Cottrell Scholars

LEAD Award

LEAD (Leadership Enrichment And Development) Award

The LEAD award supports unique leadership advancement opportunities of potential high impact. Leadership advancement opportunities may include (but are not restricted to) funding to:

  • Shadow an extraordinary leader (e.g. President) for a specified amount of time on another campus, or to hire an executive coach;   
  • Attend leadership conferences or training to prepare you, the applicant, for a new leadership role;
  • Organize a leadership development symposium/workshop at a national meeting
  • Support a PI and a small team to visit a successful research, educational or outreach program in preparation for a possible new program to be conducted at their institution;
  • Engage in a month as a visiting professor with commitment from the hosting institution to support networking activities intended to lead to collaborations or research centers in the U.S.;
  • Intern for one month at a non-profit organization with the purpose of developing leadership skills.

The size of the award (and thus the budget request) may vary depending on proposed activity but should not exceed $25K. The LEAD award does not support travel with the primary purpose of conducting research activities.


Applicants must be at least 6 years beyond the year of their Cottrell Scholar award. For the 2017 competition, eligibility will be limited to Cottrell Scholars who received their award in 2011 or earlier. Eligibility is limited to one LEAD application per Cottrell Scholar per year. Cottrell Scholars with active LEAD awards are not eligible. 

Application Process and Deadline

Applicants must provide a two-page description of the proposed leadership advancement activities and an itemized budget.  No special forms are provided. The potential impact of described activities on the leadership development of the applicant as well as how this development will allow the candidate to achieve clearly stated goals are key criteria for selection of a LEAD award. LEAD applicants begin the submission process by completing the online eligibility quiz. If eligible, applicants gain access to a web page containing instructions for electronic submission. Applications are due by close of business on November 1, 2017. LEAD awards will be announced in March 2017.

Selection Process

A selection committee composed of members of the RCSA scientific staff reviews applications and makes recommendations to the RCSA President. Final selection is approved by members of the RCSA Board of Directors.

LEAD Awardees

2017 LEAD Award Goes to Rory Waterman, Chemistry, UVM

Cottrell Scholar Adam Urbach Receives a 2016 LEAD Award

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