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Howard Gobstein
Executive Vice President
Bethany R. Johns, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, Research Policy

Ny'lyjah Cain
Program Associate

CoR Research Leader Fellowship Program

Call for Applications

Photo of CoR Fellows at CoR Summer Meeting

APLU’s Council on Research (CoR) Research Leader Fellowship Program is designed to provide training and skill development to individuals who work closely in various capacities as or with Vice Presidents/Vice Provosts/Vice Chancellors/Vice Deans for Research, including those who aspire to transition into VPR/VCR positions in the future. The Research Leader Fellowship Program will leverage CoR's network of research leaders and allow Fellows to grow connections across areas of expertise and to expand relationships between and among professional organizations, APLU, and institutions. The Research Leader Fellowship Program is intended to enhance leadership training already occurring at some institutions and within some regions and organizations.

Many research leaders focus their responsibilities and the application of their knowledge in specific research support areas such as research administration, research development, research compliance, research communication, economic development, and sponsored programs. Very few have the opportunity within their institutions to develop expertise in areas outside of their immediate responsibilities, including those activities delegated to direct reports. APLU CoR meetings provide an excellent opportunity to be exposed to the breadth of areas relevant to the academic research enterprise, and the CoR Research Leader Fellowship Program will enable research leaders to increase both the breadth and depth of their knowledge by allowing the Fellow to: develop expertise and skill in areas relevant to leading a research agenda within an academic institution; experience broad leadership training, peer mentoring, and networking across public and land-grant institutions; and contribute new knowledge and new elective practices to benefit all CoR members, APLU institutions, and stakeholders of the academic research enterprise.

Please contact Research Leader Fellowship Program coordinators Drs. Jane Strasser or Bethany Johns with any questions.


DEADLINE for applications for CoR Research Leadership Fellowship program delayed:  Given the demands resulting from the pandemic we are extending the deadline to apply for the CoR Research Leader Fellowship Program until May 1, 2020

  • Who Can Participate

    The CoR Research Leader Fellowship Program is open to individuals in positions with focused responsibilities related to building and supporting research capacity and competitiveness at APLU institutions. Typical titles associated with these positions include:

    • Associate/Assistant VPRs/VCRs;
    • Associate/Assistant Deans for Research;
    • New VPRs/VCRs or similarly titled senior chief research officer; 
    • Directors of major centers and/or institutes; and
    • Senior research leaders from underrepresented minority institutions, such as HBCUs, MSIs, and HSIs.

    Within some institutions, a senior administrator may have responsibilities related to leading the research enterprise that are not explicitly part of the position title. These individuals are also eligible for the CoR Research Leader Fellowship Program.

  • Program Details

    The primary purpose of the CoR Research Leader Fellowship Program is to enable research leaders to develop knowledge and skills in new research-support areas of interest. The core activity within the program enables Fellows to arrange short-term visits to other research institutions with strong programs and activities in the skill area to be developed. To promote mentoring and networking, fellows will also contribute to a collaborative project that relates to one or more of the 4 primary priorities of CoR for this year. The current CoR priorities are:

    • Public Access and Transparency in Research – This topic focuses on building capacity for public access to research data, tracking new policies related to publication access, and integrating research transparency and open science into current discussions.
    • Safe and Inclusive Research Environments – This effort tracks discussions on safe and inclusive research environments and identifying approaches that campuses can take to mitigate sexual harassment and bullying in research settings.
    • Research Security – This effort seeks to understand the threat posed by foreign influence and intellectual property theft on campuses and assist campuses in identifying effective practices to safeguard their work.
    • Public Impact Research – This effort focuses on building public trust and awareness of the impact of research, continuing work already begun under the Public Impact Research Initiative.

    Fellows are expected to attend the New and Future VPR/VCR Workshop at the CoR Summer Meeting in June 2020; to participate in monthly videoconference meetings with other Fellows; to participate in professional meetings and additional training opportunities related to new areas of interest; and to develop content (publications, concept papers, presentations) related to the CoR priorities with the intent of contributing to broader knowledge and providing unique perspectives on these topics. Fellows will meet (video/teleconference) regularly to discuss topics of interest and the collaborative projects within the CoR priorities to contribute to future knowledge, training and literature related to research capacity and competitiveness. Fellows are strongly encouraged to document the new knowledge they are acquiring and to identify ways in which they can demonstrate their increased capacity and developing expertise.

    The CoR Research Leader Fellowship Program will be 12 months in duration, with appointments of a cohort of 5 to 8 Fellows to be made at the APLU CoR Summer Meeting each year. The 12-month term will also enable Fellows to conduct 2-3 campus visits, participate in the identified meetings and conferences, and complete a project to contribute to future training and literature related to research capacity and competitiveness.

