This page outlines the application process for University of St Andrews students who are interested in applying for a Laidlaw Scholarship. Students from other Universities within the International Laidlaw Network, and who are interested in doing all (or part) of their project at the University of St Andrews, should visit the International Applications section of this website. 

Applications for the 2024 Scholarship are now closed. Applications for the 2025 cohort will open November 2024.


Scholarship information session

An online briefing session for potential applicants was held on Thursday, November 2 2023. A recording of the session is attached below.


The Application Process

The application process can be divided into three steps: eligibility and agreeing to honour the Scholar Commitment; identifying and designing the project (including gaining support from an academic to supervise you on this project) and outlining your leadership aims; and completing the online application. Please make sure you read the application instructions carefully and allow yourself enough time to complete each of the steps. If you have any questions that are not answered on the website and accompanying application documentation, or need further clarification, please contact us at [email protected].


Application Step One

Please read the Laidlaw Scholars Commitment, and eligibility criteria, below and only continue with your application if you agree to the conditions set out.


Application Step Two

Arguably the most important, and time-consuming, step two revolves around identifying and defining your research project, and gaining support from an academic who is willing to supervise you.

  • Identify a research project and approach potential supervisors: You can either identify a pre-defined project or come up with a project of your choice (you can always discuss any ideas you have with a potential supervisor and use their support to turn it into a project). NB, if choosing your own research project it must be separate from any work you have submitted for credit. A current list of available pre-defined projects can be found here. Even if your preferred project or supervisor is at an overseas institution, you must still submit your application via the St Andrews selection process. Further information can also be found in the Laidlaw Scholars Network, where you will find listed 2-year joint research and leadership in action projects that are available.
  • Approach a potential supervisor for your project to discuss your idea and explore if they would be willing to supervise your research project. This is a member of academic staff (not a postgraduate student). If you have elected to choose one from the pre-defined list, there will already be a supervisor in place who you should approach to discuss your interest.
  • Confirm the support of your supervisor. Ask your supervisor to provide a statement of support. They will need to complete this form and send it to you (copying [email protected] in cc ). You will need to attach a copy of the supporting statement during the application submission stage. Academics can be very busy so please allow plenty of time for this step!

To give you some further ideas, you might also want to have a look at the Sway our current Scholars have put together. This provides an insight into their application and Scholarship experience (though please note that the Scholarship is continually updated and while the experience will be similar, some details will have changed since their application). Once you have worked out a project idea and spoken with an academic who is happy to support you, please follow the steps further down on this page to complete and submit your application. Please be aware that the whole process of identifying and narrowing down a project, and receiving a supervisor supporting statement, is likely to take several weeks so make sure you start now!

To find out more about Step Two of the application process please select one of the two options below: