who can support you through the project. You will need to design the project giving consideration to your Leadership in Action Period. All projects should be designed to produce real world impact beyond research outcomes; or begin a process of doing so.

If you have designed a project yourself, you will need to write a short research project proposal explaining why the project interests you, why you are interested in the leadership programme, and what qualities and experience you have which will enable you to complete both. You will also need to agree and confirm the support of your academic research project supervisor. They will need to complete a statement of support for the research project and your suitability for the scholarship.

You will need to consider whether ethical review is needed for your proposed project. The university’s ethical review process takes around 6 weeks to be completed, so you will need to discuss the ethical issues with your supervisor and allow enough time for this process before your research period begins. Ethical review is needed for all research with ethical implications. For example, research involving human participants or personal data. All relevant information and ethical review forms can be found here.

Option 2 – Pre-Defined Research Pathway

Review the list of pre-defined research projects (the full project list can also be found under the supporting documents section at the bottom on the MyCareer application page) and decide which one you would like to participate in. Projects are interdisciplinary, but please check the ‘person specification’ section very carefully to make sure you are eligible. Once you have found a project that interests you, contact the project supervisor to discuss your potential application.

You will need to explain why the project interests you, why you are interested in the leadership programme, and what qualities and experience you have which will make you successful in completing both. You will also need a statement from your personal tutor or academic representative on your suitability for the programme.

There are options for applicants to apply to pre-defined projects in collaboration with the Laidlaw Foundation. These projects will be open to applications from all universities in the Laidlaw network and each offer distinct opportunities to engage with Laidlaw Foundation partner organisations in the UK. Some of these projects will also incorporate a built-in leadership in action option for your second summer. Applicants will be competing with students from across the Laidlaw Network for these opportunities. If you are interested in one of these projects please contact Rebecca Shaw prior to your application.


Step Two: Think about what you would like your Leadership in Action period to be (this could also help with identifying a research project)

  • Leadership expedition via an organisation from the approved list of central projects (for central projects there is an application process in order to be selected).
  • Leadership Project with an NGO/Organisation proposed by the scholar or from a University provided list.
  • Implementing Scholar's Research Findings by putting the findings of the first year’s project into action with the aim of creating positive change in society. Please note, you CANNOT continue your research project in your second summer. To implement your research, it would need to be put into practice in a real-world setting.

The Leadership in Action Period will take place in your second summer and will last for six weeks.


Step Three: Complete the online application form after reading all of the guidance documents in MyCareer including the list of pre-defined projects. The guidance documents can be found in the Laidlaw Leadership and Research Programme scheme on MyCareer.



Step Four: Create a short video, telling us which Laidlaw value you believe best describes you, and provide an example of when this has been impactful. The video should be up to two minutes in length and you should be creative!


Step Five: Submit the application on MyCareer

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to attend an interview.

Scholars will be selected based on the strength of evidence/potential provided for the following:

  • The student’s potential and ambition for leadership roles in the future
  • The extent to which the student can envisage how their research could be applied or what impact it can have
  • The Academic Personal Tutor's supporting statement
  • The extent to which the student can demonstrate their enthusiasm for the Laidlaw Programme and their desire to become a change-maker 





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