  • Program and Institutional Support

    The CoR Research Leader Fellowship is not a monetary award; rather, it is a structured program that provides coordination, networking, training materials, and guidance. Fellows and APLU member institutions will benefit from the CoR Research Leader Fellowship Program through increased skills and knowledge in new areas that will not only benefit the individual, but will contribute new, effective practices and perspectives to the research leader's home institution. Fellows will gain essential knowledge through visiting institutions with different cultures and adaptive practices; develop a broad professional network along with leadership and collaborative problem-solving skills; and contribute to a growing professional literature base on practices and approaches to competitive research support, infrastructure, and capacity.

  • 2020 Application Schedule

    DEADLINE for applications for CoR Research Leadership Fellowship program delayed:  Given the demands resulting from the pandemic we are extending the deadline to apply for the CoR Research Leader Fellowship Program until May 1, 2020

  • Apply

    Applications for the initial CoR Research Leader Fellowship Program will be accepted electronically (a single PDF document is required) by 5 p.m. PT on May 1, 2020.

    All proposals submitted to the CoR Research Leader Fellowship Program must include the following, clearly delineated in separate sections, within the allocated page limits indicated below for each proposal component. Line spacing must not be smaller than 1.5 lines, font size must be at least 11 points, and 1” margins must be used.

    1. Application Cover Sheet
      • Provide an application cover page that includes your name, position title, institution, and contact information.
    2. Fellowship Training Plan (maximum of 5 pages)
      • The Fellowship Training Plan should describe the overall plan for this Fellowship emphasizing targeted areas for growth and approaches to gain new knowledge, and indicate which of the four CoR priorities the applicant is particularly interested in addressing within the required fellowship project. Not all reviewers will be experts in the chosen area of skill development; therefore, applicants should provide enough context with respect to current skills, current scope of responsibilities, and the skills to be developed such that reviewers are able to evaluate the feasibility and impact of this training program. Applicants may need to define concepts and give a bit more context as to the proposed approach than one would when writing to an expert audience in the chosen area of skill development.
      • It is recommended that applicants address the following in the proposed training plan. These items will be evaluated as part of the review criteria:
        • Describe your readiness for this Fellowship, your career goals, and the timing of the Fellowship relative to those career goals.
        • Describe primary and/or secondary areas of expertise and responsibility associated with your current and past research leadership and administration roles.
        • Identify 2-3 areas of expertise and responsibility to be developed as part of the Fellowship (see this Overview of the Research Enterprise document for commonly used language and terms). Contrast these with your current responsibilities and explain how expanding insight/competencies in these areas will contribute to you professionally and to your institution.  
        • Describe how you might contribute to one of the CoR priorities. Describe the expected outcome resulting from participation in the CoR Research Leader Fellowship Program (e.g., how will you expand your impact in research administration nationally, regionally, and/or within your institution).
        • Describe characteristics of the ideal host site (institutions, organizations, labs, offices, etc.) to be visited during the Fellowship for benchmarking and training purposes. If the prospective Fellow has relevant insight about APLU institutions, this information can be shared as well. Visits to host institutions are typically 1-2 days in length, with the availability to have follow-up conversations to enhance area competencies. A total of 2-3 visits will likely occur across multiple institutions (one visit per institution) during the 12-month Fellowship.
        • Describe ways in which the proposed Fellowship training will contribute to your career development as well as to the broader research enterprise, in particular related to the chosen skills for development.
        • Provide a timeline for the proposed training plan (proposed months for travel given other responsibilities and obligations) and budget, including sources of funding that are available to support proposed travel.
    3. Letter(s) of Support and Recommendation
      • You may provide UP TO 3 letters of support and/or recommendation, with at least one required letter provided by your direct supervisor detailing the support (financial, time) that will be provided to you as part of your participation in the Fellowship.
    4. Current CV
    5. Brief Professional Biography and Headshot
      • These will be posted online if selected as a Fellow.
  • Review Process and Criteria

    The following criteria will be taken into consideration:

    • Eligibility for the Fellowship - institutional membership in APLU;
    • Preparation and readiness for the Fellowship;
    • Viability of the Fellowship Training Plan;
    • Intellectual merit of the proposed questions of interest to be explored, relative to applicant's current expertise and knowledge;
    • Credibility AND clarity of the elements proposed in the Fellowship Training Plan;
    • Preparedness of the applicant to execute the proposed Fellowship Training Plan; and
    • Potential for impact on the applicant's career and his/her future contributions to the broader research enterprise.
  • Reporting and Post-Fellowship Requirements

    Participants in the CoR Research Leader Fellowship Program are required to submit a final report with required documentation to the APLU CoR Executive Committee at the end of the Fellowship or by the date outlined in the award letter. This report should describe the outcomes and impacts of the training plan on the research enterprise, the Fellow’s career, and the areas and questions of interest. The report also should describe any deviations from the originally proposed plan and include activities in progress that relate directly to the training plan. By participating in this program, Fellows are asked to serve as reviewers for future applicants to the CoR Research Leader Fellowship Program for a two-year period following the initial program year. Fellows will be invited to participate in a graduation ceremony at the CoR Summer Meeting following the end of their Fellowship term.

CoR Research Leader Fellows with UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski