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Brown Executive Scholars Training Program

Meet current and previous BEST scholars from 201620152014, 2013, 2012 and 2011.

The Brown Executive Scholars Training (BEST) Program is designed to help prepare advanced master’s students and doctoral candidates for 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 and the Office of Institutional Diversity. 

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 senior administrators through one-on-one mentoring relationships and professional development activities.
  3. Enhance the leadership skills of graduate students who aspire to pursue careers in academic administration.

Key Activities

  1. Attend weekly BEST Program seminars and roundtables
  2. Meet at least once each month with assigned administrative sponsors
  3. Create a career development plan
  4. Complete a mini-practicum project (optional)

Hear from program alums about their experiences!

 Miriam Irshad '15 MPH


Lawrence Were, doctoral candidate in Health Services Research

Acey Sieffert, PhD candidate in French Studies

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.

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 Programs directors. 

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. 

Senior administrative staff from across the University will help select a diverse and cross-disciplinary cohort of promising scholars. 
Meet previous BEST scholars from 20162015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011

Scholars will complete a skills and expectations pre-survey, individual seminar evaluations and an overall program-ending post-survey. 

Application Requirements:

  1. Be an advanced* master’s student or doctoral candidate
  2. Obtain Director of Graduate Study (DGS) approval
  3. Present a letter of recommendation from their department chair
  4. Submit a CV
  5. Include a personal statement outlining their educational and professional career aspirations and stating how participation in the BEST Program will assist in meeting those goals (300 words or less).  Please rank the top three areas of interest from the following:
    • Academic Affairs
    • Diversity
    • Education and Training
    • Faculty Affairs
    • Governance
    • Student Support

*Master’s degree students must have completed at least one semester of full time coursework in their current program prior to the beginning of the fellowship. 

Application Timeline - Spring Term

Call for applications: October 1
Application deadline: November 13
Application review: November 14 - December 11
Applicants notified of decision: December 15

For questions or concerns please contact Vanessa Ryan by email. All application materials should be submitted directly to Dean Ryan no later than November 13.