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The Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Program seeks to cultivate tomorrow’s leaders across all disciplines through independent research and leadership development programming.

Key program components include:

Research Project

There are two pathways to becoming a Tufts Laidlaw Scholar:

  1. Individual Research Project: The student may identify an individual research topic and work one-on-one with a faculty mentor.
  2. Group Research Project: A faculty mentor may work with a team of up to five undergraduate researchers. Projects can be thematic in nature, with each student pursuing his or her own research question and approaching the project from different disciplines. Each student choosing this pathway will need to submit their own application for consideration.

All scholars will develop, pursue, and report on a research question along with their faculty mentor over the course of two consecutive summers (for a list of faculty willing to work with Laidlaw Scholars, please see the Faculty Involvement page). Students are encouraged to explore faculty websites and speak with faculty that they are interested in working with as soon as possible. Faculty can work with the student to help create a research plan. Students who have enrolled in summer courses are not precluded from participating.

Research projects can be in any discipline. Projects may have an international dimension, and scholars may spend all or part of the second summer research project in an overseas university. Following each summer research period, scholars and their faculty mentors will participate in a research day in which their findings are shared with the broader community. The research project can culminate in the student’s senior honors thesis if they choose.

Leadership Development

Leadership development is an important component of the Laidlaw Scholarship. Along with conducting research, scholars will also participate in a leadership development program. The leadership component of the scholarship will include workshops, trainings, and events, along with more informal mentoring opportunities.

Leadership development programming will begin in the spring before the scholar’s first summer research period and continue throughout their time as a Laidlaw Scholar. Participation in all leadership development activities is mandatory.