General Fellow Information | Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) | University of Minnesota
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Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities

LEND Fellows


LEND fellows are graduate or postgraduate students, or community members selected for their outstanding skills and commitment to improving the quality of life for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families.

In partnership with other academic departments, the LEND interdisciplinary collaboration will offer 6-10 graduate level students (masters or doctoral) opportunities as fellows.

LEND Fellow Benefits

There are many benefits to being a LEND fellow.

  • Opportunity to participate in a state of the art clinical and community training experience with one-to-one faculty mentoring.
  • Unique chance to learn with a group of students from other disciplines.
  • Stipend payment
  • Focused training on leadership skills and competencies.
  • Connections to other fellows in the United States with similar academic backgrounds and interest in neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Fellowship Requirements

  • Late August two-day mandatory orientation and person-centered thinking training
  • Weekly Thursday attendance to MNLEND thematically designed modules, following the UMN academic calendar (Early September to Mid-May)
  • Disability Policy and Services course (OLPD5356)* - This course is part of the Disability Policy and Services Certificate. The complete 12-credit certificate is an option for MNLEND Fellows. *An alternative Policy & Advocacy training may be substituted for OLPD5356 if it cannot be taken for tuition credit for any reason.
  • Clinic rotations at the University of Minnesota’s Autism/NDD Clinic and across 9+ metro-area interdisciplinary clinical sites
  • Families as Teachers experience - Fellows learn directly from families
  • Select online training modules
  • Team-building activities and special events and trainings
  • Individualized policy, clinical, community organizing and/or research-based project under mentorship of MNLEND faculty

The MCH Leadership Competencies

Twelve MCH leadership competencies are presented here and organized into the three categories described in the conceptual framework. These categories include:
  1. Self
    1. MCH Knowledge Base
    2. Self-reflection
    3. Ethics and Professionalism
    4. Critical Thinking
  2. Others
    1. Communication
    2. Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
    3. Cultural Competency
    4. Family-centered Care
    5. Developing Others through Teaching and Mentoring
    6. Interdisciplinary Team Building
  3. Wider Community
    1. Working with Communities and Systems
    2. Policy and Advocacy
Each of the 12 competencies includes a definition of the competency, knowledge areas, and basic and advanced skills for that competency. Read more about the MCH competenciesPDF document.

MNLEND Competencies

  1. Knowledge about Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
  2. Knowledge specific to Autism Spectrum and Related Disorders
  3. Leadership
  4. Interdisciplinary Training, Teaching, and Practice
  5. Cultural Competence
  6. Family Centered Care
  7. Community Supports and Services
  8. Health Disparities
  9. Transitions to Adulthood
  10. Advocacy
  11. Evidence Based Health Science and Care
  12. Self-determination and Self-advocacy
  13. Research
  14. Technology
  15. Communication and Teaching
  16. Public Health and Health Policy
  17. Health Systems


LEND Fellowship award stipends typically range from $4000-$12,000, dependent upon the type of fellowship awarded.

  • Post Doctoral Fellows receive the highest level of awards due to their level of expertise. 1.0 FTE awards Post Doc positions are rare. Most LEND Post Doctoral Fellows join LEND at the .50 or .25 FTE level, as they often also work within respective University Research Centers affiliated with MN LEND.
  • Predoctoral Fellows are typically awarded $10,000-11,000, based upon their individual FAFSA funding limit. Predoctoral Fellows must be registered as full-time graduate students at the University of Minnesota.
  • Community Fellows are typically awarded within a $4000-5000 range, dependent upon available funds in the annual budget. Community Fellows often are active family advocates, self-advocates, or community-based professional advocates.

Kristen Andrew 2011-12 LEND Fellow

"LEND taught me to always remember that although you may treat the individual for a short period of time, your treatment should look across the lifespan and think about how it may impact their future. I know these are values that I will strive to carry with me not only as I begin practicing as a Speech Language Pathologist but throughout my entire career."

Kristen Andrew 2011-12 LEND Fellow