Leadership and Management Strategies for Clinical Investigators

Cultivate your leadership to maximize your impact

Clinical investigators, physician-scientists and multidisciplinary teams interfacing with clinical departments balance many tensions in their work. Inherent conflicts may exist between meeting institutional needs for clinical care, building a research practice and simultaneously being maximally effective today, while strategizing for the future.

As responsibilities increase and diversify, success on individual merits becomes less sustainable and many researchers begin to build teams critical to their missions. As a collaboration between Kellogg and NUCATS, this course will help researchers harness unique leadership skills that are not taught in the many years of clinical and scientific education most have already completed.

This four-day program provides a chance to build a foundation of evidence-based management and leadership skills that can be applied to the business side of science.

“This program is an extremely unique experience as a clinical investigator. It is rare to get the opportunity to learn about leadership and management skills directly from professors at a world renowned business school. All of the professors were also willing to engage with us after the course. I enjoyed meeting other clinical investigators across the institution, and I learned many strategies from them on how to advance my research career.” [2023 Participant]

Center for Nonprofit Management

2023 Cohort at Wieboldt Hall, Downtown Chicago


Who Should Attend

  • Clinical investigators
  • Physician scientists
  • Multidisciplinary teams interfacing with clinical departments

Key Benefits

  • Gain exposure to essential topics in management including culture as a driver of successful organizations, equitable people processes, diversifying funding sources and strategic time management
  • Learn to harness your own leadership strengths to build effective work teams and influence your stakeholders
  • Learn about research-tested business frameworks to apply to your practice in a university setting
  • Network with peers for ongoing support and ideas

Program Content

The curriculum will offer a rigorous and evidence-based classroom learning experience paired with relevant tools and business principles that can be put into practice immediately.

Leadership and Management Topics:

  • Leveraging strengths-based leadership
  • Providing feedback and managing difficult conversations
  • Establishing equitable people processes such as hiring and onboarding
  • Understanding and creating strong organizational culture
  • Diversifying funding sources
  • Communicating science for impact
  • Enhancing persuasion and influence skills


Amy Stewart Smith - Academic Director; Director of Nonprofit Executive Programs

Heather Barnes - Adjunct Lecturer in Leadership Development and Communications

Michelle Bess - SVP of People, OppFi

Michelle L. Buck - Clinical Professor of Executive Education

Richard Jolly - Clinical Associate Professor of Management & Organizations

Liz Livingston Howard - Clinical Professor of Management; Executive Director of Nonprofit Executive Education

Loran Nordgren - Professor of Management and Organizations

Nicholas A. Pearce - Clinical Professor of Management & Organizations

Accommodations, Fees & Policies


Nonprofit Management Programs are held at Northwestern University's Chicago Campus.

Wieboldt Hall
340 East Superior Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Chicago Campus Parking Map - Please Note: the Huron Superior Parking A lot and the Erie Ontario Parking C & D lots are available to the public and should be used when attending programs at Wieboldt Hall.

Application Deadline

The deadline for registration is Friday, April 19, 2024.

Hospitality during the Program

We strive to provide healthy meal choices for our participants for breakfast, lunch and breaks. We typically provide a range of choices, including some vegetarian-friendly and gluten-avoidant selections. We cannot meet all dietary preferences, but we will do our best to accommodate health restrictions, religious restrictions and food allergies.

Cancellation Policy:

Participants must notify the Program Manager five business days in advance of the program start date if they are unable to attend. Otherwise, participants will be charged 20% of the stated program fees.

When canceling a program registration, participants may choose to rollover their payment to a future program or receive a refund. Participants are allowed three rollovers, after the third rollover, participants forfeit the money paid to the Center for Nonprofit Management.

*Refund or rollover must be requested at the time of the program cancellation. Once a program payment has been rolled over, a monetary refund is no longer an option. The participant must continue with the rollover process.

What Participants Say

"I had just received my first big NIH grant when I began this course, so it was incredibly well-timed! I was beginning to go from being primarily a co-I on folks’ projects to primarily a PI, so I was just beginning to think of my leadership and management style, building a team, budgeting, and strategizing for future funding opportunities to sustain my work beyond federal funds. I found this course incredibly useful in offering time to learn about myself, reflect on and plan for my future, as well as learn from my peers about their strategies. I loved the networking aspect of it and still keep in touch with folks from my cohort. Win-win."

"The program provided me pivotal ways to optimize management of my research lab while combining my clinical responsibilities. Overall it has helped greatly to improve my efficiency in these different roles. It was also a wonderful way to meet other clinician-scientists at Northwestern, who were at a similar stage of career and facing many of the same challenges and opportunities."

"The course was energizing and impactful for me. I particularly appreciated learning evidence-based strategies for the types of important tasks for which we rarely receive training as investigators, like successful team leadership and task prioritization. I also learned a lot from fellow colleagues and built lasting connections."

"The course provided unique access to experts and their practical advice and evidence surrounding effective methods for managing a research team. Perhaps most important, specific exercises during the course were designed so that I could gain valuable insight as to my own strengths and weaknesses as a leader. I still utilize things I learned during the course and reflect periodically on whether I’m implementing changes that will increase my research program’s longevity."

"The course was a wonderful opportunity to learn strategies from leaders in the business field that I could immediately implement. The collaborative environment fostered a sense of community among participants that has allowed ongoing relationships even after the week was done. I highly recommend to all physician researchers!"

Learn More

Please email or call us if you would like additional information about Nonprofit Programs

Kellogg School of Management

James L. Allen Center
2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208