Eligibility criteria

At the time of registration, you must be in the 1st or 2nd year of a Bachelor’s program at EPFL.

No, you must be in the 1st or 2nd year of a Bachelor’s program at EPFL at the time of registration.

No, students who have done the MAN or the CMS are welcome to apply for the Laidlaw Program as long as they fulfill the application criteria.

An average grade of at least 4.5/6 at the 1st Bachelor’s semester (1st year students) or at the 1st Bachelor’s year (2nd year students) is requested.

However, please note that the Laidlaw Program is not an Excellence program. Therefore, selection is not exclusively based on grades.
An average grade of 4.5 is required to ensure that you can combine your studies with this extra-curricular program that requires a certain level of commitment.

If your average grade is slightly below 4.5 but your motivation to participate in the Laidlaw Program is strong – and if we can see that you are academically ready for such a program – we invite you to apply.

Yes, you are eligible as long as you have an average grade of at least 4.5/6 at your 2nd attempt of the 1st Bachelor’s semester.

No, the program is only intended for regular EPFL students.

Application file

Yes, applications can be submitted in either French or English. However, it is advised to submit your documents in English because only English is spoken in some of the labs.

No, we will directly contact them with the necessary instructions.

Nonetheless, it is preferable that you inform them in advance so that they are not surprised by the process.

No, your referee could be a professor, a past employer, a past high school teacher, or anyone without any scientific background.

Please choose someone who knows you well and who can describe your strongest skills, particularly in the field of leadership. Your referee will have to give an example of a situation where you demonstrated leadership potential.

No, your referee has until 25 February to submit their reference letter.

You can check the status of your reference via the application form, once it has been validated. Please note that you can also manage your referees via the application system in case you want to add another referee. 


Yes, they are a mandatory part of the Laidlaw Program. You must participate in all leadership development activities in person, or, if not possible due to extraordinary circumstances, attend remotely or catch up on the work.

Yes, the dates can be set with the internship supervisors in due time.

You must check the specific conditions of your section and faculty to know if the Laidlaw internships can be considered as credited projects for your studies.

On our side, we do not grant credit for Laidlaw internships.

Lab placement

No, knowing the lab’s head may be an advantage but it is not a requirement, as you will not have to directly reach out to the labs.

No, once you have been selected for the Laidlaw Program, we will reach out to your preferred labs in order to place you there. In case they do not have any internship availabilities, we will work with you to find new choices of lab. In our experience, the majority of students are successfully placed according to their interests.

No, the research internship must be 8 weeks long, but with some flexibility: if the reasons are justified and the laboratory agrees, you can start the internship before the summer holiday, do remote work for a fixed period of time or compensate the remaining hours with work during the semester.

The labs are aware of your level of studies. Even if you are only in the 1st or 2nd year of your Bachelor’s studies, you will integrate a research group and help them on specific and defined tasks.

The labs will take your existing knowledge into consideration before allocating you a project. They will train you in the areas that you may not have explored yet. Please note that you will be supervised by a PhD student or a professor during your whole internship.

Further topics

Yes, as long as the Laidlaw calendar does not overlap with the host university’s schedule. It is your responsibility to make sure that you can combine the Laidlaw Program with an exchange year.

  • If you start the Laidlaw Program as a 1st year student, please note that you may need to make some arrangements to attend the last Laidlaw events in September (see Laidlaw schedule).
  • If you start the Laidlaw Program as a 2nd year student, an exchange year may not be possible as you must commit to physically attend all the Laidlaw events planned in the Laidlaw schedule.

Yes, you can still be part of the Laidlaw Program even if you have to repeat a year or a semester.

Students who are unable to study for one semester or more but who remain matriculated at EPFL can still be part of the Laidlaw program (see Interruption of studies during the Bachelor’s program – Special cases)

Leadership is defined here in the broadest sense: it is the ability to influence, empower and guide others toward the achievement of a goal. It is also about team work, challenging the status quo and taking risks.