Based in the United Kingdom, the Laidlaw Foundation aims to create an international network of diverse, passionate and ethical leaders who will reinvest their skills, knowledge and experience to help others succeed.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The Swearer Center for Public Service is excited to bring The Laidlaw Scholars Leadership and Research Programme to Brown University.
Through the Laidlaw Scholars Program, Brown undergraduates will have the opportunity to connect their academic studies to community knowledge and action. Engaging with the strengths of local communities, Scholars will develop an expansive understanding of leadership and how we might collectively address our most pressing societal challenges. Students, from all disciplines and backgrounds, in their first and second years at Brown are eligible to participate. Applications will open in December with a February 2023 deadline. Finalists will be invited for interviews with final decisions made in March 2023. The selected students will begin their program with leadership training, learning core attributes, values and skills of effective leadership in Summer 2023.

Over the course of two years, they will complete a six-week community-engaged project where they develop their abilities in research skills, investigative study, analysis, problem solving and data management. During the second summer of the program, they will take part in a six-week immersive leadership-in-action project overseas. Learning through service and action, scholars uncover their leadership skills, expand their understanding of what it means to be a global citizen and challenge themselves to grow.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Laidlaw Scholars Program to Brown University and excited that the Swearer Center will steward this important student research opportunity,” says Mary Jo Callan, Vice President for Community Engagement and Stark Family Executive Director of the Howard R. Swearer Center for Public Service. “In keeping with the core civic engagement pathways supported at Swearer, the Laidlaw Scholars Program offers students a scaffolded entry point to community-engaged research. Laidlaw’s emphasis on leadership development complements our student learning priorities and introduces students to research early on in their time at Brown.”

Through the program, students benefit from joining a global community of fellow Laidlaw Scholars. Via a virtual expert network and in person events, undergraduate scholars publish their research, test their thinking, partner on projects and continue their leadership development.

“Brown is a place where rigorous scholarship, complex problem-solving and service to the public good come together”, says Susanna Kempe, CEO of the Laidlaw Foundation. “This makes them the perfect partner for our Laidlaw Scholars programme which funds scholarships at the leading universities in the world in order to develop a new generation of diverse, ethical, leaders ready and eager to tackle some of the world’s most intractable problems. We are both honoured and thrilled to launch the programme at Brown.”

Brown joins several institutions in the Laidlaw Scholars Network, including leading colleges from the University of Cambridge, Columbia University, Cornell University, Durham University, EPFL, Georgetown University, University of Hong Kong, University of Leeds, The London School of Economics and Political Science, University of St. Andrews, Trinity College Dublin, University of Toronto, Tufts University, University College London and University of York.

Learn more about the Laidlaw Fellowship at Brown.

For more information contact:
jesús hernandez, Director, Community-Engaged Learning
The Swearer Center for Public Service


In 1986, Brown University President Howard Swearer founded one of the first public service centers in the nation, now named for him — the Swearer Center for Public Service. The Swearer Center is a hub of community, scholarship and action at Brown University. Through numerous innovative programs and fellowships that reach across Rhode Island and around the globe, the Swearer Center connects people through community engagement, the field of engaged scholarship and social innovation. For more information, visit


The Laidlaw Foundation invests in the education of the underprivileged and underrepresented to break the cycle of poverty, reduce inequality and develop a new generation of leaders. Our funding supports five core programmes:

  • Sponsoring the Laidlaw Schools Trust – a growing, Multi Academy Trust in the North East of England, providing inspirational education to transform lives;
  • Developing a new generation of diverse leaders who embrace research-based decision making and ethical leadership through our Laidlaw Scholars Leadership and Research programme at the world’s leading universities;
  • Ensuring more women reach the C-Suite by providing MBA scholarships at London Business School and Oxford University’s Saïd Business School; and supporting women from lower socio-economic backgrounds to attend university through the Trinity College Dublin Pathways for Women in Business programme; as well as,
  • Turbocharging good businesses by investing in start-ups founded by Laidlaw Scholars through a $50m venture capital fund, Laidlaw Scholars Ventures; and
  • Building innovative and inspiring spaces in which pupils and students excel.

To learn more, follow the Laidlaw Foundation on LinkedIn and Twitter.