Starting in 2014, the University of St Andrews was one of the first Universities to offer Laidlaw Scholarships. Through the generous donation by Lord Irvine Laidlaw, and what is now the Laidlaw Foundation, they originally started as a one-year research programme with some additional training and leadership elements. Over the years, the programme has evolved and grown considerably. Today the Scholarship runs over two years and offers students two summers of projects – one focussing on research, while the second emphasises leadership in action. The Leadership component of the program has been significantly developed, and Scholars now receive bespoke leadership training both during the semesters leading up to, as well as during the months of their summer research.

Scholars are now also part of an ever-expanding international network of academic institutions offering the scholarship and leadership training around the world (you can find the most up to date list on the Laidlaw Foundation website). The end of the Scholarship however only marks the beginning for our Scholars. There is now a growing and vibrant network of Scholars and Scholarship alumni from around the world. Many of those who have completed the programme remain closely in contact with current Scholars and, regardless if they have chosen an academic or professional career path for their next step, are working towards achieving the core reason for the existence of this Scholarship.

To quote Lord Laidlaw himself, the stated aim of this challenging and amazing experience is “to equip self-motivated and ambitious undergraduate students with the knowledge and skills to become future leaders”.