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LEAP Researchers.

LEAP Researchers is a program for the joint personal and professional development of early career researchers – Masters and PhD students and post-doctoral researchers addressing sustainability challenges.

Why do we run the LEAP Researchers program?

Many Early Career Researchers find it difficult to pursue innovative, out of the box research addressing urgent sustainability challenges, especially in the fields of economics and management. During their PhD studies, they often lack personal and professional support, not only when it comes to their own projects. They struggle to embrace their role of educators and often face the dominance of traditional theories and education methods at their institutions. This is why in 2020, we launched a pilot project of our leadership program called LEAP Researchers with 12 early career researchers, aiming to address these challenges.

We aim at turning this pilot project into a successful program with long-lasting effects on future professors and researchers participating.

about the program.

This year’s research cohort is a collaboration between the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) – the largest organized relationship between the United Nations and management-related higher education institutions – and oikos International. Business leaders are undeniably one of the most important agents to create sustainable positive development for the world. This program aims to combat the skill set development gap, which is needed to address current global challenges including social, economic, and ecological dimensions. It aims to inspire a new paradigm of leadership and equip emerging academics with the skills to co-create meaningful change.

What does the LEAP Researchers program bring to its participants?

  •  Connection, collaboration and joint learning with like-minded early career researchers from around the world tailored to participants’ needs and wishes. The group will co-create their own learning process and shape the sessions together with the facilitators to build supportive social interaction.
  •  Individualized and peer engagements with coaches throughout the process to aid development towards achieving meaningful change.
  •  A community of practice that allows for implementing what participants learned through supporting university students’ projects and facilitating change at their institutions. Most of the projects aim at embedding sustainability into the core of economics and business education. (Examples: student driven curricula reviews, course co-creation, campaigning, raising awareness on sustainability, etc.)

Who is welcome to join? What is the time commitment?

The program is aimed at Masters and PhD students, or post-doctoral researchers who address sustainability challenges in their research and/or teaching and have a high motivation to develop personally and professionally. Furthermore, this opportunity aims to seek out individuals with the intrinsic motivation to improve their own understanding of creativity and pedagogy towards the overall pursuit of sustainable development. The vision of an economic system that respects ecosystem limits and serves society should be close to participants’ minds and hearts. The majority of participants will have an economics and/or business background; however, participants from other fields are also welcome – diversity in knowledge and experience has been highly appreciated by the previous participants. Therefore, we open the program to participants from other disciplines and to more senior participants. Participation is free of charge.

Time commitment: 4-5 hours per month from March 2024 to November 2024

Certification: Every participant who successfully completes the program will receive the LEAP Researchers Certificate, in collaboration with PRME and the Impactful Five (i5) project.

be a part of the next cohort

Click here to apply

LEAP Researchers 2024 in a Nutshell

  1. 9-month leadership development program for 50 early career researchers, from March to November 2024
  2. Monthly group online sessions tailored to participants’ needs, personal development themes alternate professional ones
  3. Individual coach per every participant and the possibility to start a peer group coaching
  4. Possibility to support university students in their sustainability-oriented projects
  5. Minimum time commitment: 4-5 hours per month
  6. Participation is free of charge for everyone

previous co-horts.

what's going on right now

latest news.

impact summary.

We have mapped this impact while interviewing the LEAP Researchers 2022 program participants. The powerful reflections and learnings coming from them drive us every day to act and continue developing this program together with incredible scholars, coaches, volunteers, and the oikos International team. During each and every session, we cultivate our self-awareness, integrity, and intellectual courage, develop professionally & personally, and practice. We also connect and support each other which makes us stronger and more powerful! Below you will find the main areas of our impact on participants and beyond.

  1. Teaching competencies: The higher ability to work with students, motivate and support them, improvement of supervising skills
  2. Sustainability embedded in lectures and research: development of new courses where sustainability plays a crucial role. At least two new courses were inspired by the LEAP Researchers program and are conducted by the participants
  3. Personal Competencies and Self-Awareness: Increase in empathy, ability to listen, ability to set own boundaries, ability to negotiate and address conflicts, knowledge of own strengths and their application on personal and professional lifeHigher Intellectual Courage and Confidence: Ability to stand up for nonconventional research, higher ability to influence management at own research and education institutions
  4. New Research and Teaching collaborations: At least two new research projects and joint grant applications in the fields of sustainability strategy and education innovation came from the LEAP Researchers 2023

collaborators & partners.

Moving forward together, beyond sustainability.