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Laidlaw Undergraduate Leadership and Research Program

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Program provides students with hands-on research experience and leadership training to prepare them to serve as future leaders in their respective fields. The program is made possible by the generous funding of Lord Irvine Laidlaw of Rothiemay through the Laidlaw Foundation.

The Laidlaw Scholarship funds undergraduate students over the course of two consecutive summers. Scholars are supported for up to six weeks the first summer, working closely with a faculty mentor of their choosing. The second summer Scholars will take part in an engaging project to build their leadership skills outside of the lab during a leadership or research expedition . Faculty mentors must be Tufts faculty, and can come from any of the University’s schools. Research projects can focus on a variety of topics. Projects may also have an international focus. Students team applications working on a common research question are accepted.

Laidlaw Scholars also participate in activities to promote their development as leaders, including workshops, trainings, and other more informal mentoring opportunities. Following completion of the program, scholars will receive a transcript notation identifying them as a Laidlaw Scholar.

Scholars at Tufts University will be a part of a broader community of Laidlaw Scholars. Partner programs exist at Barnard College, Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Durham University, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Georgetown University, London School of Economics and Political Science, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Cambridge, the University College London, the University of Hong Kong, the University of Leeds, the University of St. Andrews, and the University of Toronto.

Learn more about the Laidlaw Scholar program by visiting their website.


Support for the scholars is made possible by the generous donation of Lord Irvine Laidlaw of Rothiemay. The award includes:

  • Living Stipend: Approximately $700/week for up to 6 weeks each summer (up to 12 weeks total)
  • Research & Travel Stipend: Up to approximately $1,300 to be used over the course of the two summer research experiences
  • Faculty mentors will receive a monetary research award

Program Highlights:

The key elements of the program are:

  • Six days of leadership training - in May 2023, January 2024 and May/June 2024.
  • Leadership Lecture series - lectures covering leadership topics during the term and over the summer.
  • One summer research period of six weeks - after the May retreat through the start of the next school year.  You will undertake a research project chosen from a list of projects or devised by yourself.  You will be supervised by a Tufts academic.
  • An immersive leadership of six week Leadership in Action component in your second summer.
    • The criteria to be met by the Scholars through this experience are the following:
      • An experience in a new and challenging environment
      • Working with communities in need
      • Doing something which makes the world a better place
      • Developing and demonstrating their leadership skills and attributes
      • Overseas (only if the scholar hasn’t yet had an overseas experience and is able to travel abroad.)
    • Options include:
      • Participate in a leadership intensive program e.g. a leadership expedition chosen by the Laidlaw Foundation
      • Leadership placement in an organization where you lead others while you create, plan and implement a strategy.
      • Utilizing your research – Infield application of the scholar’s research project putting the findings of the first year’s project into action with the aim of creating positive change in society.