Leading Emerging and Diverse Scientists to Success (LEADS)

LEADS is an innovative, two-year program in Translational Research designed to meet the unique needs of early career faculty and postdocs at partnering Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). LEADS provides training in grant writing skills and networking opportunities with the ultimate goal of Scholars successfully submitting a grant to a federal funding agency by the end of their fellowship.

LEADS is sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH), grant R25 GM116740. There is no cost to participants. For more information on the program, including eligibility, see the Program Details page.

Applications for the 2024 cohort are now open (due February 9, 2024 at 12 PM EST. For more information, see the application tab.

Please join us for a virtual LEADS information session on December 9th from 3-4 PM EST. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the program and ask any questions. Register for this event here.


  1. Year 1: Online Training Modules

    In year one of the fellowship, scholars focus on didactic instruction through the completion of eight online training modules. These modules combine asynchronous and synchronous activities to help trainees develop specific competencies while also networking with one another. Modules will include topics such as grant writing, effective peer-reviewing, team science, and launching your research career.

  2. 2

  3. Year 2: Sprints and Career Coaching

    In the second year of the fellowship, scholars will engage in skill sprints that support their own work products, including manuscripts and grant applications. Skills sprints will combine brief, didactic lessons with open office hours where scholars have the opportunity to get personalized feedback from experts. Examples of skills sprints include generating descriptive statistics, creating a social media presence, and giving an effective presentation. Scholars will also participate in a monthly personalized session with a licensed career coach. In these sessions, Scholars will have the opportunity to discuss their values and aspirations, explore their authentic selves, examine their career paths, and take ownership of their futures. Year 2’s time commitment is more flexible than that of Year 1.

Tracking Progress

Scholars will have the opportunity to plan and track their careers using a Customized Career Development Plan. The CCDP enables Scholars to link their training with clinical and translational science competencies, help them identify the skills they need to succeed, and plan their career development with intentionality.

Scholars who complete the program earn a Certificate in Translational Research with badges for each module that can be posted in LinkedIn.

Leadership Team and Partnering MSIs

The Leadership Team consists of the principal investigator (Doris Rubio, PhD, ICRE Director) and the designated senior LEADS Alumni faculty members from each participating MSI, who also serve on the LEADS Advisory Committee.

The ICRE’s Diversity Committee provides oversight to the LEADS Program by, making final decisions on the selection of trainees, working with instructors on developing their modules, and to resolve conflicts that may arise. The committee is made up of faculty members from multiple schools and departments at the University of Pittsburgh, all of whom have significant experience and leadership roles within the University.

Partnering MSIs

Click the logos below for more information
Partnering InstitutionsSite Lead
Faculty: Magda Shaheen, MD, PhD, magdashaheen@cdrewu.edu
Faculty: Rupak Dua, PhD, rupak.dua@hamptonu.edu
Faculty: Patricia Y. Talbert, PhD, patricia.talbert@howard.edu
Faculty: Jamaine Davis, PhD, jdavis@mmc.edu
Faculty: Latrice Rollins, PhD, rollins@msm.edu
Faculty: Nina Smith, PhD, nsmith42@nccu.edu
Faculty: Claire Ing, DrPH, claire.ing@hawaii.edu
Faculty: Darlene Santiago, PhD, darlene.santiago@upr.edu
Faculty: German Plascenciavilla, PhD, german.plascenciavilla@utsa.edu

March 23-25, 2022

2022 LEADS Annual Summit

The LEADS Summit was a specially designed 3-day virtual opportunity for scholars and alumni to continue their training in not-commonly-taught skills, connect with the LEADS research network, interact with colleagues and leaders, share their career progress, and celebrate their successes.

Institute for Clinical Research Education
200 Meyran Avenue, Suite 300
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

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