Accessibility statement

A laidlaw Scholar making notes

How to apply

Applications are now closed.

If you are interested in applying for the Laidlaw Scholarship 2021 please ensure that you read this guidance before making an application.

Before you begin

Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria below and that you are available on all the key programme training dates and are aware of the full programme commitments.


  • All undergraduate students in year one of a three year programme or year one or two of a four year programme are eligible to apply.
  • There are no restrictions on discipline/department, college, nationality or fee status.

The application form

  • Your application to the programme will be assessed through the online application form which consists of a personal profile and your research statement. There will be an interview for short-listed candidates.
  • You can save and resume your application form and complete it at a later date.

Your Personal statement

Your personal statement should include:

  • your motivation for applying for the Laidlaw Scholarship, and how you will make the most of the experience (eg in managing the Scholarship with your studies).
  • any relevant skills and experience that you feel will help you to excel as a Laidlaw Scholar. Where possible, you should highlight any examples of leadership experience or articulate why you feel you have leadership potential. You may draw on examples from school, University or extra-curricular or voluntary experiences to illustrate this.
  • how participation in the Laidlaw Scholarship could assist with your personal and/or career development

The research project

The research project should link to one of the University’s seven Research Themes and be considered by the selection panel to be an area worthy of investigation. For examples please see details of projects undertaken by our Laidlaw scholars in 2017 or examples from scholars from other Universities.

Proposing your own research project

1. Write your research statement (500 words). Please provide a description of your research project, which includes:

  • the research question
  • the objectives and proposed outcomes of the research, including any potential impact on the University’s 7 research themes
  • why you have selected the research topic
  • how you would ensure the project is successful, for example in planning the project within appropriate timescales and in the suitability of proposed research methods

In your proposal please indicate a preference for the Leadership in Action experience in the second summer - this may include a charity expedition in a developing country, a leadership placement working with a charity or community project or how your research could be applied in the field to bring about positive change to the area of focus.

If you need help or support on deciding on your research project design you can:

Applying for one of the Laidlaw Foundation’s summer opportunities

As an alternative to proposing your own research project you can apply for one of the Laidlaw Foundation’s Summer Opportunities. These opportunities are available to Scholars across the Laidlaw network of Universities and so for some there is an additional selection process. Please note that for some of these projects you will need to find a University of York based supervisor to support you in addition to the external person who is listed as the project contact.

To apply for these opportunities, please complete the application form with your personal statement and in the ‘Research Project’ section please complete this telling us why you want to apply for the relevant opportunity, what skills and experience you have to bring to the role and how it will support your future career. Please note that the Laidlaw Foundation might ask for some additional information if you are shortlisted for one of these projects, and if some of them are oversubscribed, there might be a secondary selection process. It is also worth noting that some of these projects include an automatic second-year leadership in action element that follows the research conducted during the first summer.

Further information on the opportunities:

2. Complete the Academic Mentor’s information

  • This section provides the details of the Academic Mentor who has agreed to supervise you throughout the project. Please make sure that you have agreement from your Academic Mentor before submitting their details. All information will be verified. Your Academic Mentor can refer to the role of the mentor section of the website. The Benefits of being a Research Mentor section details the benefits available to them for offering their support.
  • You application is not complete until we receive a Statement of Support from your Academic Mentor. Once you submit your application a link to the Statement of Support will be sent to your Mentor. Your mentor must complete the Statement of Support by end of the day 2 February 2021.
  • Here are some tips on approaching an academic mentor from our previous scholars. 


If you are shortlisted you will be invited for a short interview. Please indicate on the application form your preferred first choice and second choice date. The dates available are 23, 24, 25, 26 March 2021.

Submitting your application

Once you have completed all sections you can submit your application. Prior to submitting please ensure that you have read and accept all terms and conditions relating to this scholarship.

Missed your opportunity to apply?

If you've missed the opportunity to apply for a Laidlaw Scholarship, you may wish to apply for a York Futures Scholarship to support your personal and professional development. All full time undergraduate, integrated masters and postgraduate taught students are eligible to apply. Round 1 applications open Monday 5 October and close Monday 9 November 2020. Round 2 applications open Monday 22 March 2021 and close Monday 26 April 2021.

The Laidlaw team will be in touch in due course.

If you have any further questions please contact