The Illinois Leadership Center (ILC) is a resource available to all students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign looking to develop and strengthen their leadership skills. These Leadership skills are developed from a large array of experiences through academic courses as well as short-term and multi-semester programs.  The Lab is engaged in research with the ILC’s “i-Programs,” which are cost-free single-day sessions covering various leadership skill-building topics.

LShape logo

LeaderShape, Inc. annually coordinates over 100 six-day “immersion” leadership programs, called “LeaderShape Institutes,” for college-age students across the United States. These programs are designed to shape new leaders for the challenging and complex situations of a growing world.  The Lab, through a sponsored research grant from LeaderShape, coordinates research efforts occurring within these Institutes.

Check out the results of the first year of results from our national research project here: Leadershape_Institute_National_Report


The College of ACES at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign houses the Agricultural Education Program, which itself houses the campus-wide Minor in Leadership Studies, in which several hundred undergraduate students are currently enrolled.  The Lab coordinates research on the effects of “AGED 260 – Introduction to Leadership Studies,” the introductory course within the Minor.


iFoundry is an initiative in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign designed to create innovation and entrepreneurship within the engineering curriculum at the college.  As a result of a generous $22,000 grant from the Severns Family Foundation, the Lab engages with iFoundry in examining the effects of classroom-based team projects within engineering courses on developing students’ leadership and team skills.


The National FFA Organization makes a positive impact in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success in agricultural education. The National FFA Organization is one of the largest youth organizations in the country. The Lab has been engaged in examining the long-term effects of FFA participation on students both prior to and during their undergraduate experiences.

The C Charles Jackson Foundation

In 2013, the C Charles Jackson Foundation provided a $10,000 grant to the Illinois Leader Lab to aid in our efforts in collecting data at multiple diverse institutions.  Our work, which resulted in data collection at three post-secondary institutions diverse in geography, selectivity, and Carnegie classification, is being leveraged for studies that examine how students think about leadership differently based on their background and proclivity to think of themselves as leaders, and to help the Leader Lab create a short instrument that accurately measures students’ capacity to lead in alignment with our theoretical model.