Leading Emerging and Diverse Scientists to Success (LEADS)

Program Details

Learn more about the LEADS Program, including eligibility requirements and details about the career coaching and travel awards.



If you are a post-doc or junior faculty enrolled at one of the participating MSIs, we encourage you to apply. Prior to applying, trainees are encouraged to contact the member of the leadership team from their institution to discuss the requirements of this program.

The Leadership Team members (senior faculty from MSIs and University of Pittsburgh) serve as career coaches and are trained by certified career coaches to establish the necessary skills and tools to fulfill this role. Career coaches meet regularly with the trainees to ensure their progress is on track, guide them on next steps, and work with them on their career timeline with the use of a Customized Career Development Plan (CCDP).

LEADS Scholars may apply for travel awards to cover travel related expenses to 1) present their research at national meetings or 2) attend a workshop or special training. The amount of the award varies on an individualized basis.

LEADS Scholars should apply for a Travel Award before making travel arrangements. Travel award applications should be submitted no later than 8 weeks prior to the event/training for which scholars seek support. Scholars will be notified via email if the Travel Award is granted.

Click here to submit an application. Applications for Travel Awards are reviewed on a rolling basis by the ICRE Diversity Committee. A Travel Award is more likely to be granted if 1) the Scholar is presenting their research, 2) the Scholar is obtaining training that will help advance their research, or 3) the travel will further the career development of the Scholar.

Research shows that those who do career planning are more likely to succeed in their field. The Customized Career Development Plan (CCDP) is an innovative online tool designed to help each trainee identify goals, recognize needed competencies, and develop strategies to meet these goals. Each CCDP is reviewed regularly by the trainee’s mentoring team and career coach in order to track the trainee’s progress and provide individualized advice and support. We expect scholars to continue to complete their CCDP annually (even beyond their participation in the LEADS program) to accelerate their careers and facilitate their research projects. Completion of the CCDP is an NIH requirement for all LEADS Scholars.

Currently enrolled LEADS Scholars may access their CCDP through the ICRE Training Portal. The CCDP is designed to be modified by scholars as needed while goals and objectives are being tracked.
Areas of assessment within the CCDP include the following:

  • General Information
  • Research Activities
  • Training
  • Grant Submissions
  • Publication Plans
  • Presentations & Abstracts
  • Professional Development

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