Applications for the 2023-2024 academic year open on 1 November 2023.
Applications can be accessed via the Pebblepad dashboard. Search for 'Pebbepad' on your browser, the log-in button should be on the right once you open the initial page. Select the university/organisation option, scroll down to the Durham University option and continue logging in with your university email and password. The workbook should appear, if it does not then, please email the Laidlaw team at firstname.lastname@example.org and they can assist you further. Interested students can now apply in the academic year 2023/24. Please note this is a workbook that can be edited up until the deadline only.
The Laidlaw Team and current Laidlaw Scholars will hold information sessions for applicants to ask current scholars questions about their experience on the Laidlaw Programme in the academic year 2023-2024.
All undergraduate students in year one of a three-year degree programme, or year one or two of a four-year degree programme at the time of application are eligible to apply. There are no restrictions on discipline/department, college, nationality or fee status (the programme is not open to visiting students). We particularly welcome applications from those under-represented, including people of minority ethnic origin, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ people, and people who attended state schools and/or are first-generation university students.
There are two application routes for the Laidlaw Programme:
The research topic can be selected from:
The application process comprises of an application form and, for shortlisted individuals, an interview. In some individual cases for those applying against a specific project listed from university academics or foundation partners, there may be an additional selection stage required.
For the application form, you will need to:
If you are proposing your own project you will need to find a member of academic staff who will be willing to support your application and supervise you throughout the 6 week summer project. You will be asked a number of questions about your project proposal on the application form. You do not need to identify your own academic supervisor if you are applying to the academic proposed projects.
Design your research project. If self-defined, we advise that you seek advice and discuss your ideas with your chosen supervisor in the first instance; your project can be original or related to research that is ongoing in the University. If part of a larger research programme your project must be designed to make a specific contribution. Watch this video on developing your research proposal.
In their project description, each supervisor has given up to three essential skills which you should aim to demonstrate in the first question of your project proposal section where you are asked to provide a description and outline why you are interested in this project. Try to give specific, clear and concrete examples.
If applying against a pre-defined academic-led project, you will need to meet with them prior to submitting your application.
The application questions are divided into two sections:
Try to keep your answers concise and specific as there is a limited word count for each answer.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to undertake a short face-to-face interview. If you are shortlisted, you will receive further details about this by email.
If you are proposing your own project, you must find a member of the academic staff to be your supervisor before applying. You will be asked a number of questions about your project proposal on the application form. You should consider these questions together with your project supervisor. Please give as much detail as you can.
The panel will be looking for a convincing, logical and well-considered project which fits well into a six-week period. However, the panel will not expect you to have worked out every detail at this stage.
Check whether your proposal would require ethical approval - you should factor in additional time for this (it can take months to obtain approval). You must have approval before your start date, as a project without ethical approval (where required) cannot go ahead.
Once you have submitted your application, it will be considered as follows:
You should aim to demonstrate these elements in your application form.
Please note that the dates outlined are subject to change
We will contact all applicants via email on the outcome of their application.