Students who are juniors at the time of the application deadline and will be studying at Elon for an additional three semesters (culminating in the spring semester of the following academic year) are encouraged to apply for a Leadership Prize.  The application deadline for Fall 2022 is Wednesday, October 12, 2022.

The following forms will assist you in the application process:

Leadership Prize Application-2022

Leadership Prize Mentor Nomination-2022

Please email completed applications to

  • The nomination letter is emailed by the mentor to
  • Notification of the Leadership Prize will be announced at the end of fall semester.

As detailed in the application form, students should offer the following information:

  • Problem Description: Applicants will first describe the problem that they wish to study and seek to solve. Problems to be studied may be informed by disciplines representing every area of study at Elon University, including all areas in Arts and Sciences, Business, Communication, and Education. In this section, applicants will offer a detailed description of the problem, examples of potential causes, and how the problem affects both individuals and institutions. Applicants should also include a background statement describing prior experiences (both academic and non-academic) that affected why they believe this is a significant problem to study and why they are passionate about finding its solution.
    • While we appreciate ambition when selecting problems to study, applicants should take care to define a problem that is addressable within the timeframe of the project. Applicants may indeed be passionate about finding solutions to large-scale and devastating problems, but this passion needs to be balanced with the practical demands of proposing and, at least, pilot-testing a proposed solution.
  • Plan for Intellectual Inquiry: Applicants will describe their plans for a) researching the nature, causes, and consequences of the problem and b) researching the ways leadership theory can inform solution implementation.  The most compelling applications will describe new and interesting ways to study a problem.  Elon’s liberal arts perspective values how the best approaches to study a problem in one area may emerge from the knowledge and traditions of other areas.  The best Leadership Prize applications will pursue different strategies for studying problems that take advantage of our liberal arts backgrounds and resources.
    • Included in this plan will be descriptions of activities that relate directly to problem research (travel to research sites, research conferences, course work).  This section may include descriptions related to research on leadership and leadership development (leadership research symposia, leadership development workshops, and course work). This plan may also include descriptions of other supporting activities that may only loosely relate to problem research, yet may help applicants broaden their perspectives and experiences. Examples of such activities may include study abroad experiences, special conferences, internships, and workshops.  Finally, we expect that applicants will not be able to articulate detailed solutions or implementation plans. Doing so would suggest that much of the project is already completed or that solutions have emerged without the significant intellectual inquiry required for responsible efforts.
  • Feasibility Statement: The application must include an explicit defense of the feasibility of the project, including an explanation of how and why the central problem could be addressed in the timeframe of the project.
  • Budget and Timeline: The application shall also address specific details such as projected needs in terms of knowledge, skill sets, materials, equipment, and travel. The application should also include an overall projected timeline and proposed budget.
  • Letter of Nomination: The member of the Elon faculty or staff who will serve as project mentor shall write a letter of nomination that is due with all other application materials. The letter will communicate the mentor’s willingness to advise the applicant and offer his or her judgment of how the project fulfills the criteria used in the selection process.
  • Permission: In submitting an application, students thereby give consent to the selection committee (1) to retrieve their Elon transcript to verify their cumulative grade point average and (2) to check with the judicial hearing officer concerning any significant history of violations of the academic or social honor codes.

If you have additional questions, please contact Dr. Jodean Schmiederer, Dean of Student Development and Assistant Professor, at