New scholarship will empower students to tackle the biggest challenges of our time

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Scholarship Programme will enable students to develop innovative, research-based solutions and initiatives that can have a positive social and environmental impact.


A new partnership between Oxford University and The Laidlaw Foundation will fund research within the local community and engagement with global projects to empower a future generation of ethical leaders.

Based out of the Oxford SDG Impact Lab , the Laidlaw Undergraduate Scholarship Programme will enable students to work with businesses and non-academic organisations to develop innovative, research-based solutions and initiatives to the mounting challenge of sustainability and social responsibility.

The Laidlaw Foundation is committed to investing in education to change lives and already collaborates with the University through the Laidlaw Women in Business Scholarships at Sad Business School.

Set to launch in April 2024, the new programme will fund up to 20 undergraduate scholars to carry out two, six-week summer projects and includes a yearly stipend of £3,000 for each student.

Summer projects

Scholars will undertake the first summer project in Oxford, working on community impact research to address local challenges and inequalities.

I look forward to seeing the results of our scholars’ research projects, as our students problem-solve challenges and inequalities in Oxford and around the world

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Irene Tracey


For the second summer, scholars will test their leadership skills and engage in global projects around the world.

Oxford University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Irene Tracey, said: ’I am delighted that we are partnering with The Laidlaw Foundation to create the Laidlaw Undergraduate Scholarship Programme, which builds on our University’s long tradition of fostering innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.

’The programme aims to empower the next generation of ethical thought-leaders, actively engaging our students with local communities and stimulating broad and creative thinking to tackle big global challenges. I look forward to seeing the results of our scholars’ research projects, as our students problem-solve challenges and inequalities in Oxford and around the world, and I am grateful to the Laidlaw Foundation for their generosity and vision.’

Professor Alexander Betts, University Local and Global Engagement Officer, and Co-Director of the SDG Impact Lab, said: ’We want our students to develop the skills to tackle the biggest challenges of our time, here in Oxford, nationally and around the world. The Laidlaw Scholarship Programme will enable undergraduates to acquire leadership skills and work on local and global engagement projects that can have a positive social and environmental impact.’

Susanna Kempe, Chief Executive of the Laidlaw Foundation, added: ’Oxford produces more world leaders than any other university. By launching the Laidlaw Scholarship here, our aim is to ensure that those alumni lead with ingrained integrity, decency and a commitment to being a positive global force for good.’

Global community

We want our students to develop the skills to tackle the biggest challenges of our time

Professor Alexander Betts


The Laidlaw Foundation has committed to investing in the Undergraduate Scholarship Programme at Oxford for a minimum of three years initially.

With an online community of over 2,000 Laidlaw Scholars, and events such as the Laidlaw Scholars Conference, the programme boasts an energetic and collaborative global community.

The programme will operate in partnership with the Oxford Character Project , an interdisciplinary initiative focusing on character and leadership, based at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford with a global community of over 40 nationalities.

Find out more about the Laidlaw Scholarship Programme


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