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New Jersey Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities

NJLEND is The Boggs Center’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities program, and is part of a national network of LEND programs. NJLEND prepares graduate-level health and allied health fellows to provide high-quality, interdisciplinary, family-centered, culturally competent care addressing the complex needs of children with autism, related disabilities and other maternal and child health populations.  All NJLEND fellows are paired with a Faculty Mentor from their discipline who works with the fellow to integrate NJLEND requirements with the requirements of the student’s academic program, as well as to guide and reflect on their individual leadership development throughout the LEND year.


The long-term NJLEND training program is delivered across a 9-month academic calendar, and fellows are required to commit at least 300 hours to participation. The program can be utilized by students to fulfill a practicum or fieldwork requirement of their academic program. Students receive a stipend, and may receive course credit based on the requirements of their academic program, for participation in NJLEND. Curricular components of the NJLEND training program included in the 300 hours of participation are:

  • Didactic Seminar Series
  • Experiential Learning Opportunities
  • Leadership Development
  • Clinical Training

As part of the Leadership Development component of the program, all NJLEND Fellows are required to complete a Leadership Project either independently or in inter-professional pairs or teams. The project provides an opportunity for fellows to apply their knowledge and training to the development of a resource, implementation of a program, or conduct of research that benefits the larger MCH community. At the end of NJLEND year, all Fellows give a poster presentation, sharing their project findings and implications with a broad audience including families, practicing Maternal and Child Health professionals, healthcare providers, and policy leaders at the annual NJLEND Maternal and Child Health Leadership Symposium and Fellowship Graduation Event.

View 2020-2021 NJLEND Fellow Leadership Posters


NJLEND provides students with the opportunity to learn from experts in the field, and offers support and mentoring by faculty in their respective disciplines. The long-term NJLEND training program is open to graduate and doctoral level students from Rutgers and RBHS in the following disciplines, as well as family members:

  • Dentistry
  • Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Social Work
  • Family is considered a NJLEND discipline. Parents and other family members are encouraged to apply as long-term fellows.


To learn more about NJLEND program Fellows, view the NJLEND 2020-2021 Annual Report

In addition to leadership education for the NJLEND fellows, NJLEND also provides continuing education opportunities for Maternal and Child Health professionals within the state of New Jersey.

Application Process


NJLEND is now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 cohort. Please complete and submit the application and recommendation materials below. Please contact Carrie Coffield with any questions.

The NJLEND program year follows the academic calendar and begins in September of each year. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis from February – March, or until the program reaches capacity. For more information on the program, see the student recruitment announcement.  


Interested students should contact Carrie Coffield, PhD, to ensure that the training program is a good match for the requirements of their academic program.  Upon confirmation of this, the application, including personal statement and recommendation form, must be completed and submitted for consideration.


NJLEND Trainee Application

NJLEND Recommendation Form

For more information, contact:

Caroline N. Coffield, PhD
Director of Pre-service Training
Training Director, NJLEND
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics


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Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

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