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Nov 9, 2017

Applications for 2018 are now accepted until 5:00pm, January 22, 2018.

A briefing session will be held at 4:30-5:30pm on November 29, 2017 (Room 237, 2/F, Main Building) to introduce the objectives and funding model of the scholarship. All are welcome.


The Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Programme is made available to HKU students (HKU Laidlaw Scholars) by the generous funding support from Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay. As a prestigious scholarship programme embedded at the Universities of Leeds, Oxford, UCL, York, to name just a few, the Laidlaw Programme equips students with research and leadership skills to help them pursue their academic and professional aspirations beyond their current course of study.

In 2018, the Programme will run as a pilot at HKU and it is open to all undergraduate students in any disciplines. A total of 10 scholarships will be offered to support the selected students’ engagements in:

  1. a leadership training led by Common Purpose
  2. research internship for 8 to 10 weeks during summer (2018) and winter (2018-2019) breaks in HKU, University College London and the University of Leeds

Programme Details

Eligibility and Funding

Full-time undergraduate students in their second or third year of study are eligible to apply. The programme is not open to visiting students.

The scholarship shall be awarded on the basis of academic merit (normally with a Cumulative GPA of 3.30 or above) and demonstrated commitment to conducting a research attachment independently and the viability of the proposed research project.

Successful applicants (HKU Laidlaw Scholars) will receive free registration for their participation in the Common Purpose Leadership Development Programme, and a stipend of up to $5,000 (overseas) / $2,000 (local) per week for 8 to 10 weeks to facilitate their research attachment. Students may also claim up to a further $10,000 towards laboratory related expenses that cannot be covered by the host institution. A travel stipend of $10,000 will be provided to support the leadership development programme and other travel.

The selected students will cover the expenses incurred from the leadership training and research attachment, which may include:

  • International airfare
  • Accommodation in the host country
  • Living expenses in the host country
  • Visa application fee
  • Health/travel insurance
  • Other fees charged by the host institution, if any

Key Dates

Before submitting an application, please ensure that you will be available to attend all leadership training components (March, June and October) and the entire summer and winter research periods.

Month Process
November 2017 – January 22, 2018 Application
January/February 2018 Interviews
February 2018 Notification of application results
March 15 & 16, 2018 Official launch of leadership development workshop
April – May 2018 10-hour online module on leadership development
June 2018 4-week overseas leadership development programme
July – August 2018 Summer research project in host institution for 5-7 weeks*
September 2018 Formulating and developing research report
October 2018 One-day leadership development event for reflection and experience sharing
December 2018 – January 2019 Finalizing research project in host institution for 2-4 weeks*
February 2019 Submission of report

*Students will be required to spend a total of 8 to 10 weeks in the host institution(s) for two research periods locally or in an overseas institution.

Choosing a Research Project

The programme will cover one summer and one winter research period, enabling scholars to develop, pursue and report on a research question, with a research supervisor, alongside a bespoke leadership development programme completed within the same period. The research project should be clearly identified with objectives and the outputs appropriate to the duration and level of your study.

At the time of application, applicants shall prepare a research proposal, preferably of an interdisciplinary nature, and include a statement of support from an Academic Research Supervisor from the host institution as part of the application.

The following are some guidelines on how to prepare a research proposal:

  • Identify a project of your choice and discuss the topic with your academic supervisor at HKU
  • Approach a faculty member in the host institution(s) and invite him/her to complete the statement of support. The faculty member will be expected to act as your Academic Research Supervisor during the period of research attachment.
  • Prepare a research proposal including the following details:
    1. Title of research project
    2. Research question
    3. Summary of the work to be undertaken: background information, location, history, context, limitation, etc.)
    4. Methodology
    5. Timeline
    6. Details of supervision arrangements

Their research will be finalized with a report by the end of the winter research period in the host institution.


Application for the academic year 2018 is now open until January 22, 2018.

For enquiry, please contact us at horizons@hku.hk.

Application form

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