The Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Programme, also known as the Laidlaw Scholars Programme, provides students with funding to pursue research in any area of interest at U of T, or anywhere in the world.

There are four program elements:

Research Project: ​Students propose a research topic with a research advisor who will supervise them. Students also have the opportunity to travel abroad if it suits their research project. Faculty from University of Toronto or potentially from other universities may serve as research advisors. Neither teaching assistants nor graduate students are eligible to serve as research advisors. 

Leadership development and training: Students receive leadership training to develop problem-solving and communication skills.

Leadership-in-action experience: Application of leadership skills in a variety of different aspects will be a key focus of the program.

Network building (for future opportunities): Students will work with staff and faculty at their University or Universities across the world to grow their career networks during and after their time with the Laidlaw Programme.


New scholars can take part in one summer (up to six weeks) of full-time independent research in 2020. During the second summer, students can follow one of four pathways:

  • continue with their research from the first summer (six weeks long), 
  • work on a project that applies their research from the first summer (six weeks long),
  • participate in an international leadership excursion with other scholars, or
  • take part in a six week-long internship with a global focus.

Scholars will choose which pathway to take for the second summer at the time of application, but the final decision will be made by the Laidlaw Scholars Office only after the first summer research is completed.

The research can take place at any time over the summer, but ideally should be scheduled after June 1 and end before August 25 so that there is enough time to complete all of the pre-departure requirements prior to beginning research.

Current scholars will conclude their participation in the program in Summer 2020. They will present their research findings in the Fall term of 2020. The incoming cohort will finish their participation in the program in Fall 2021.


The history

Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay used his vision and commitment to create this program, which began at the University of Leeds and is now offered at 12 universities around the world. The long-term vision for the Laidlaw Scholarship is to create a wide-reaching and diverse international network of leaders who will reinvest their skills, knowledge and experience to help students, peers and colleagues.

For more information about the history and vision of the program, please visit the main Laidlaw Scholars Website


Funding Available research funding for Laidlaw Scholars
Eligibility Who can apply for this program?
Benefits Why participate? What are the benefits?
Application How to apply for the scholarship
Document guidelines Detailed guidelines on required application documentation
Important dates Information about deadlines, information sessions and more
Additional resources Find more information about this program on the Laidlaw Scholars website
Contact us Email Shraddha Prasad at​


Up to 25 academically strong, motivated students are selected annually for the Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Programme.

Selected students receive up to $4,800 for the first summer of research. The second summer stipend depends on the student's choice of research or leadership-excursion or internship options.

Students are also eligible to apply for up to $2,400 in extra funds. This funding can be applied to travel expenses, as well as extra lab funding that cannot be covered by the main research amount. This extra fund covers the entirety of a scholars engagement in the program.


This program is open to first and second-year undergraduate students studying at the University of Toronto from all backgrounds and fields of study. For the 2019-2020 application year, the scholarship is available to students from all three U of T campuses. The program is not open to visiting students or graduate students.

Applicants will be assessed for their passion, drive, enthusiasm and ambition, while also keeping in mind their academic background and achievements.


Students who participate in the program will: 

  • Work alongside leading researchers to develop their academic potential
  • Receive a generous stipend to engage in summer research, as well as many opportunities to expand leadership abilities
  • Receive mentoring from a specialist supervisor
  • Actively learn from participants and teams while managing projects
  • Develop transferable skills pertaining to decision-making, planning and communicating
  • Explore potential careers while building confidence and breadth of knowledge
  • Gain access to a network of like-minded peers across the University and beyond

The leadership program will focus on the importance of leadership skills, understanding teamwork and applying it to day-to-day challenges. The networking component allows students to form connections with faculty and staff from around the world. This group of like-minded, highly motivated peers and teachers will allow students to expand their worldview, help them develop skills and enhance their future employability.

At the end of the program, all scholars are required to write a final research paper outlining the findings of their work. All scholars will have the opportunity to present their research to faculty and staff from across the university at a symposium organized by the Laidlaw Scholars office.


Applications for the 2020 cohort are now closed. Application information for the 2021 cohort will be made available in September 2020. Please check back at that time for more information.

If you were selected as a member of the 2020 Laidlaw Scholars cohort, you will be required to attend two leadership training sessions in the winter term. Please keep the following dates and times free:

  • Tuesday, March 17, 2020: Leadership Session 1, 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 28, 2020: Leadership Session 2, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Can I apply and do PEY/another co-op at the same time?

It is possible to participate in PEY / another co-op at the same time as being a Laidlaw Scholar. However, one of the most important considerations is time over the summer. The Laidlaw Scholars Program requires that you reserve 6 weeks of the summer to conduct full time research. This research can take place at any point of the summer as long as it is done in a single stretch of time. As long as your co-op/PEY can work around this timeline, it is possible for you to do both.

To discuss the individual specifics of this situation, it is highly recommended you set up a meeting with the Program Coordinator to discuss your options prior to applying.

Document guidelines

Check back in September for information on how to submit an application for the 2021 Laidlaw Scholars cohort.

Important dates

October 15, 2019 – Application available 

January 13, 2020 – Application DUE by 5 p.m.

February 10, 2020 to February 28, 2020 (tentative) – Laidlaw Scholars Interviews

Friday, March 6, 2020 – Candidates notified of acceptance 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 – Leadership Session 1 (Centre for International Experience) 5:30 – 8 p.m.

March 18, 2020 to March 27, 2020 – Individual check-in meetings

Saturday, March 28, 2020 – Leadership Session 2 (Centre for International Experience) 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Summer 2020 – Research Summer I 

September 2020 to April 2021 – Leadership Program (schedule to be released soon) 

Summer 2021 – Summer II Experience

Contact us

For any questions about the scholarship, or to set up a meeting to discuss the application, please contact the Laidlaw Scholars Programme Coordinator, Shraddha Prasad, at