Laidlaw Leadership and Research Programme

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.

Scholars begin their Laidlaw Leadership and Research Programme experience with a leadership training residential. In a group, immersive environment, they discover their own innate leadership preferences, learn core leadership attributes, explore leadership values and develop their leadership skills through exercises and applied learning. Their leadership development continues through the year, with guest speakers, coaching and more.

Leadership programme at The University of Leeds

Laidlaw Scholars will attend a number of leadership development activities during their time as a scholar.

A two-day induction, leadership, and skills development residential taking place on the 6th and 7th June 2022 will introduce the scholars to the programme and start the leadership and skills development sessions which will focus on:

  • Networking and Emotional Intelligence
  • Exploring personal values and preferences
  • Leadership styles
  • Personal development planning
  • Presentation skills
  • Research methods and project management
  • Impact and public engagement

A second two day development reflection, leadership and team-building residential will take place later in June 2022. This will focus on:

  • Outdoor pursuits
  • Developing knowledge and understanding of teams
  • Different leadership styles and how they affect group dynamics
  • Various theories and models to undertake simple and complex team building activities

A third one-day leadership programme will take place on 15th September 2022 and will focus on:

  • Understanding the importance of leadership and management to individual and organisational success
  • Reflection on personal leadership styles
  • Developing an awareness of personal strengths and abilities in order to build future leadership capabilities

Additional leadership activities will be incorporated throughout the programme.


















Research project

Students selected for the 2022 Laidlaw Leadership and Research Programme will undertake one period of funded research, taking place for six weeks, in the Summer of 2022 and undertake a leadership in action period for six weeks during the summer of 2023.

Students can apply using an academic predefined research topic or identify a unique research project (and discuss it with an academic supervisor who can supervise and mentor them through the project).

An academic predefined research topic will have the academic mentor already attached to the project. If a student is self-selecting a research project the idea should be original and not be part of an existing or ongoing research project at the University, nor part of any work submitted towards the student’s degree.

A self-selecting research project proposal must be submitted as part of the student’s application along with a statement of support submitted by the agreed academic mentor. This information will be verified so please make sure that you have spoken to your academic mentor in advance of submitting your application.

2022 projects should be designed to produce real world impact, beyond research outcomes; or begin a process of so-doing.


Leadership Expedition or Placement 













Students selected for the Laidlaw Leadership and Research Programme put their newly developed leadership knowledge into practise in the second year of the programme in challenging environments. Over approximately six weeks, Scholars choose from a variety of testing options including joining a charity expedition in a developing country with peers from each of the partner universities, and putting their research into action by planning and leading a change project based on their research findings. Listen to Emily talk about her experience with ThinkPacific here.

TZ Group Pic




Scholars join a global network of fellow Laidlaw Scholars. This on-line community provides a dedicated space for scholars to contribute and collaborate. Undergraduate scholars publish their research here, can test their thinking, partner on projects and continue their leadership development. MBA scholars and alumni share career questions, advice and opportunities. Leading academics post their latest papers and thought leadership.


Successful applicants will be asked to write a research report and poster, and complete a final report or video for Lord Laidlaw on their experience of the programme and the impact it has had on them.

Scholars will also be expected to showcase their work at celebration events and will have the opportunity to present their research at external events.

Scholars are ambassadors of the programme and are asked to promote the programme to peers and to keep us updated on what they go on to achieve in the future.


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