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  • Faculty members are cordially invited to put forward research projects to the Laidlaw Scholars Programme 2022-23. The research work will be conducted in summer 2023 for 6 weeks. To submit project details, please click here.
  • The next call for applications from HKU students will open in late October 2022.
  • Students from the Faculty of Social Sciences can fulfil the 12-credit Global Citizenship graduation requirement upon successful completion of research projects hosted by the UK partner institutions (including virtual supervision).

The Laidlaw Scholars Programme

The Laidlaw Scholars 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 Scholars Programme equips students with research and leadership skills to help them pursue their academic and professional aspirations beyond their current course of study.

The Programme funds selected undergraduate students’ participation in two consecutive summers.  In the first summer, the Scholars receive a weekly stipend for up to six weeks, working on a research project under the supervision of a faculty member of their choice.  In the second summer, they will be engaged in a leadership expedition to apply the leadership skills acquired in the first year to solving real-world problems, working with/for and helping disadvantaged communities.

To learn about the exciting stories of the Laidlaw Scholars within the Laidlaw Network, please visit

Programme highlights

Support for the Scholars is made possible by the generous donation of Lord Irvine Laidlaw of Rothiemay.  The award will cover:

  • Weekly stipend: HK$2,000 (local research) / HK$5,000 (overseas research) per week for up to 6 weeks to support summer research
  • Travel: Up to $15,000 will be provided to support the leadership-in-action programme in/outside of Hong Kong
  • An ethical leadership masterclass by London Business School (online course)

Full-time undergraduate students in their first or second year of study (as well as students who will graduate in/after 2023-24) 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 3.0 or above) and demonstrated commitment to conducting a research attachment independently and the viability of the proposed research project. The selection criteria are as follows:

Academic Assessment (50%)

  • Research proposal
  • Why the project is important
  • Outputs and outcomes
  • Impact i.e. benefits beyond the immediate academic community
  • Interdisciplinary aspects of the initiative and International dimension

Leadership Potential and Ambition (40%)

  • Motivations for applying
  • Career aspirations beyond their studies
  • Evidence of leadership/potential
  • Suitability as a scholar

Interview Performance (10%)

Key Programme elements:

  1. Six days of leadership training: March, May and September

  2. Summer research for six weeks in your first summer (June to August): You will undertake a research work at HKU or at one of the university partners based on an existing project or self-initiated one at your own choice.
  1. An immersive leadership-in-action experience for four to six weeks (June to August) in your second summer:
  • Participate in a leadership programme recommended by the Laidlaw Foundation (
  • Leadership placement in an organisation where the Scholars can build on their research project; create, plan and implement a strategy; and lead others
  • Research – infield application of the Scholars’ first-year research project putting into action with the aim of creating positive change in society

Research Project

All scholars will undertake a research project, typically in their first year of the programme, where they develop, pursue and report on a research question with a research supervisor. For examples, please click on the links below:


Applicants shall prepare a research proposal, preferably of an interdisciplinary nature, by following the guidelines below:

  • Identify a project of your choice and discuss the topic with your academic supervisor at HKU.
  • You may choose an existing project based on the lists provided by HKU or UCL*. The HKU and UCL project lists will be available in November 2022.
  • You may propose a self-initiated project and conduct it at HKU, Leeds* or St Andrews*.
    (*Some components of the programme may be moved to online mode due to the pandemic)

At the time of application, students are NOT required to contact the potential host supervisors at UCL, St. Andrews and Leeds.

For HKU: You are free to approach professors inviting her/him to serve as your supervisor, or identify one from our project list.

***Upon receiving your application, HKU Horizons Office will serve as a coordinating office to match your proposal to a host supervisor by communicating with the responsible unit(s) at UCL, St. Andrews and Leeds.***

Application form for 2022-23 will be available in late October 2022.

UCL Project Supervision – Application Form (only applicable to students applying to a UCL project)

For enquiry, please contact us at