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The application closing date is extended to noon, February 26 (Friday) for projects to be conducted at HKU, University of Leeds or University of St Andrews. Apply now!

  1. The UCL project list for HKU students (except for project #4) is available at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/laidlaw-scholarships/projects.
  2. Details on Change the Code as one of the immersive leadership programme choices in summer 2022 are now available.
  3. A briefing session took place at 4-5pm, November 26. To view the recording, please click here.
  4. 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 Programme equips students with research and leadership skills to help them pursue their academic and professional aspirations beyond their current course of study.

To learn about the exciting stories of the Laidlaw Scholars within the Laidlaw Network, please visit https://laidlawfoundation.com/undergraduate-scholars/.

In 2020-21, the Programme will be open to all first and second year undergraduate students in any disciplines. A total of 25 scholarships will be offered to support the selected students’ engagements in the following three compulsory components:

  1. Research internship for 6 weeks during summer 2021
  2. Six days of leadership training
  3. An immersive leadership programme in action project in/outside of Hong Kong
    Please note that some components of the programme may be moved to online mode due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



Programme Details

Eligibility and Funding

Full-time undergraduate students in their first or second 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 3.0 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%)

Successful applicants (HKU Laidlaw Scholars) will receive a stipend of up to $5,000 (overseas) per week for 6 weeks / $2,000 (local) per week for up to 8 weeks to facilitate their research attachment. A travel stipend of up to $15,000 will be provided to support the immersive 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

The entire programme will last for two academic years. All components listed below are compulsory.


*Please note that some components of the programme may be moved to online mode due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Choosing a Research Project

The programme enables scholars to develop, pursue and report on a research question, with a research supervisor, alongside a bespoke leadership development programme completed within two years. The research project should be clearly identified with objectives and the outputs appropriate to the duration and level of your study.

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 a self-initiated project or choose a project from the lists below.
  • 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.***

View project lists:

Immersive leadership programme in action project in/outside of Hong Kong (Summer 2022)

In the second scholarship summer, HKU Laidlaw Scholars will either build on their research from the previous summer or work on a leadership in action project. The ultimate goal of the project is to enable HKU Laidlaw Scholars to practice leadership and make real world impact in a new and challenging environment outside of their comfort zones.

The key components of the leadership in action project include:

  • That the project/placement has a clear objective that is owned by the scholar and has at least 3 smart goals that give an opportunity for the Laidlaw Attributes (at least one per goal) to be put into practice
  • That the scholar will be working with or for a disadvantaged group or community or a group suffering hardship/terminally ill people and from this experience the scholar will gain a different perspective
  • An immersive and full time experience of 4-6 consecutive weeks
  • A new and challenging environment outside of academia and outside of the scholar’s comfort zone
  • The project/placement makes the world a better place and produces real world impact
  • Provides an opportunity to develop and apply leadership skills further
  • Provides an experience where the scholar can demonstrate an ability to lead others and deliver smart goals

Project options are updated from time to time:

Change The Code is a student-led organisation non-profit organisation that aims to improve the gender ratio in the STEM industry, by encouraging more female students to take up science and technology related fields.
Download the project brief here.
For more details, please visit https://changethecodehku.github.io/ or email to changethecodehku@gmail.com.

The Laidlaw Foundation has partnered with several organisations to offer immersive leadership in action projects to Laidlaw Scholars from across the world. For more details, please visit https://laidlawscholars.network/posts/2021-central-projects.


The application closing date is extended to noon, February 26 (Friday) for projects to be conducted at HKU, University of Leeds or University of St Andrews.

Application Form

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

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