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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 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.



Applicants may be postdoctoral trainees, residents, fellows within the School of Medicine system (including GSBS and teaching affiliates) or early and mid-career faculty who hold an academic appointment at Tufts University School of Medicine, including those based as affiliated clinical sites, and identify as a member of a group underrepresented in medicine and biomedical sciences (including Black/African American, Hispanic American or Latino/a, native American, and Pacific Islander).

Questions about eligibility or experiencing barriers in applying? Please contact for assistance.


Application Deadline is April 16, 2021

A completed application includes the following:

  1. Personal statement describing previous research experience, long-term career goals, and interest in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion, and how the award with enhance your professional development (up to 2 pages)
  2. Description of proposed research project and how it will impact racial disparities in health or health care (1 page)
  3. Curriculum vitae
  4. Letter of support from department chair confirming that scholar will have 10% protected time to complete the LEAD program activities and that the remainder of the scholar’s salary will be provided
  5. Letter of recommendation supporting your qualifications for the program

Please use this google form to upload your application materials:

Questions about eligibility or experiencing barriers in applying? Please contact for assistance.


The program will provide on average $25,000 over the two years of training for salary support and funds for research. The award will be allocated between the two categories depending on the type of project and the stage in the scholar’s career. The partial salary support will ensure that the scholar will have protected time to participate in the program.

The program also provides $2,000 in funds for conference/travel for each scholar over the two years.


Applicants will be reviewed the LEAD Advisory Committee consisting of faculty from Tufts School of Medicine to select six LEAD Scholars. Candidates will be assessed by the Advisory Committee based on the criteria below:

  • Statement of the need for career development considering professional goals
  • Demonstration of commitment to participate in the program, including time
  • Degree of feasibility and potential impact in promoting structural diversity, equity and inclusion of proposed project