The MNLEND program welcomes Fellows from a variety of different professional, academic, and experiential backgrounds. MNLEND accepts Fellows from University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus academic disciplines, including Social Work, Public Health Administration, Maternal and Child Health, Special Education, Educational Psychology, Child Psychology, School Psychology, Nutrition, Genetic Counseling, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Occupational Therapy, Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology, Physical Therapy, and Pediatric Dentistry. Additional disciplines are welcome to apply.

MNLEND also warmly invites Fellows who are active community members in experientially-based fields, such as Community Advocacy, Family Advocacy, and Self Advocacy, and/or are working professionals in disability-related fields and/or graduate students enrolled in universities other than the University of Minnesota. A strong background and/or interest in systems change, as well as in disability, are expected to be shown in any application.

Applicants for the MNLEND program must be US citizens or documented US permanent residents who can supply proof of residency. This restriction is required by our funder - the U.S. Maternal and Child Health Bureau - which is a federal government agency. International guests are welcome to apply but they cannot be awarded stipends.

Applications for the MNLEND program are accepted online. For alternative or accessible format options, contact Emma Jackson:

The next 2022-23 cohort, upon acceptance, will require active weekly participation from late August 2022 through mid-May 2023. 

Equal Opportunity Statement: The University of Minnesota shall provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Applicants from under-represented racial, ethnic, or linguistic or under-resourced communities are strongly encouraged to apply to MNLEND.

Questions regarding MNLEND applications? Contact Emma Jackson at

What type of Fellowship Should You Consider?

There are three types of MNLEND applications. Read below descriptions carefully and then select the application type that matches your situation the best.

Postdoctoral Fellowship - Postdoctoral Fellowships are for applicants who have completed their doctoral degree and are now working within a UMN-based center or department, or who have a specific center in mind for continuing their research on the UMN Twin Cities campus. Reaching out to UMN Research Centers and gauging their interest in hosting you is encouraged prior to application, and a letter of support from a Center would strengthen your application.

Part-time postdoctoral fellowships are also possible in collaboration with an applicant’s respective University of Minnesota home department/center. Being housed at The University of Minnesota’s Institute of Community Integration may be a possibility for exceptionally strong postdoctoral candidates who can demonstrate extensive disability-related research experience. The MNLEND postdoctoral position is considered a full time research and/or clinical position of 1,788 hours, and stipends are based on NIH postdoctoral standards available at Part-time positions are prorated both in stipend and hours based on NIH rates.

Predoctoral Fellowship - Predoctoral Fellowships are only for those graduate students who are enrolled in the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities full-time and in the process of completing their masters or doctoral degrees in one of the disciplines of our LEND Faculty. Consideration of an outside discipline is also possible, if related to the MNLEND training mission. Predoctoral Fellows are expected to contribute a total of 320 hours in the academic year. Those obtaining graduate degrees at outside universities should apply for the community fellowship (see below).

Community Fellowship - Community Fellowships are designed for self- and community advocates, family advocates, and/or working professionals who have a strong interest in disability and who are actively engaged in their communities. The Community Fellowship is also for any graduate students who are not enrolled full-time in a University of Minnesota-based graduate program, yet may be enrolled at outside universities. Community fellows often have lived experiences which could require additional accommodation for their participation in the MNLEND program; thus, LEND will assist in designing a training program that is suitable to each Community Fellow’s goals and situation. Community Fellows are expected to contribute a total of 320 hours in the academic year.

The MNLEND year officially spans from July 1 until June 30; however, active in-person training begins late August each year and runs through mid-May. Following an intensive two-day orientation and training in late August, Fellows are expected to attend weekly Thursday sessions from 8:30am-12:00pm from early September through mid-May.

Fellow Requirements

  • Attend Late August two-day orientation and introduction to person- and family-centered thinking training
  • Attend Weekly Thursday mornings sessions, following the UMN academic calendar (Early September to Mid May)
  • Complete weekly assigned online training materials and written reflections
  • Complete Disability Policy and Services Competency Training
  • Complete Clinical observations at the M Health Autism/NDD Clinics and other available clinics
  • Join Families and Youth as Teachers experience
  • Complete a LEND project

For the MNLEND Application, you will need to:

  1. Update your résumé or CV to upload in PDF format into the application system.
  2. Locate two references who can attest in letter format to your professional and/or academic abilities and readiness for leadership training in MNLEND and let them know your preferred deadline (Dec 1 or March 15). After you submit your reference information, both references will receive an automatic email from MNLEND using the email address you provided, with a one-time-use link they use to upload their letter of reference. They will need to upload their letter in PDF or Word.doc format by the deadline you selected.
  3. Draft a double-spaced Letter of Interest (LOI) (11-12 font size; 1 inch margins, single or double-spaced; 4-page max.) to be uploaded in PDF format. Your letter must address these points succinctly: Points to Cover in LOI (PDF).
  4. FOR PREDOC AND POSTDOC APPLICANTS ONLY: Obtain copies of your complete and in-progress university transcripts and upload them into the application system as one single PDF format, with the most recent transcript at top. If you are new to your graduate program, or just applied, upload your full undergraduate transcript and a list of in-progress courses.
    Unofficial copies of transcripts are acceptable, and again all transcripts should be combined into one scanned PDF document for uploading into the application system.