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Brown Executive Scholars Training Program

Meet current and previous BEST scholars from 20182017201620152014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2019

The Brown Executive Scholars Training (BEST) Program is designed to expose doctoral students and master’s students to careers in higher education administration. Every fall eight to 10 graduate students are chosen to participate in this 12-week mentored, education and training program. This program was established in 2010 and is sponsored by the Graduate School. 

To help prepare graduate students for future leadership roles in higher education administration through a semester-long, mentored education and training experience.


  1. Educate graduate students about university administration and the roles and responsibilities of senior administrators.
  2. Expose graduate students to administrators through one-on-one mentoring relationships.
  3. Enhance the leadership skills of graduate students through engaged discussion and professional development activities.

Key Activities

  1. Attend weekly BEST Program seminars and roundtables (weekly meetings are most often scheduled for Thursdays of the week; depending on speaker availability, some lunch seminars may be on Wednesdays.)
  2. Meet at least once each month with assigned administrative sponsors
  3. Create a career development plan
  4. Complete a mini-practicum project (optional)

Scholars will be allowed two excused absences throughout the duration of the program. Scholars with excessive absences may be dismissed from the program and will not receive certificates of completion. The program will run from late January to late April. 

Roundtables and Professional Development
Scholars will spend up to 30 minutes reflecting on topics related to each seminar either before or after the presentation. These discussions will be facilitated by BEST Program staff. Scholars may also engage in professional development activities such as CV-resume writing and receive tips on how to identify and highlight transferable skills.  

Administrative Sponsors
Scholars will be paired with administrators from key areas of the university to learn about their specific role, the function of their area and to receive advice and support related to their own pursuit of a career in academic administration. Scholars are expected to meet with administrative sponsors for no less than one hour at least once each month and may engage in an optional mini-practicum project.

Hear from program alums about their experiences!

Mai Hunt, PhD Student in Hispanic Studies




Ben Wilks, doctoral candidate in Biomedical Engineering



Emily Drennan '19 PhD in Egyptology & Assyriology


Senior administrative staff from across the University will help select a diverse and cross-disciplinary cohort of promising scholars. Meet previous BEST scholars from 2019, 2018201720162015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011

Scholars will complete an overall program survey. 

Applicants must be an advanced master’s student or doctoral student. Master’s degree students must have completed at least one semester of full time coursework in their current graduate program prior to the beginning of the BEST program. 

Application Requirements:

Student Application 
Complete through UFunds, See under “Graduate School Distinctive Opportunities” – application to go live in October 2022.

Components to prepare: 

  1. CV or resume
  2. Personal statement of 500 words or less that outlines the applicant’s educational and professional career aspirations and states how participation in the BEST Program will assist in meeting those goals
  3. Statement that ranks the top three areas of interest from the following: Academic Affairs, Diversity, Education and Training, Faculty Affairs, Governance, Student Support

Components to request:

Through UFunds: 

  1. Message of support from yourDGS (affirming student standing)
  2. Message of recommendation from a faculty advisor, thesis/dissertation committee member, or department chair who can affirm why participation in the program will be valuable for you (If your DGS can affirm student standing and recommend you to the program, this may be sent as one combined message.)

These messages of support should be emailed separately to [email protected]

For any questions, please contact [email protected].

Application deadline - extended: November 25 at 5:00 pm