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. The 2020-21 participants comprised the inaugural cohort of this program.
The Research Leaders Program encouraged me to take a birds-eye view of my career, my goals and my research. … I was able to engage with my peers … and they helped me to focus in on identifying my priorities.Maital Neta, Psychology, CAS
The RLP provided resources, a cohort of like-minded faculty, and a space to develop a vision for my research that connects short terms deliverables to medium-term objectives to long-term aspirations.Adam Houston, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, CAS
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:
- Develop the skills necessary to effectively build and manage large teams and projects.
- Produce actionable roadmaps to secure major external funding.
- Network with like-minded colleagues, university leaders and public/private partners who can help advocate for and support the development of large, innovative and impactful research programs.
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.
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.
The RLP put me in the same room with a group of prominent researchers from other disciplines. It is eye-opening to listen to the stories about their research programs, their successes and challenges they have faced. The program taught us several very practical tools so we could assess and better understand our own strengths in personality, leadership, and management.
Yufeng Ge, Biological Systems Engineering, IANR
This program helped me to develop a long-term vision for my research, consistent with UNL’s Grand Challenges, that will help propel my program of research to a new level that I am hopeful will lead to far-reaching global impact.
Katie Edwards, Educational Psychology, CEHS
Participants must commit one day per month to the Research Leaders Program, which will run from September through February (excluding January). They also must set aside one half day in March and another in April to finalize and present their research growth plans to their colleagues and UNL’s senior leaders.
Faculty eligible to apply for the Research Leaders Program include:
- Associate professors.
- Research associate professors.
- Research professors.
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 2021-2022 Research Leaders Program are due by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. 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.
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 2021-2022 Research Leaders Program are due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. 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).
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 July. Application review criteria include:
- The applicants’ past record of accomplishment and impact as an individual and/or as a member of a small team and their potential for future, more significant contributions.
- Clear connection between the applicant’s articulated vision and level of readiness for program participation.
- Alignment between the applicants’ research vision and readiness and opportunities for major external support.
For additional information regarding the Research Leaders Program, contact Nathan Meier, assistant vice chancellor for research.