Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Jessica Strolin-Goltzman


The intent of this mixed methods explanatory sequential study was to explore the relationship between personal resilience and leadership behaviors practiced by director-level leaders of sponsored program administration offices across the United States. In this study, I surveyed 250 director-level leaders of sponsored program offices, members of the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA). I subsequently followed up with eight purposefully selected participants to explore those results in more depth. I administered the 45-point Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) and the 10-point Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC-10) as part of an online survey. The results of the quantitative phase showed that a moderately strong positive correlation existed between transformational leadership and resilience among director-level leaders of sponsored program offices suggesting that as resilience increased so did transformational leadership qualities. In my analysis, I identified five main themes in the qualitative phase involving semi-structured interviews with eight participants: 1) stressful and challenging work environment; 2) resilience as a capacity; 3) learning from role models; 4) leading the way participants want to be led; and 5) associations between resilience and leadership behaviors. A common theme among participants was that a strong leader is resilient and practices compassion, empathy, and active listening, openness to new ideas, and process improvement mind-set, and encourages critical thinking. This research contributes to new knowledge in human resource development, specifically in research administration. I close with implications for future research and recommendations for practice.



Number of Pages

155 p.

Available for download on Friday, April 03, 2026