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Research Leaders Program

Developing Nebraska’s Next Generation of Research Leaders

The Research Leaders Program is a new initiative to identify and develop the next generation of research leaders among the faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It is sponsored by the Office of Research and Economic Development and delivered in partnership with the Center for Professional and Executive Development in the College of Business. Up to 15 faculty will be selected to participate in the program annually through a campus-wide nomination and application process.

See a directory of the 2020-21 Research Leaders Program cohort.

Goal and Objectives

The goal of the Research Leaders Program is to propel emerging research leaders – those individuals with the interest, vision and motivation – to take their research programs to a higher and more collaborative level. The program will provide research-active faculty with the information, skills and connections they need to assemble and lead large-scale teams in the pursuit of major extramural funding.

The objectives of the Research Leaders Program are for participants to:


Research Leaders Program content will focus on the fundamentals of management and cutting-edge topics that high-impact research leaders need to know, including: strategic leadership, goal setting, team science, diversity and inclusion and design thinking. Sessions will rely heavily on experiential learning and participant engagement.

The development of a personal research growth plan is a key element of the program. Participants will be coached on a one-on-one basis to develop an execution plan aimed at strengthening and elevating their research activities. They also will have the opportunity to connect with established research leaders.

Finally, the program will feature five panel luncheons focused on the importance of research leadership, advice from established research leaders, opportunities to maximize research impacts, diversity and inclusive excellence, and pathways to funding for big ideas.

A major benefit of the Research Leaders Program, in addition to learning new skills, is the networking that will be available to participants. These interactions may yield new opportunities and collaborative connections.


Participants must commit one day per month to the Research Leaders Program, which will run from September through March (excluding January). They also must set aside a half day in March to present their personal growth plans to their colleagues and UNL’s senior leaders.

Access the program schedule.


Faculty eligible to apply for the Research Leaders Program include:


UNL faculty and administrators are invited to nominate eligible faculty for the Research Leaders Program. Nominators must submit the faculty member’s name, title and a brief description (150-word maximum) of why the nominee is positioned to emerge as a UNL research leader.

Nominations for the 2020-2021 Research Leaders Program are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 8, 2020. Once a nomination for an eligible faculty member is received, they will be contacted by the Office of Research and Economic Development and encouraged to submit a brief application.

See more details or submit a Research Leaders Program nomination.


Faculty are invited to apply for the Research Leaders Program, and they may do so directly. Nomination is not a prerequisite for submitting an application.

Applications for the 2020-2021 Research Leaders Program are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, May 18, 2020. Applicants must submit their contact information; a short statement of interest, vision and readiness; a letter of support; and a copy of their full curriculum vitae or resume (including complete publication and external funding records).

See more details or submit a Research Leaders Program application.

Review Criteria and Selection Process

Applications will be co-reviewed by senior leaders from the Office of Research and Economic Development and the applicants’ academic units. The Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development will make the final selection in mid-June. Application review criteria include:

Additional Information

For additional information regarding the Research Leaders Program, contact Nathan Meier, assistant vice chancellor for research.