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A photo of students learning to work together as a team

The Programme

The Laidlaw Scholarship builds on Lord Laidlaw’s inspiring vision to create an international network of diverse, passionate and ethical future leaders. 

The scholarship comprises two main elements: leadership development and a research project.

The programme also has a focus on learning through service overseas/ international experience.

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 attend a number of leadership development activities.

This includes a tailored development plan based on observation and feedback on their leadership skills and an online leadership diagnostic.

A three-day residential leadership programme focuses on:

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

A second three-day programme includes engagement with the local community and team and organisational learning.

Additional leadership activities are incorporated throughout the programme.

You can see a group of Laidlaw Scholars on some of their community project work:

Research Project and Leadership in Action

Research Project

Students undertake a period of funded research, for 5-6 weeks in summer 1 of the scholarship.

Students identify a unique research theme and arrange an academic supervisor who mentors them through the project.

Leadership in Action

In the second summer scholars put their leadership skills and attributes into practice. Scholars have three options: 

  • Leadership expedition via an organisation from the approved list of central projects. A stipend will apply but costs of the programme, such as living and delivery costs may be deducted. (For central projects there is an application process in order to be selected).
  • Leadership Project with an NGO / Not-for-Profit proposed by the Scholar or from a University provided list. This has a stipend applied.
  • Implementing Scholar's Research Findings in a Community of Need putting the findings of the first year’s project into action with the aim of creating positive change in society. This will be for 6 weeks and the stipend will apply with a further fund available for project expenses

Scholars develop and apply their leadership skills, cultural awareness, resilience and see the power of team effort. As a truly global citizen, scholars experience remote cultures in stunning environments and learn more about themselves than they would have thought possible.

The programme closely connects with the Laidlaw Attributes Framework.


Laidlaw Scholars write up their research in the form of a research essay and poster, produce a Showcase of their Leadership in Action Experience and complete a final report for Lord Laidlaw on their experience of the programme and the impact it had on them.