Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship Program

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholars Program seeks to develop undergraduate research and leadership skills by supporting first-year students who wish to pursue innovative projects and community engagement that will help them develop the knowledge and skills to serve as future leaders in their respective fields.

The Scholarship Program funds up to 25 undergraduate students over two consecutive summers, before and after the sophomore year in the College. This program is funded by the Laidlaw Foundation, which has instituted similar programs at a number of leading universities in the United States and internationally, creating a robust network of scholars and alumni who are affiliated with the program.

The Scholarship provides 16 months of programming that begins in the spring semester of your first year in the College, and ends in the fall of your junior year in the College. These activities allow you to:

  • Develop leadership skills through training and community engagement;
  • Develop research and analytical skills and pursue a research project;
  • Build your network by collaborating with leaders in your field, be they faculty members or community leaders;
  • Learn from an academically talented community of students at Columbia and across the world who are future leaders in fields across the disciplines;
  • Strengthen your resume and your competitiveness for future opportunities.
  • Travel internationally and connect with communities and people around the world.

Visit the URF database to view eligibility requirements, the application timeline, and to start an application. Questions about the program should be directed to Ariella Lang, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.

Want to learn more?

Learn more about the Laidlaw Foundation and the scholarship by visiting their website. Read about becoming a Laidlaw scholar and the scholar experience from students of St. Andrew's University and/or watch "Become a Laidlaw Undergraduate Research & Leadership Scholar," from the Laidlaw Foundation.

Current Laidlaw Scholars: For the second summer proposal form click here. (Deadline to apply for fieldwork or volunteer opportunities is March 14, 2024. Please note that the deadline for Leadership-in-Action opportunities is earlier, and information about those deadlines can be found on the Laidlaw Network. Please e-mail Dean Lang,, with any questions.)