The Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Program seeks to cultivate tomorrow’s leaders across all disciplines through independent research and leadership development programming. All program components are to be scheduled and the location dependent on Tufts COVID Policy. Key program components include:
There are three pathways to becoming a Tufts Laidlaw Scholar:
1.Individual Research Project: The student may identify an individual research topic and request work one-on-one with a faculty mentor.
2.Preexisting Research Project:
- Tufts Faculty: Use the list of Tufts faculty to learn what they are working on. You will need to get a recommendation letter from the faculty member.
- Laidlaw Foundation: The Foundation has a number of Central Projects with their partners in the UK. You will need to get a recommendation letter from the partner program.
- Faculty at another Laidlaw School. For example at St. Andrews in Scotland. As with Tufts Faculty, you will need to get a recommendation letter from the faculty member.
3. Group Research Project: A faculty mentor may work with a team of up to five undergraduate researchers. Projects can be thematic in nature, with each student pursuing his or her own research question and approaching the project from different disciplines. Each student choosing this pathway will need to submit their own application for consideration and students will be considered independently.
All scholars will develop, pursue, and report on a research question along with their faculty mentor over the course of at least one summer (for a list of faculty willing to work with Laidlaw Scholars, please see the Faculty Involvement page). Students are encouraged to explore faculty websites and speak with faculty that they are interested in working with as soon as possible. Faculty can work with the student to help create a research plan. Students who have enrolled in summer courses are not precluded from participating.
Research projects can be in any discipline. Projects may have an international dimension, and scholars may spend all or part of the second summer research project in an overseas university. Following each summer research period, scholars and their faculty mentors will participate in a research day in which their findings are shared with the broader community. The research project can culminate in the student’s senior honors thesis if they choose.
Leadership development is an important component of the Laidlaw Scholarship. Along with conducting research, scholars will also participate in a leadership development program. The leadership component of the scholarship will include workshops, trainings, and events, along with more informal mentoring opportunities.
Leadership development programming will begin in the spring before the scholar’s first summer research period and continue throughout their time as a Laidlaw Scholar. Participation in all leadership development activities is mandatory.
Key elements of the program are:
- Six days of leadership training – three sets of two day workshops in June 2020, January 2021 and June 2021.
- 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.
Applications will be assessed on:
- The viability of the proposed research project
- The student’s leadership potential
- The student’s academic record
- The letters of recommendation and faculty mentor’s supporting statements
Applications for the 2021 cycle are due on February 5th, 2021 at 5 p.m. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org