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Scholar (Self-) Defined Projects

There are two options available for students wishing to undertake a self-defined project:

  1. Based in St Andrews, and therefore have a supervisor from the University of St Andrews.
  2. Part of the Laidlaw International Partnership. A research project based and supervised at Tufts University.

1. If you wish to apply for a self-defined project you will devise the project parameters, based upon your research interests, and gain the support of an academic member of staff from the University of St Andrews who is willing to supervise you. These projects are usually supervised by someone from the University of St Andrews, but there is the possibility of being a visiting scholar at another institution as part of the summer research project. This is arranged on a case by case basis during your scholarship. For example, if your supervisor knows a colleague at another institution who works in your area of research, and is willing to accept you as a visiting scholar during the summer research project, then this can be arranged. The university that you would be visiting does not have to offer the Laidlaw programme.

2. If you have been able to identify a willing supervisor working at an overseas University within the Laidlaw group (currently only Tufts), you can undertake a project with a supervisor based at the overseas institution. Projects of this type would be for the full two years, with both summers spent overseas. In this case, the leadership element of the programme is still controlled by the home University; only the research component is carried out abroad.

 If you are interested in a Laidlaw Scholarship supervised at Tufts University in Boston (option 2), here is some guidance on the steps you should follow for putting together a self-defined project:

1 - Look through the list of Professors at Tufts who are willing to supervise a Laidlaw Project to identify if there is anyone who would be a good match for your own project ideas. You can find the list on this website: You may also wish to have a look at the list of the current Scholars at Tufts and their projects

2 - Write to the Associate Provost at Tufts, Professor Dawn Geronimo Terkla,, to introduce yourself with a description of your background (your studies in St Andrews, your academic grades, current year of study, instances of leadership e.g. sports or committees, prior experience which might match the project) and your reasons for wanting to be involved in the Laidlaw programme. Explain, in as much detail as you can, the research project you would like to pursue. Name the potential supervisor and explain why you are interested in working with that supervisor and what aspects of their research appeal to you?  

Professor Dawn Geronimo Terkla will make contact with the potential supervisor on your behalf to confirm whether they are interested and available to supervise you. If there is interest, she will connect you with the supervisor to open a conversation about your project idea.

3 - Once you have agreed a research project with the supervisor, please submit your application through the St Andrews Laidlaw Scholarships Application Process by the deadline on December 10th 2018. Note that even though you would be supervised at Tufts, your application is selected, administered, and funded through the University of St Andrews Laidlaw Scholarship Programme.

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