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Leaders for the Future
Creating leaders through immersives, scholarship, business skills and innovation

A cross-campus collaboration between the Internship and Career Center, GradPathways (Graduate Studies) and the Mike and Renee Child Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, this nine-month program helps Ph.D. students and postdoctoral scholars connect with applied experiences beyond academia through immersives (internships, job shadowing, projects) while supporting business skills development.

Leaders for the Future facilitates immersive experiences (internships, job shadowing, short projects, etc.) outside of academia. Cutting-edge training in leadership skills, business communication, project management, innovation and entrepreneurship is provided to participants from all disciplines—including humanities, social sciences and STEM—through a series of workshops and other activities. 

Leaders for the Future

The program is designed for Ph.D. candidates and postdoctoral scholars who seek to engage in immersives (internships, job shadowing, projects). The program provides training in the skills needed to excel in diverse careers across industry, government and more.

Funding for Leaders for the Future is provided by UC Davis Graduate Studies.

Information Session Slides

Program Eligibility and Requirements

To be eligible for this program, applicants must be:

  • Current UC Davis Ph.D. student or postdoctoral scholar (title codes 3252, 3253, 3254, 3255 or 3256) in any discipline.
  • In an academic program or appointment for the duration of Leaders for the Future program.
  • Ph.D. candidates must be on active student status (not on filing fee status or PELP) during the program. Priority given to those who have completed qualifying exams by program start (September 2020).

The program gives priority to applicants who articulate their intent to participate in an immersive experience. 

Successful program completion requires:

  • Attendance at all required program activities (see below). 
  • Final presentation given at Final Presentations and Closing Reception gathering.

Required Program Activities

Event Date Time
Opening Reception Friday, May 15, 2020 5:30 – 7 p.m.
Opening Gear Up Monday, September 14, 2020 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
UC Entrepreneurship Academy (Davis, CA) Monday – Friday, October 5-9, 2020 See schedule
Workshop #1: Career Studio: Resumes + Career Fair Preparation Wednesday, October 7, 2020 5 – 6 p.m.
Workshop #2: Nexus Work: Intentional Network Building Wednesday, October 28, 2020 5 – 7 p.m.
Workshop #3: Career Studio – Interviewing / Mock Interviews Monday, November 9, 2020 12 – 2 p.m.
Workshop #4: Making the Leap – ​Panel + Dinner Discussion Wednesday, December 2, 2020 5:30 – 8 p.m.
Workshop #5: Career Studio –
Topic TBD by Fellows
Wednesday, January 6, 2021 Noon – 2 p.m.
Workshop #6: Business Writing and Presentations  Wednesday, January 20, 2021 5 – 7 p.m.
Workshop #7: Communicating Impact Wednesday, February 10, 2021 5 – 7 p.m.
Workshop #8: Fellows’ Meeting + Pitching Like a Pro March 2021 (TBD) 5 – 6 p.m.
6 – 8 p.m.
Workshop #9: Career Studio –
Topic TBD by Fellows
Wednesday, March 31, 2021 Noon – 2 p.m.
Workshop #10: Final Presentation Preparation and Peer Feedback Tuesday, April 20, 2021 5 – 7 p.m.
Final Presentations + Closing Reception Friday, April 23, 2021 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Career Fairs (choose one):
Event Date / Time Location
Fall Internship and Career Fair October 14, 2020
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 
ARC Pavilion
Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Scholars Internship and Career Fair October 14, 2020
2:30 – 5:30 p.m.
ARC Upper Pavilion
Fall Internship and Career Fair – STEM October 15, 2020
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
ARC Pavilion
Engineering and Tech Internship and Career Fair January 26, 2021
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
ARC Pavilion
Winter Internship and Career Fair February 2021 (TBD)
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
ARC Pavilion
Spring Internship and Career Fair April 2021 (TBD)
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
ARC Pavilion

How to Apply

Applications for the 2021/22 cohort will open in spring 2021. Please check back. 

  1. Complete the ApplicationPDF version, which includes two short-answer essay questions and an uploaded cover letter, resume or CV.
  2. Recommendation Form | PDF version and a letter of recommendation from a major professor or principal investigator.
  3. Group interview for select applicants.


Please contact Leaders for the Future Program Coordinators: 

Meet some of our LeaderS for the Future Fellows >

Leaders for the Future

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