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  • To view the lists of projects from University College London and HKU, please scroll down to the “Applications” section.
  • Applications for 2023-24 are now accepted until Feb 23, 2024 (12:00noon)
  • 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.

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 the Oxford Character Leadership Project (online course)

Full-time undergraduate students in their first or second year of study (as well as students who will graduate in/after 2025-26) 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 (50%)

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

Key Programme elements:

  1. Six days of leadership training: April, September and November
  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 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:


IMPORTANT: Students shall contact an academic at HKU to serve as his/her home supervisor and prepare a letter of support (Appendix 2), which shall be submitted by all applicants regardless the choice of project. For those applying to a project at UCL, Universities of Leeds/St Andrews, please do not contact the host supervisor at this stage. Once your application is selected by HKU, the Horizons Office will confirm acceptance of your proposal with the host supervisor.