The Laidlaw Research and Leadership Programme


How to apply

Applications for 2019 have now closed. You can apply for a Laidlaw Scholarship online here in late 2019 for 2020.

There are two application routes for a Laidlaw Scholarship.

  1. Choosing a summer project from the listThe list of projects is published in November each year. 
  2. Submitting a summer project which you have devised yourself: a self-proposed project

Requirements for all applications

  1. Find an academic referee. This should be a UCL academic who knows you personally (but cannot be one of the Laidlaw project supervisors). They should use the online form to submit a reference in support of your application.
  2. Complete the online application form and submit it by the deadline. You can save and return to your form as many times as you like before the closing date.
  3. Register for the UCL Global Citizenship Programme (GCP). Registrations open in Term 2. All Laidlaw Scholars are expected to act as GCP Ambassadors in their first year.

Academic Reference Form

You must ask an academic member of staff to complete this online form as part of your application. 

Your student number and UCL email address will be needed to submit an academic reference.

How to complete the application form

Places on the Laidlaw Research and Leadership Programme are awarded on the basis of:

  • leadership potential
  • motivation, and
  • academic merit. 

You should aim to demonstrate these elements in your application form.

Project essential skills

Each project supervisor has supplied up to three essential skills which you should aim to demonstrate in this section. 

This is so that the supervisor and Judging Panel can see that you are a good match for the project you have chosen. 

You should aim to keep your answer concise and specific. Try to give concrete examples.

Application Questions

The application questions are divided into two sections:

  1. Leadership and motivation: the panel will want to understand what has driven you to apply for the scholarship and how you intend to use it for future success.
  2. The research project: the panel will be looking for enthusiasm for your chosen project, and a well considered understanding of the research and its potential impact.

Try to keep your answers concise and specific as there is a limited word count for each answer.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

You have been asked to include a brief CV to help the panel put your answers to the application questions into context. Please include the following:

  • Education from age 11: include institutions (name and country only), subjects studied, examinations passed and grades awarded.
  • Any additional duties undertaken whilst at school (e.g. if you were a prefect).
  • Any extra-curricular activities which you have undertaken. This could include being involved in a student society, undertaking your own independent research, being in an orchestra, work experience etc. State briefly what you did, when you did it, and what you learned from the experience.

Self-proposed projects

If you are proposing your own project, you will be asked a number of questions about your project proposal. 

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.

If your proposal would require ethics approval, you should factor in additional time for this (it can take months to obtain this). You must have approval in advance of your start date.

How applications are processed/judged

Once you have submitted your application, it will be judged as follows:

  • Project supervisors will consider applications to their projects, and produce a shortlist.
  • Self-proposed projects will be added to the shortlist with supervisor comments.
  • The Laidlaw Judging Panel will meet in early March to make the final choice of 25 Laidlaw Scholars from the shortlist.

We reserve the right to invite applicants to an interview.

How you will be contacted

We will contact all applicants via email with the result of their application. This usually happens during the second week of March.

Please ensure that you keep the following dates free in your diary in case your application is successful:

  • Friday 15 March 2019 from 5.30pm - Evening reception for new Scholars
  • Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 March 2019: 9am - 5pm - First leadership training weekend

Your data and privacy

All personal data required by this programme is collected and held in accordance with UCL's Student Privacy Notice.

For further information, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.