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Now live! Explore the program for the upcoming 2024 Global Conference, taking place May 5-8, 2024.

LeadersLink Program

Building Nonprofit Capacity
FasterCures LeadersLink Program

What is the FasterCures LeadersLink Program?

Established in 2020, the FasterCures LeadersLink Program is a capacity-building program to support the personal development of an emerging cadre of leaders of nonprofit organizations that fund or conduct biomedical research. LeadersLink focuses on building participants’ leadership skills and professional network and addressing their top priorities through mentorship, a capstone project, a series of convenings, virtual collaboration, and access to Milken Institute events and networks.  

What Are the Goals of the Program?

The program aims to help promising nonprofit research leaders worldwide build high-performing organizations and facilitate the growth of their peer support network. Participants set and address goals as part of their capstone project tailored to their organizational and professional priorities. Each program cohort will have a different theme that participants will focus on as part of their capstone project goals. This year’s theme is engaging diverse patients across the spectrum of R&D. Through the 20-month program (March 2024–December 2025), participants will develop knowledge and connections that can aid them in bringing about positive changes within their organizations and throughout the biomedical ecosystem. 

Who Can Participate?

LeadersLink is primarily geared toward chief executives of nonprofit organizations that fund or conduct medical research who are still relatively new to their role or organization (within three years). Applicants are assessed on their vision for their personal leadership growth and their organization’s advancement, the relevance of their proposed capstone project to the theme established for each cohort, and the anticipated overall benefit from participation in the program. 

Why Participate?

Program participants benefit by:

  • Acquiring knowledge and relationships to complete an individualized capstone project that addresses their critical needs as an executive leader. 

  • Becoming part of a community of peers at other nonprofit research organizations, mentors and experts, and a broad network of professionals across the entire biomedical ecosystem. This includes pharmaceutical developers, policymakers, regulators, payers, patient organizations, nonprofit organizations, providers, and researchers. 

  • Gaining access to Milken Institute events, which attract the nation’s top thought leaders and address the most critical issues facing our world.  

Program Elements and Requirements

As part of the program, participants must commit to the following:

  • Capstone Project: Complete a capstone project central to the applicant’s organizational and individual needs and relevant to others in the biomedical research system. Applicants will develop a capstone plan with objectives that can be accomplished within 12–20 months (by December 2025). Participants will be expected to present their capstone projects at several points during the program duration, including an introductory, interim, and final presentation. 

  • In-Person Convenings:  Attend annual Milken Institute events, including the Global Conference in Los Angeles and the Milken Institute’s Future of Health Summit in Washington, DC. 

  • Quarterly Mentor Engagement Meetings: Connect with mentors at least once per quarter in person or virtually to seek and exchange advice and ideas and provide updates on capstone progress. Note: Throughout the cohort, funding will be available to support travel, if necessary, for up to two of the quarterly meetups to occur in person based on mutual availability and interest. 

  • Quarterly Participant Sharing Sessions: Connect with other program participants, mentors, experts, and LeadersLink alumni once per quarter for topic-specific and open forum virtual discussions on topics about participant capstone projects, organizational leadership, and organizational challenges. 

  • Access to Subject-Matter Experts:  FasterCures will also provide connections to individuals with expertise in relevant skills who have agreed to provide ad hoc advice and assistance with participants’ capstone projects. 

  • Annual Leadership Development Opportunities: Throughout the program, participants will be able to participate in two leadership development events designed to enhance leadership skills and build strategies to be more effective executive leaders.  

  • Optional Recommended Activities: Participants will be invited to additional events to enrich their program experience, including  The Research Acceleration and Innovation Network (TRAIN) workshops or webinars, and relevant training.

  • Program Expenses: There is no fee to participate in LeadersLink. LeadersLink participants will receive an annual stipend of $1,600 to help support additional costs associated with the program. Participants are also eligible for travel reimbursement for the two in-person convenings (up to $750 per calendar year). All expenses must be approved by FasterCures before any travel arrangements are made.

For More Information 

If you are interested in receiving future announcements about the program or have any questions about the application or program, please get in touch with [email protected]. Sign up for the FasterCures SmartBrief Newsletter or follow FasterCures on LinkedIn and @FasterCures on X to receive future program announcements.   

Learn More about Past LeadersLink Participants 

Since 2020, two cohorts of emerging nonprofit leaders have participated in the FasterCures LeadersLink program. These groups represent a variety of small to medium-sized patient organizations, located in the US, Canada, and the UK, addressing both rare and common diseases. The first cohort focused on building organizational venture philanthropy investing capacity, and the second focused on building patient data resources. Learn about the 2020–2021 cohort. Learn about the 2022–2023 cohort