A photo of students learning to work together as a team

The Programme

The Laidlaw Scholarship builds on Lord Laidlaw’s inspiring vision to better equip students with the skills to help them succeed and flourish in the workplace and beyond. The scholarship comprises two main elements: leadership development and a research project.

Listen to the Programme Lead, Penny Foster, and a group of Laidlaw Scholars talk about the Laidlaw Scholarship.


Leadership Programme

A fundamental element of the scholarship is to provide students with the knowledge and skills vital to becoming future leaders in their chosen fields. Laidlaw Scholars will attend a number of leadership development activities resulting in a leadership qualification award by the Chartered Management Institute.

A two-day leadership development centre (taking place on 1 and 2 July 2019) and the completion of an online leadership diagnostic will form the basis of a personalised leadership development plan. This plan will provide a benchmark and enable individual coaching and mentoring to take place throughout the programme (the first coaching and mentoring sessions will take place between 4-6 July 2018).

A three-day leadership programme will take place on 10, 11 and 12 July 2019. This will focus on:

  • Exploring personal values and preferences
  • Leadership styles
  • Personal development planning
  • Research methods and project management.

A second three-day programme will take place in March 2020 and will include engagement with the local community and team and organisational learning.

Additional leadership activities will be incorporated throughout the programme.

Research Project

Students selected for the 2019 Laidlaw Scholarship will undertake two periods of funded research, each taking place for 5-6 weeks. The first research period will take place in the Summer of 2019 and the second in Summer 2020.

In 2019 students must identify a unique research theme and discuss it with an academic supervisor who can mentor them through the 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. Ideally such projects will relate in some way to the York Research Themes and may contain cross disciplinary elements.

In 2019 we are encouraging applicants to consider projects with an international dimension. This may be that the research has a focus on another country or contains a global element. This may include an opportunity to spend all or part of the second Summer research period in an overseas university.

The research project proposal must be submitted as part of the student’s application along with a statement of support submitted by the chosen 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.


Successful applicants will be asked to write up their research in the form of a report or poster, complete short assignments for the CMI qualification (which will be based on their research and learning on the programme), and complete a final report 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 a bespoke celebration event and will have the opportunity to present their research at a public event.

We also ask scholars to stay in touch with us to help us promote the programme to peers and to keep us updated on what they go on to achieve.