UCL News


Apply now to become a 2021 Laidlaw Scholar

2 December 2020

Applications are open for a paid opportunity to work with a leading academic and have a real-world impact while developing your research and leadership skills.


Are you a first year undergraduate student, passionate about research? Ready to solve real-world problems? 

If you’re a leader in the making, read on…

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship programme aims to develop a new generation of leaders who are skilled researchers, embrace data-based decision making, and believe it is a moral imperative to lead with integrity.

It invests in talented and motivated first year undergraduate students – giving you the knowledge, skills and experience to become active global citizens and future leaders in your chosen field.

Applications are open until 1 February 2021.

As a 2021 Laidlaw Scholar, you would:

  • carry out a research project of your choice;
  • develop your leadership skills;
  • put your leadership knowledge into practice in an immersive Leadership-in-Action experience;
  • connect with extraordinary peers in world-leading universities; and
  • get paid! 


Projects on offer

48 projects are available from across all faculties, led by supervisors working at the forefront of their disciplines. 

A record number of projects topics are on offer this year, ranging from ‘Mental Health Intervention for Children with Epilepsy’, ‘Higher Education at the time of COVID’ and ‘Assessing patterns of political representation at times of crises’, to ‘Mapping the state of art of Central Banks Digital Currencies’, ‘Contributing to our understanding of core level spectra from X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)’ and everything in-between!

You can apply for any project which interests you from this list – it does not have to relate to your current studies – or you are free to propose your own project.

If you are successful in your application, you will be expected to work with your Laidlaw supervisor to develop the project idea further, and produce a full project plan before you start work in Summer 2021.

How to apply

First year undergraduate students can apply until Monday 1 February 2021. 

When you have chosen which project you wish to apply for make sure you read it thoroughly and think about the issues involved.  

You will need to complete an online form and demonstrate that you meet the Essential Criteria listed for your chosen project, or have sufficiently developed your own project idea.  

The standard six week period for summer 2021 is Monday 14 June until Friday 23 July 2021.  These dates can usually be changed by agreement with the supervisor, but you should check this with them before applying. 

Project outputs must be completed by the end of the summer 2021.  

See further information and links to the application and academic reference forms.

Further information

See the Laidlaw Research and Leadership Programme website for full application details, FAQs and case studies of our past Scholars’ experiences.