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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.

Program funding for the pilot 2017-19 Leaders for the Future cohorts was provided by the State of California through Assembly Bill 2664: University of California Innovation and Entrepreneurship Expansion. Funding for the 2019/21 cohort 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 2019).

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 Closing Reception & Final Presentations gathering.

Required Program Activities

Event Date Time
Opening Reception Wednesday,
June 5, 2019
5:30 – 7 p.m.

Entrepreneurship Academy (choose one):


  • July 15-17
  • September 10-12
8 a.m. – 9 p.m., Three days
Opening Gear Up Friday, September 27, 2019 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Workshop #1: Nexus Work –
Intentional Network-Building
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 12 – 2 p.m.
Workshop #2: Panel Discussion – Making the Leap Wednesday, January 15, 2020 5 – 8:30 p.m.
Workshop #3: Fellow’s Meeting / Pitching Like a Pro TBD (early March) 5 – 8 p.m.
Workshop #4: Business Writing and Presentations  Wednesday,
March 18, 2020
5 – 7 p.m.
Workshop #5: Communicating Impact Wednesday,
April 1, 2020
5 – 7 p.m.
Final Presentations & Closing Reception Friday,
May 15, 2020
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Career Fairs (choose one):
Event Date / Time Location
Fall Internship and Career Fair October 16, 2019
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 
ARC Pavilion
Graduate Student and
Postdoctoral Scholars Internship and Career Fair
October 16, 2019
2:30 – 5:30 p.m.
ARC Upper Pavilion
Fall Internship and Career Fair – STEM October 17, 2019
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
ARC Pavilion
Engineering and Tech Internship and Career Fair January 29, 2020
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
ARC Pavilion
Winter Internship and Career Fair February 26, 2020
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
ARC Pavilion

Recommended Program Activities (Optional)

Event Date Time
Career Studio 1

Resumes and Career Fair Preparation

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

5 – 7 p.m.
Career Studio 2

Interviewing – Mock Interviews

Thursday, November 7, 2019

12 – 2 p.m.
Career Studio 3

Topic TBD by Fellows Cohort

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

12 – 2 p.m.
Career Studio 4

Topic TBD by Fellows Cohort

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

12 – 2 p.m.
Career Studio 5

Topic TBD by Fellows Cohort

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

12 – 2 p.m.

How to Apply

Applications for the 2019/20 cohort are due May 1, 2019, 11:59 p.m.

  1. Complete the Application FormPDF 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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