Call for Laidlaw Scholarship project proposals

Project proposals are now being sought from academic colleagues for the Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship 2020.

The 2019 Laidlaw Scholars cohort

Call for Laidlaw Scholarship project proposals. October 2019

The Laidlaw Scholarship is a two-year programme of leadership training and a research project. It was created for self-motivated and proactive students, who are interested in developing their skills, primarily in research and leadership, in order to fulfill their future career ambitions, producing a generation of leaders who care about solving intractable problems, who behave with integrity and are determined to make the world a better place.

The scheme is now operating at six UK universities, including Leeds, where there are 25 scholarships available across all Faculties. Other participants are Durham, St Andrews, UCL, Oxford and York. Internationally, these include Colombia (New York), Tufts, Toronto, Hong Kong, the National University of Singapore and Trinity College Dublin, with the network expanding every year.

Scholarships are awarded to students in the first year of a three-year undergraduate degree programme.

Scholars will identify which track of the scholarship they would like to undertake. Track one is two summer periods of funded research, each lasting for six weeks, with a full leadership developmental programme. Track two is one summer period of funded research, lasting six weeks, and one summer period completing a funded leadership expedition, with a full leadership development programme. The first summer period will take place in 2020 and the second in 2021.

Another element of the scheme is to provide students with the knowledge and skills vital for becoming future leaders in their chosen fields. See the For Students website for further information.

Projects are encouraged to have an international dimension – e.g. a focus on another country or contain a global element. This may include an opportunity to spend all or part of the research period in an overseas university or placement.

Benefits for you

There are many benefits to being a Laidlaw Scholarship research project supervisor, including:

  • an opportunity to support and mentor ambitious and proactive students
  • an opportunity to select the very best undergraduate students, who can make a genuine contribution to your research
  • the chance to accompany your students to a celebration event, which will be organised for all Leeds Laidlaw Scholars
  • the chance for you, your students and the department to be featured in profile-raising opportunities during the programme; and
  • the development of students, including the development of potential Masters and PhD candidates, who can make a lasting contribution to your School’s research output, recruitment and reputation.

‘Incredibly rewarding experience’

Many colleagues have already experienced the considerable benefits from taking part in the project.

Dr Edward Venn, Associate Professor of Music in the School of Music, is among them. He said: “I have found the experience of being a Laidlaw Scholarship supervisor to be incredibly rewarding.

“The projects I proposed were deliberately situated on the margins of my own academic expertise, with the intention of working collaboratively with the Laidlaw Scholar to broaden my own horizons and theirs.

“Every scholar I have worked with has risen majestically to the challenge, and together we have produced new work, generated new ideas and disseminated our findings in international conferences. I wouldn’t have had the capacity or time to achieve this on my own; I am incredibly grateful to the scheme for allowing me, and the Scholars I have worked with, to have this opportunity.”

Dr Ian Wood, Senior Lecturer in the School of Biomedical Sciences, is another to sing the scheme’s praises.

He said: “Being a Laidlaw Scholar supervisor, I have interacted with some highly motivated and extremely bright students. They have brought fresh ideas and new perspectives into our research and made remarkable contributions in a very short time.

“Being able to contribute to, and watch, their development, from first year university students to mature, professional graduates with international appeal, has been extremely rewarding.”

Further information

Information drop-in sessions are being held in October and November, the details of which can be viewed online. The next ones are:

  • Wednesday 16 October, 2-3pm, in the Michael Sadler Building (1.37); and
  • Friday 18 October, 11am to noon in the Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Building (12.05).

Colleagues wishing to submit an application should complete an academic project proposal form and return it to Kate Dunstone no later than Monday 18 November. Guidance notes are also available for completing the project proposal form.

Contact Kate Dunstone or your Laidlaw Scholarship Faculty representative for further information about the scheme or help to complete the project proposal form.

Posted in: