A researchers shows the contents of a sample tube to a student

Participate in the Gund Leadership Academy

The Gund Leadership Academy (GLA) is a professional development program of workshops, panel discussions, and seminars that will help our graduate students and postdoctoral fellows become effective, confident, and influential leaders with their research.

The program will cover many elements of leadership, including research, publishing, communications, policy outreach, diversity and inclusion, and productivity. The trainings will be led by members of the Gund community who are leading experts in these key areas.

We have a broad vision of “leadership.” Some leaders have unmistakable presence, while others are quietly influential. The skills our graduate and postdoctoral Fellows will take from this program can be applied to any career direction—academia, nonprofit, or government.

About the program:

  • Trainings comprise skills not generally taught in traditional credit courses.
  • Trainers include outside experts and UVM faculty and staff.
  • Trainings are 2-4 hours, casual, highly interactive, and reflect the direct experience of the instructor.
  • Each training may be arranged as a presentation, panel discussion, or workshop.
  • Participants will have the opportunity to provide suggestions and feedback.

We expect a high level of participation from our graduate students, including: at least four trainings for master’s students and six trainings for PhD students before they graduate, and at least four trainings for postdocs during their two-year fellowship. All Fellows are required to take one equity training.

The Gund will offer three to five trainings per academic year and coordinate with other units to offer joint opportunities. Currently, these trainings are not offered for credit, but we will explore that option as the program develops.

Spring 2024 Events

How to Help Each Other and Ourselves: Skills and Knowledge for Wellness, Stress Management, and Inclusive Leadership

Speakers: Walter Brownsword III, Outreach Coordinator, Counseling and Psychiatry Services (CAPS), UVM Center for Health and Wellbeing; Annie Valentine, Education and Training Manager, UVM Center for Health and Wellbeing

February 8, 9-11am with breakfast available starting a few minutes early

Farrell 107

This workshop will discuss current mental health trends in higher education, specifically the graduate student population.  Presenters will describe the  public health approach to health and wellbeing, health equity,  and mental health literacy concepts. Presenters and participants will explore strategies to identify levels of stress and engage with tools to manage mental and emotional health needs.

Science to Policy Impact: What early-career researchers need to know

Speaker: Interdisciplinary scientist Heather Tallis, who recently led biodiversity and conservation programs at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Facilitator: Amanda Sardonis, Gund Institute Director of Policy and Partnerships

March 22, 9-11am with breakfast available starting a few minutes early

Aiken 103 (location to be confirmed)

What is the demand for policy-relevant research and expertise, and how can scholars effectively engage in the policymaking process? This workshop will explore the science-to-policy pipeline, and the various modes and levels of engagement, from responding to requests for information and developing relationships of trust and understanding with policymakers to framing policy-relevant research questions.

More about the speaker:
A broadly published scientist, policy advisor, passionate speaker and non-profit executive, Heather Tallis works to bridge nature, the economy and people's lives. Dr. Tallis led the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy nature portfolio under the Biden-Harris Administration, driving cross agency action on nature-based solutions, advancing efforts to account for nature in benefit-cost analysis, and with the US Global Change Research Program, creating the National Nature Assessment. Through previous work with The Nature Conservancy and the Natural Capital Project, she has used the tools of science, human centered design and innovation to infuse nature into decisions with local communities, governments and the private sector around the globe. As an interdisciplinary scientist, Dr. Tallis has brought biodiversity and conservation expertise to the World Economic Forum, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and the boards of local and global non-profit and research organizations.

Sharing Your Story Effectively: Crafting Your Key Messages, Personal Bios, and Social Media

Speakers: Lauren Milideo, Strategic Communications Manager for Gund Institute and UVM;  Tanya Tran, Social Media Manager, UVM Communications, and Basil Waugh, Media Relations Director, UVM Communications

April 12, 9-11am with breakfast available starting a few minutes early

Farrell 107                    

Think about and practice introducing yourself and your work/works to a wide range of audiences. From crafting personal bios to speaking with community groups, journalists, and government leaders, to building your presence on LinkedIn or other social media, participants will use this learning opportunity to help share their studies and interests with the public.

Spring 2023 Events

Policy Engagement Workshop

Facilitator: Stephen Posner, Gund Director of Policy
Panelists: Policy practitioners to be confirmed.

Wednesday, Sept. 28 from 10am-12pm

This workshop will empower participants to engage with policymakers and share what they do, what they know – and most importantly, why it matters – in clear, lively terms. Participants will learn from a panel of practitioners about how research and policy interact. We will prepare for opportunities to engage with policy through facilitated discussion, hands-on practice, and concrete tips and tools.

2 hours total, followed by an optional lunch with the panelists. RSVPs will be required

Getting the Resources You Need for Your Research: Grant Writing

Facilitators: Lini Wollenberg is a Gund Fellow and Research Professor at UVM, and Tom Dietz is a Gund Affiliate and University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University.

Friday, Nov. 4, 2-4pm

Two experienced grant writers will lead this workshop providing real-world examples of proposals that get funded and ones that don’t. We’ll explore what goes into a proposal and what funders are looking for. Whether you’re new to the process or have been engaging in RFP cycles for years, you’ll benefit from this workshop.

2 hours total. RSVPs will be required.

Science Communication: Connecting with Your Audience to Share the Wonder and Joy of Your Research

Facilitator: Natalie Miller, Vermont Comedy Club

Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 2-4pm

Through this interactive workshop with Natalie Miller (Vermont Comedy Club), you’ll learn productive and effective communication strategies through improv exercises that teach us to listen closely and pay attention to our audiences. This will be a fun and participatory workshop on building your skills for more effective research communication with your stakeholders, policymakers, colleagues, advisors, future employers, the general public, or even your neighbor! This is an in-person-only session and space is limited.

Fall 2022 Events

The Future of Open Access: How Will it Impact You?


Meredith Niles (Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences)
Mary Cushman (Professor of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology Divison and Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Department of Medicine)
Dan DeSanto (Associate Professor, UVM Libraries)
Kendall Fortney (Program Director, Open Source Program Office)

Wednesday, March 8 from 12-1:30pm

This event will explore open access publishing and principles with UVM community members. Themes to be discussed include the cost of publishing, equity in publishing, the future of open access, and more. Following the panel discussion, the floor will be opened for questions and comments from the audience.
1.5 hours with lunch provided. RSVP requested, open to all.

Location: Davis Auditorium (between the Larner Learning Commons and UVMMC)

A hybrid option will be available closer to the date.

Register Here

Leadership & Listening for Working with Communities

Facilitators: Elena Bennett is a Gund Affiliate and Professor of Sustainability Science at McGill University.
Monday, April 3, 2-4pm

This workshop will explore how two things can transform your leadership and ability to work with others: (1) knowing yourself better, and (2) listening better. We will do two main exercises: one to better understand ourselves, and a second to practice active listening. Both are key components of working with communities and other teams.

2 hours total. RSVPs required.

Register Here