A detailed guide to applying for the 2024 cohort of the Laidlaw Leadership and Research Programme can be found here.

A recording of the Online Informational Session held on Nov 2, 2023 can be found here.

Applications for the 2024 cohort are currently open and will close on February 4th, 2024.

Key Dates

Online informational session (recorded)November 2nd, 2023 from 3-4:30pm.
Recording here.
Drop-in session at Newnham CollegeIvy Café 2-3pm on 25 & 29 January 2024
Online 4-5pm 24 January join here
Online 4-5pm 31 January join here
Applications open November 29th, 2023.
Applications closeFebruary 4th, 2024 (11:59pm).
Interviews Week of March 4th, 2024.
Scholars announced March 31st, 2024.

Wednesday, Jan 24 4-5pm
Wednesday, Jan 31 4-5pm


Only members of Newnham College, Murray Edwards College, Trinity Hall, and Fitzwilliam College are currently eligible to take part in the programme. Applications from members of other colleges will not be considered under any circumstances. 

Members of the participating colleges must be undergraduates in the first year of a three-year degree or in the first or second year of an eligible four-year degree. You should have two consecutive summers remaining on your course.

Selection Process

As part of the selections process, you are required to submit the following documents. Please use the templates provided to craft your proposal and statement.

A Research Proposal consisting of either: 

A Personal Statement consisting of either: 

You will also need a reference from your Director of Studies and confirmation from a Cambridge-based academic that they have agreed to supervise your summer research project. More detailed information regarding each of these components can be found in the guide at the top of the page. 

Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee composed of senior representatives from the participating colleges.

Once the window for applications closes, shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview ahead of the final selection. 

Please note that although members of all four eligible colleges will form a single cohort, you are only competing for a place within your own college group.

Commitments by the Scholar

Before applying, you should be sure that you can commit to participating in all elements of the programme including: 

Attending all leadership development activities. 

Spending six weeks abroad, either for research or as part of your Leadership in Action experience.

After the first summer: 

  • A research poster (presented within the Colleges and posted on the Network)
  • A 3000-word research essay (posted on the Network) – accessible to a wide,  non-subject specific audience

Please note that the first summer research period is set for the six weeks immediately following the end of Easter term. Unless approved to conduct your research abroad, you should be sure that you are able to be present in Cambridge during this time.

After the second summer:

  • A 3–5-minute leadership experience video or a 500–900-word blog post 
  • A summary of the Leadership project, its goals, objectives, and outcomes.

Scholars are also expected to keep the central Laidlaw programme office informed of their career developments in future years via the Laidlaw Scholar Network and to act as a mentor to future Laidlaw Scholars at their colleges. 

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