Request for Proposals: UCEDD Leadership Development

Deadline to submit a proposal: May 26, 2021.

May 7, 2021


pdf File Download Request for Proposal (682KB) [download]

Statement of Purpose

The UCEDD Resource Center (URC) is seeking consultation to develop a UCEDD Network Leadership Development Map ("Map") and TA plan. The Map will provide UCEDD network members with concrete information about the knowledge, skills, and abilities that they need to advance their careers within the UCEDD network and about existing strategies, resources, and opportunities to acquire those knowledge, skills, and abilities. The TA plan will identify gaps in the UCEDD network career pathways and provide the URC with recommended activities to address those gaps. Both documents will specifically attend to the unique needs of the network and network members to enhance career opportunities for individuals from historically underrepresented communities.


AUCD has a training and TA contract with ACL. The goals of this contract are to: improve program performance, ensure statutory compliance, and enhance outcomes within the UCEDD network. An essential element of all three of these contract goals is support for strong, competent leadership in every UCEDD.

To enhance the leadership within the UCEDD network, a range of resources have been developed over the last 15 years. These resources include publications, most notably UCEDD Leadership: A Guide to the Next Generation published in 2011 and Charting Your Course: A Toolkit for New Directors of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) published in 2020, and events including the annual AUCD Leadership Academy.

Since 2009, AUCD has supported at least 98 director transitions within the UCEDD network. The URC's support of these new directors has evolved over time and now includes an annual New UCEDD Directors Orientation with the cohort of new directors covering a range of topics with AUCD, ACL, and an experienced mentor director. This cohort then meets quarterly with AUCD and their mentor director in the year following their orientation to provide peer support and problem solving.

A full record of URC resources and events to support the professional development of network members and leadership succession are available on the URC's website and resource map.

Finally, since 2006 AUCD has housed a job board on our website which has promoted over 2,000 positions with the AUCD central office, within the AUCD network, and with our partner organizations. This data set has never been analyzed for trends but is available to inform this project.

Despite these existing resources, over the last two years, the URC has received a range of requests from network members that together indicate a need for additional professional development supports across the spectrum of UCEDD leadership roles. Specifically, we have observed and heard the following trends in rapid response requests, in our annual global survey, in small group discussions at TA events, and in informal conversations with network members:

  • open director, associate and assistant director positions have been difficult to fill,
  • an increasing number of inquiries about co-director leadership models,
  • new leaders requesting a formal mentorship program,
  • associate directors have requested a means of connecting and providing peer support to one another,
  • emerging leaders do not feel connected to the network and are unaware of opportunities for growth within the network,
  • requests for the URC to have a library of position descriptions,
  • and needs around addressing equity and diversity UCEDD network leadership development efforts - both in ensuring the leaders are positioned to support and direct network initiatives in this area and in recruiting and growing leaders from underrepresented communities including people with disabilities and people from racial and ethnic minority groups.

When we brought these emerging needs to our Project Advisory Committee (PAC) in October 2020, they advised us to prioritize a UCEDD Network Leadership Pipeline project for this contract year.

Contract Details

Scope of Work

The URC requests consultation to:

(A) provide UCEDD network members with concrete information about the knowledge, skills, and abilities that they need to advance their careers within the UCEDD network and about existing strategies, resources, and opportunities to acquire those knowledge, skills, and abilities and
(B) to develop a TA plan for the 2021-2022 contract year that will enhance the ability for UCEDDs to fill vital roles while individual members are able to advance their careers within the network.

To accomplish the above goals, the consultants will:

  1. Analyze the archive of position descriptions that AUCD has promoted for network members in the last 15 years to develop position description templates and sets of competencies for diverse leadership roles;
  2. Conduct an environmental scan to evaluate existing work and resources in this area for inclusion in the leadership map;
  3. Conduct data collection and analysis to supplement content gathered in the position description archive by engaging existing leaders within the UCEDD Network who are responsible for recruiting, hiring, and developing UCEDD network leaders at a variety of professional levels;
  4. Work with existing leaders within the UCEDD Network and outside of the network who are experts in disparities in workforce development to incorporate resources, strategies and best practices for recruitment, retention, and mentorship of leaders from underrepresented communities;
  5. Develop a Map with the minimum components detailed below; and
  6. Analyze gaps in the existing resources that support career development across the Map, and incorporate findings in a TA Plan for the URC to implement in our next training and technical assistance contract.


  1. A library of position descriptions for at least 10 leadership positions common to UCEDDs staffing structures: completed by July 31, 2021.
    • Director
    • Co-Director
    • Associate and/or Assistant Director
    • Business Manager
    • Data Coordinator
    • Training Director/Coordinator
    • Research Director/Coordinator
    • Dissemination Director/Coordinator
    • Community Engagement Director/Coordinator
    • Other, To Be Determined
  2. Environmental scan to evaluate existing resources for professional development available to UCEDD network members: completed by July 31, 2021.
  3. A draft Leadership Map which will include the following content:
    • Analysis of position descriptions from across the network that details common competencies for the abovementioned leadership positions
    • Existing resources for network members to build leadership competencies
    • A summary of leadership development activities including leadership team structures across the network.
    • Completed by August 30, 2021.
  4. The final Leadership Map will be submitted to AUCD by September 28, 2021.
  5. A TA plan for implementation in future contract years that summarizes gaps in the existing map and recommends strategies for filling those gaps through TA activities and resources to be submitted to AUCD by September 28, 2021.

Period of Performance

The period of performance for developing the UCEDD Network Leadership Map is four (4) months from June 1, 2021 through September 29, 2021. All work must be scheduled to be completed within this timeframe.

Budget and Payment

Maximum budget for this project is $50,000.

Type of Contract

A cost reimbursable subaward will be executed through the ACL Technical Assistance Contract awarded to AUCD.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be scored according to the following points criteria:

  • Conceptual and philosophical framework 15 points
  • Consultant qualifications 15 points
  • Understanding of scope of work 20 points
  • Technical approach 35 points
  • Timeline 10 points
  • Budget and justification 5 point

AUCD invites applications from collaborative teams that reflect a range of perspectives and that include the following capacities:

  1. Context: Knowledge and experience in UCEDD and university administration
  2. Research: Experience with analyzing large qualitative data sets and gathering data through a variety of modalities (survey, focus group, literature review, etc.)
  3. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Knowledge and experience in the research, literature, and implementation of diverse, inclusive, and culturally and linguistically competent recruitment, hiring, mentorship, and career management practices
  4. Relationships: Influence through strong relationships; can manage a complex set of stakeholders
  5. Information Dissemination: Experience utilizing culturally responsive approaches in interacting with stakeholders and developing materials
  6. Project Management: Experience with resource development projects and a proven ability to meet short timelines
  7. Project Management: Strong facilitation and organizational skills
  8. Communication: Superlative presentation, verbal and written communication skills

How to Submit a Proposal
Proposals must be in PDF format and include the elements noted above in Evaluation Criteria. Questions and proposals should be submitted electronically to Sarah DeMaio at [email protected]. Deadline to submit a proposal: May 26, 2021.