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Tufts University School of Medicine

Leadership, Education, Advancement and Diversity Scholars Program

The Leadership, Education, Advancement and Diversity (LEAD) Scholars Program offers two years of structured professional development for Tufts University School of Medicine postdoctoral trainees, residents, fellows, early and mid-career faculty from groups underrepresented in medicine and science to enhance their opportunities for success and impact in the fields of medicine and science. The program is sponsored by the Tufts University School of Medicine Office of Multicultural Affairs.

The program will nurture the participant’s leadership and scholarship skills through mentorship, research support, and leadership training. The program will also foster participant’s structural competence by introducing them to theoretical lenses and practical tools to promote changes in the systems within which they work that would enhance structural diversity, equity, and inclusion. The LEAD Scholars Program provides the unique opportunity to directly address racial disparities in health and reaching health equity through research and practice. The LEAD Scholars Program will serve as a mechanism to build a more diverse Tufts School of Medicine healthcare and biomedical research community while promoting a community of practice of faculty at Tufts.

LEAD Scholars need to apply to participate in the program. As part of the application process, candidates must identify a project in clinical, basic, or education research that they would like to develop and execute during the program and explain how their project will impact racial disparities in health and promote health equity in the areas of research, service or teaching. Additional priority will be given to research projects with an emphasis in disease areas with significant documented racial disparities in patient outcomes, such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, specific cancers, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.

LEAD Scholars will receive mentorship, research project funding, professional development/conference travel funds and salary support for scheduled time to pursue their scholarly activities over the course of two years. The time commitment to participate in the mentoring and career development activities will be approximately 10%.

Program Activities

Research Activities

LEAD Scholars will work with their mentorship team to refine their research proposal and will benefit from opportunities to present their research.

  • Internal scientific presentations
  • National scientific presentations
  • Grant writing
  • Responsible conduct of research
  • Reproducibility in research
  • Problem solving/critical thinking

Career Development Opportunities

Career development training will be tailored to the career path and career stage of the LEAD Scholar.

  • Structural competence skills-building
  • Mentorship training
  • Pedagogy training
  • Promotion and tenure guidance
  • Negotiation training
  • Budget development


LEAD Scholars will be matched with a project mentor and an external mentor for career development. The group of scholars will also serve as peer mentors for each other. LEAD Scholars will be mentored in institutional structures and the barriers to equity, diversity, and inclusion to acquire the skillset and identify tools to dismantle these structural barriers towards promoting a more equitable and inclusive system.