Teaching & Learning


Recruit high-performing undergraduate leaders to your 2023 research project

18 October 2022

Help nurture the next generation of student leaders and scholars; submit a project proposal to the Laidlaw Research and Leadership Programme by 14 November.


Do you or a colleague have a project which could gain from the research of a highly motivated student?  The Laidlaw Research and Leadership Programme is recruiting project proposals for summer 2023. 

The Laidlaw Programme runs alongside a student’s main studies at UCL.  It aims to create the leaders of the future by giving students an opportunity to undertake training and six weeks of full-time research and leadership activities alongside UCL academics, in their first and second summer holidays.

The programme recruits current first year undergraduate students in any discipline. These ambitious, high-performing students are fully funded by the scheme, and come to the researcher at no cost.

More information about the Laidlaw Research and Leadership Programme.

Why supervise a scholar?

The scheme is now in its sixth year, and both supervisors and students have gained great benefit in the past – many supervisors return to the scheme each year.  Their duties include working with the student to finalise the project proposal, supervision and guidance. 

"It reconnected me with what I most value about UCL as an academic institution." Prof Patrick Haggard, Laidlaw Project Supervisor

Supervisors gain a junior researcher chosen from amongst the brightest of UCL’s first-year undergraduates. It is a great opportunity to pass on your knowledge and enthusiasm, whilst helping the next generation of gifted student leaders to have a real-world impact.

Nusayba Ali, a 2020 Laidlaw Scholar, provides a timely example of the impact UCL undergraduate students can have on key research areas. Her article on how pharmacists and pharmacy teams can address vaccine hesitancy, co-authored with her Laidlaw project supervisors, was published by the Pharmaceutical Journal during the winter 2021 lockdown. 

There are no costs to your project! The Programme awards up to £625 per supervisor to cover any project costs.  You could use this money, if you wish, to hire a junior researcher to assist with supervision – offering them some teaching experience.

Propose a project

A suitable project should offer an interesting challenge to a first year undergraduate whilst being sensitive to their current level of knowledge and skills. It should also be possible for the student to complete the project within six weeks.  

Given the ongoing uncertainty around the pandemic, all projects for summer 2022 should be adaptable to run online if necessary or may be wholly online. Several 2020 projects were adjusted at speed – making use of existing primary data sets, for example – to enable students to complete the programme successfully.

The Laidlaw Scholars Network showcases past research by Scholars from across all participating universities.

See Information for supervisors for full project guidance.

Submit your project proposal

Any interested supervisors should complete the proposal form for summer projects 2023 by Monday 14 November. 

A streamlined proposal process means we only need an outline proposal or notes. 

Selected projects will be advertised to students from in December 2023. 

If you’re allocated a Laidlaw scholar, the scholar will be expected to work up the proposal with you into a full project outline by the start of the summer, and then undertake the project over the summer.


For any questions or an informal discussion about your proposal, contact Chris Cullen (Laidlaw Research and Leadership Programme Manager) at laidlaw.scholarships@ucl.ac.uk.