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Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Program

Applications are live now. Apply by Feb. 5th!

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 either outside of the lab during a leadership or research expedition or develop new specified leadership skills and including a supervisory role within the research project. 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, in which case scholars could spend all or part of their second summer researching abroad. 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 Columbia University, Durham University, the National University of Singapore, Trinity College Dublin, the University of St. Andrews, The University of Hong Kong, The University of Toronto, the University of York, the University of Leeds, University of Rwanda, and the University College London.

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 June 2021, January 2022 and June 2022.
  • Leadership Lecture series - lectures covering leadership topics during the term and over the summer.
  • One summer research period of six weeks - after the June 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 four to six week Leadership in Action component in your second summer.
    • Participate in a leadership intensive program e.g. a leadership expedition chosen by the Laidlaw Foundation
    • Leadership placement in an organization where you can build on your research project and lead others while you create, plan and implement a strategy.
    • 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.
    • Continuation of the Research Project of the first year but within a different country/culture and environment and with specified leadership skills that will be developed and applied. (Limited number of spots)
    • Continuation of the Research Project in home university with new skills specified and developed and including a supervisory role for at least part of this period. (Limited number of spots)
    • Continuation of a two year project through the Laidlaw Central Projects.