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

A cross-campus collaboration between the Office of Research, the Internship and Career Center, GradPathways (Graduate Studies) and the Mike and Renee Child Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, this five-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 provides 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 Leaders for the Future is provided by the State of California through Assembly Bill 2664: University of California Innovation and Entrepreneurship Expansion.

Note: Please check back for possible Leaders for the Future cohort opportunities.

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 2018).

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 events (see below). 
  • Closing presentation given at Closing Bootcamp.

Program Schedule (Fall 2018 Cohort)

Event Date Time
Opening Reception Thursday, September 6, 2018 4 – 6 p.m.

Entrepreneurship Academy (choose one):


  • September 12-14
  • October 2-4
8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
(three days)
Opening Bootcamp Tuesday, September 25, 2018 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Workshop #1: Communicating Impact Wednesday, October 10, 2018 5 – 7 p.m.
Grad Student and Postdoc Internship and Career Fair Wednesday, October 17, 2018 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Workshop #2: Nexus Work –
Intentional Network-Building
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 12 – 2 p.m.
Workshop #3: Panel Discussion – Making the Leap Wednesday, November 7, 2018 5 – 7 p.m.
Workshop #4: Negotiations and Job Offers Wednesday, November 28, 2018 12 – 2 p.m.
Workshop #5: Business Writing and Presentations Wednesday, December 12, 2018 5 – 7 p.m.
Workshop #6: Crafting Your Closing Presentation Wednesday, January 9, 2019 12 – 2 p.m.
Closing Bootcamp Friday, January 25, 2019 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

How to Apply

Two-step application process:

  1. Complete the Application Form, which includes demographic information, two short-answer essay questions, and an uploaded cover letter, resume or CV.
  2. Request major professor or principal investigator complete the Recommendation Form and upload a letter of recommendation.


Please contact Leaders for the Future Program Coordinators: 

Meet some of our LeaderS for the Future Fellows >

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