LEAP is a fellowship in responsible biotechnology development for emerging leaders working across organizations, disciplines and sectors. 

LEAP brings together established and emerging leaders in synthetic biology who are invested in shaping the direction of biotechnology in alignment with public interests. Such forward-reaching integration of biotechnology and public interests requires vision, strategy and commitment. The LEAP Fellowship Program aims to create a supportive professional community in which emerging leaders across disciplines and sectors work together to develop their skills and insights, and put them into action. 

Established in 2012, LEAP has evolved to now operate as a year-long nonresidential fellowship program. Along with ongoing collaboration throughout the year, Fellows participate in facilitated workshops. The workshops provide emerging leaders with a practical overview of the political, economic, social and technical landscape of biotechnology and current challenges associated with this landscape; offer participants hands-on experience in framing these real-world challenges as solvable problems; and cultivate a professional network of peers and mentors. 

The first retreat, the Landscaping Workshop, focuses on exposing fellows to a broad social, political and economic overview of the field and the diverse stakeholders in biotechnology. The second retreat, the Leadership Workshop, concentrates on how to engage with these stakeholders and their sometimes competing needs when leading projects in the public interest. 

Ultimately, the workshops guide the LEAP Fellows in creating and developing Strategic Action Plans that articulate key challenges present at the intersections of biotechnology and public interests, and that outline actionable steps as they seek to lead in resolving these challenges. A selection of these proposals receive Catalyst Grants to seed their next steps in their development. 



Fellows are selected from across disciplines and from around the world.

Landscaping Workshop

A strategic overview of the visions, interests and organizations shaping biotechnology.

Leadership Workshop

Intensive facilitation to guide the development of personal skills, and action plans.

Action Plan Development

Fellows integrate their learnings from the program and translate them into action.

Program History

A look at the past cohorts in the LEAP program. 

The speakers—great selection! Also the quality of the fellows—everyone was outstanding
and very accomplished.
— 2015 LEAP Fellow
The workshops were invaluable to me in regards to seeing how my interests and skills fit into the broader community. I was fluctuating on my plans before the program, and the workshops really helped me revise the vision.
— 2015 LEAP Fellow