Teaching & Learning


Laidlaw Research and Leadership Programme 2019: scholars chosen

8 March 2019

This year’s cohort for UCL's Laidlaw Research and Leadership Programme has been announced

Laidlaw scholars leadership weekend 2017

Laidlaw Scholarships are awarded to undergraduate first year students through a competitive application process where applicants submit a proposal to undertake their own research project, or request to work on an existing project offered by researchers from UCL departments. 

This year, 170 first-year undergraduates competed for 25 places on UCL's branch of the prestigious programme, which is now running at six UK universities including Oxford and Durham, and six overseas universities.

It’s a brilliant opportunity for students to get involved in world leading research at an early stage of their academic career, and learn the skills that will make them into future leaders. UCL departments that offer opportunities for Laidlaw Scholars to join their research projects also benefit, because they get a fully funded and enthusiastic junior researcher, who is driven to make a positive contribution.  

A UCL education offers students the opportunity to carry out their own research, and the Laidlaw Research and Leadership Programme is a great example of this, enabling first year undergraduate students to contribute to our world-leading research output across all the disciplines. The programme, now in its third year has been extremely successful, providing a challenging, rewarding experience for the scholars and excellent contributions to projects for research supervisors. Dr Ruth Siddall, Academic Director of the Laidlaw Programme.

Once again this year there was a large number of high quality applications so the judging panel had a difficult challenge. The final group of 17 women and 8 men study a varied range of subjects including Pharmacy, History, Chemistry, Medicine, Comparative Literature and Neuroscience, and are drawn from eight of UCL’s faculties:

  • Arts and humanities    
  • Brain Sciences    
  • Engineering sciences    
  • Life sciences    
  • Mathematical and physical sciences    
  • Medical Sciences    
  • Social and historical sciences    
  • The Bartlett built environment

Supervisors: If you have a project which would suit a high performing first year undergraduate, and would like to involve a Laidlaw scholar, we will start recruiting projects for summer 2020 in Term 1 of the 2019/20 academic year. If you're interested in finding out more about how it works, please visit our information page or email laidlaw.scholarships@ucl.ac.uk

See below for the full list of this year's Laidlaw Scholars.

The Laidlaw scholarships offer outstanding students the opportunity to contribute to cutting-edge research at UCL, and to gain insight into the world of research, precisely at a time when they are making crucial choices for their careers. For the researchers concerned, this is a wonderful opportunity to get ahead with projects, and to benefit from the creativity and enthusiasm of young minds. I was very impressed with the quality of the applications this year. This is a truly outstanding scheme. Hélène Neveu Kringelbach, member of the Laidlaw Judging Panel and Senior Lecturer in African Studies.

The 2019 scholars

Arts and humanities    

Susanna Marak-Freeman, BA Comparative Literature
Chiara Maurino, BA Comparative Literature with a Year Abroad

Brain Sciences    

Leonor Silva Abreu Lopes Feio, BSc Psychology and Language Sciences
Jocelyn To, BSc Neuroscience

Engineering sciences    

Richard Capraru, MEng Engineering
Sammie Kwong, BSc Security and Crime Science
Andrei-Alexandru Paraschiv, MSci Physics

Life sciences    

Nusayba Ali, MPharm Pharmacy
Victoria Goldberg, MPharm Pharmacy
Shin Kang, BSc. Biological Sciences
Albert Martí i Sabarí, MSci Biological Sciences
Chandika Soondram, MSci Biochemistry

Mathematical and physical sciences    

Radosław Kalęba, BSc Chemistry
Eleanor Smith, MSci Chemistry

Medical Sciences    

Isis Calado, MBBS Medicine
Ryan Turner, MBBS

Social and historical sciences    

Will Chantry, BA Geography (International)
Isabella Duan, BSc Philosophy, Politics, Economics
Oliver Dutton, BA History
Dani Podgoretskaya, BA Politics Sociology and East European Studies 
Emmy Pu, BA History of Art
Hugo Tay, BA Archaeology and Anthropology
Phoebe Thomas, BA History of Art

The Bartlett built environment

Sion Lee, BSc Urban Studies
Fola Olaleye, BSc Urban Planning, Design and Management

What happens next

From now, and during a period which covers two summer holidays, the scholars will immediately get stuck into leadership training activities, the Global Citizenship Programme during this May and June, and two fully funded six-week periods during the summer holidays when they will do their research projects under the guidance of UCL academics.

Research projects

The research that the scholars will be doing this year includes, for example:

  • Politicizing Eroticism: unmasking dictatorial criticism in 20th century feminist fiction of the Southern Cone
  • Understanding the dialectical nature of knowledge generation
  • Synthesis and evaluation of compounds designed to prevent oxidative neurodegeneration
  • Understanding why many new doctors leave the profession within 5 years
  • Radar research
  • Northern Ireland, European Jewry and Refugee Relief
  • Investigation on the Developmental Triggers of Whale Encephalisation & Reconstruction of Whale Brain Size Evolution

Congratulations to this year’s scholars!