The Leadership Learning Labs (L3) is an online professional learning opportunity for science-engagement practitioners. This opportunity is a collaboration between the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) and the Informal Leadership Learning Collaborative (ILLC).

About the program

L3 was created to provide effective leadership training and discussion among science-engagement and civic-science leaders, as those leaders navigate the path forward for their work, teams, projects, and organizations during and following the COVID-19 public-health and economic crises, and the growing calls for social and racial justice.

This professional learning opportunity is an eight-month, online, cohort-based program designed to connect with the applicant’s work to advance the science-engagement field and ensure it is inclusive and equitable. It is intended to create a gathering space to talk about leadership dilemmas and place them into the context our world is currently facing.

We are accepting applications from individuals who are willing and motivated to commit to completing the eight-month arc of the program (likely to involve a minimum of 16 hours in virtual sessions, reading one full-length book and optional articles, and at least eight hours of pre-/post-work). Each cohort will meet monthly with some application activities between meetings. A cohort will comprise six to eight participants, including two ILLC co-learners who will provide some light support. Each cohort is expected to self-facilitate conversations using a learning plan provided for the program.

Because of the generous support of the Rita Allen Foundation, there is no fee to participate in this program, though participants will be required to purchase one leadership development book at their own expense. ASTC and ILLC are committed to ensuring that cost is not a barrier to participation and will work with participants to provide materials scholarships if needed.

This opportunity closed on December 7, 2020.

Eligibility requirements

This opportunity is open to all science-engagement professionals who are current employees of ASTC-member institutions, LISTEN Network institutions, and Rita Allen Foundation Civic Science Fellows.

Applicants must be supervisors, managers or project management staff with current responsibilities that may include directly reporting staff or work in complex project teams (i.e., would include regular coordination of work and performance management) and budgetary accountability, or those that find themselves thrust into new leadership roles as a result of current events at their institutions around COVID-19, the economic crisis, and social- and racial-justice efforts.

This collaboration is focused on promoting a diverse and inclusive community that wants to advance justice, diversity, accessibility, inclusivity, and equity. This program is committed to including applicants who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color (BIPOC); LGBTQIA+; differently-abled; and persons with other self-identified dimensions of diversity.  

We encourage you to discuss your application with your supervisor but do not require a letter from them.  Some activities for this program may take place during regular working hours and you may wish to apply some of the exercises to your work. Therefore, your participation will ideally be supported by your employing organization.

Preferred qualities for applicants

  • Enthusiasm for learning alongside science-engagement professionals in a cohort-based program including a willingness and ability to be reflective about their current role.
  • An ability to be aware of, and a willingness to examine and grow, around diversity and identity questions
  • Humility, an ability to listen, and strong communication skills. Examples of this might include:
    • experience or willingness to engage diverse individuals, organizations, and communities in communication and ongoing conversations
    • leadership experience in multidisciplinary and/or culturally sensitive environments
    • an aptitude for and/or an interest in science communication 
    • the mindset of a lifelong learner
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