The LEADERs Program

Partnerships in Research and PhD Education

The LEADERs Program is a new experiential learning initiative that integrates leadership and professional-skills education with a research project at an organization in industry or the public sector. The program—Leadership Education Advancing Discovery through Embedded Research—enriches students’ own research as they address the real-world needs of enterprises in fields from STEM to the social sciences and humanities.


The fall 2021 LEADERs course Leading Self and Others (PHDL 7600) is now open for registration (CRN 16887).

Are you a Northeastern PhD student looking to know more about the LEADERs program?

Read first hand accounts from LEADERs participants about Leading Self and Others (PHDL 7600).

“The class helped me to form a good summary of my current leadership skills, and also see what skills I should improve in the future. Also, project management brought [a] number of tricks to better lead my projects at the lab.”

[The class introduced me to] “Leadership strategies and using the agile method in meetings.”

“It will help me be a better leader to undergrad students or master’s students that I work with.”

“I learned how to effectively manage projects and how to develop skills for becoming a better leader…. how to think and behave as a leader.”

“I got a lot out of the leadership training, and appreciated the chance to learn and talk about things that never come up directly in PhD work, like the types of power.”

“I learned leadership and team managing skills for when I (hopefully) become a PI, and an overview of the important steps in project management.”

“This course helped me have big picture about project management, and helped me learn more about my strength and weakness.”

“This course gave me a glimpse into project management, which is critical when becoming a principal investigator.”

“I learned how to initiate a project, how to handle difficulties in the project., and how to work more effectively with other team members.”

“The challenge project laid down a foundation for my dissertation. It helped me get from ideas to actual content written on paper.”

“I’ve learned tips on efficient organization of my current tasks, and how to take on an active role in decision making and courage to negotiate my opinion.”

“It enhanced my systemic thinking when looking at a project; trying to understand what each stakeholder’s role is in a project which can help predict how certain events will affect others or cause them to react.”

“I will apply my knowledge of project management and its tools: building a team, risks, methods to execute projects, project monitoring and planning.”

“This course helped me reexamine my communication and negotiation with my teammates.”

“What I learned in this course will help me more effectively manage myself and others.”

[I learned] “How to be a better team member, especially how to interact better with my PI, my colleagues, and my students.”

[I learned] “The importance of communication.”

“Primarily, I learned how to change my view on the PI-student relationships, particularly, on managing up.”

“Irrespective of future career development, I consider this course one of or maybe the most effective course I have taken.”

“I am able to think of my research ideas more in an entrepreneurial way, which I think is important even for someone who strictly aspires to work in academia. It’s important for people to get out of the minutiae of research questions and think about how findings translate to real world events.”

“Advanced academic degrees are inevitably connected to leading oneself and others as well as with project management, therefore the whole scope of the course fits perfectly the needs of doctoral students as well as postdocs. Especially since leadership and project management classes are usually overlooked in lower levels of education.”

PhD students who participate in LEADERs first take the pre-requisite course, Leading Self and Others (PHDL 7600). After enrollment in PHDL 7600 PhD students are eligible to continue with the LEADERs Experiential PhD Leadership Certificate with their PhD Advisor’s nomination and an external LEADERs partner.  How to get started:

  • Interested PhD students should enroll in Leading Self and Others, PHDL 7600.
  • PhD students enrolled in PHDL 7600 interested in getting a jump start on preparing to find a LEADERs match should attend a LEADERs Resume Clinic.
  • Nominate interested PhD students at the button to the right.  A nomination does not need to be aligned to a posted Opportunity.
  • Review example LEADERs partners at the button above. You will be required to use your myNortheastern credentials to view these opportunities.
  • If you are interested in LEADERs and there isn’t a clear opportunity currently posted, that’s OK.  When you are enrolled in PHDL 7600 and if you and your advisor agree that you should continue with the certificate, we will work with you to find an appropriate match.
  • Students not matched this year will be considered in future years.
  • Opportunities will be posted as they become available.  So, check back regularly and submit nominations as soon as possible.
  • Alignment between competencies, experience, and partner priorities is required for a match.  For this reason all partners presented may not be matched with a PhD student in the current cycle.

View Example Opportunities

Nominate or Self-Nominate a PhD Student

Upload PhD Advisor Endorsement

Questions, or just looking for more information?

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