Faculty Grants for International Connections

Goal

To develop or enhance current international connections between Lehigh faculty and their counterparts in academic/research institutions abroad, with the hope that a focus on areas of mutual interest will lead to expanded international collaborations.

Eligibility

Any tenured or pre-tenured faculty member at Lehigh University is eligible to apply.

Context, Purpose and Expectations

Lehigh University’s International Portfolio has the following two overarching goals:

  • internationalizing Lehigh’s community 
  • increasing Lehigh’s international footprint

Faculty members who are internationally connected will play a crucial role in achieving these two long-term goals. Internationally connected faculty members will be better prepared to do the following:

  • Seek external funding to support their future sabbatical leaves in foreign countries
  • Develop a strong competitive application for programs such as the Fulbright Scholarships
  • Develop international collaboration in areas of mutual interest in education and research/scholarly/creative works
  • Create courses that have international perspectives and components
  • Incorporate international issues into their existing courses
  • Become a magnet for invited prestigious international professors and visiting scholars, artists or postdoctoral fellows
  • Attract international graduate students to study at Lehigh
  • Create unique learning opportunities for our undergraduate students to study abroad and advise our Lehigh undergraduate students about the value of international experiences abroad
  • Create an international network of partnerships that can serve many purposes for years into the future, becoming an asset for developing university-wide partnership with foreign institutions overseas
  • Build and enhance their international visibility and recognition

Outcomes like these will be important in helping Lehigh enhance its international portfolio and reputation, and the inclusion of activities like these will be important criteria used in the evaluation of faculty grant proposals. Overall, evaluation of proposals will place particular emphasis on the following:

  • Intellectual Merit of the Proposal
  • Potential impact on the individual faculty member’s future research and teaching activities, and Lehigh’s internationalization efforts
  • Evidence that sufficient exploratory effort and communication with the proposed host institution has already occurred to lay the ground work necessary for the proposed activity’s timely success.

The purpose of this grant initiative is to provide a faculty member with the necessary funding to support a two-week visit at an academic institution or a national research center/institute located overseas. The expectation is that the Lehigh faculty member will use the two weeks to have a substantive exchange of ideas with another faculty member or groups of faculty (or their equivalent) at the host institution in area(s) of mutual interest in education, and/or research/scholarly/creative works.

The expected and immediate outcomes are learning about the host institution and building a strong interpersonal connection, both of which will provide the foundation for future collaboration that can lead to more tangible results such as the 10 examples cited above. In addition, a desired longer-term outcome is the establishment of a broader-based relationship between Lehigh University and the host institution that goes beyond the individual faculty member’s area of interest.

Process

The Office of International Affairs invites all Lehigh tenured and tenure-track faculty members to submit a two-page proposal for funding under this program. Funds are available to support up to five proposals on an annual basis. Grant selection is a competitive process. The evaluation committee, comprised of the current four Iacocca Professors, the Deputy Provost for Faculty Affairs, and Director of the Humanities Center (see below) will review all proposals and then submit its recommendations to the Vice President for International Affairs who will make the final selection.

Past experience has shown that more worthy proposals are submitted than can be funded, so it is important to emphasize that among all such proposals the evaluation committee considers how each fully addresses the breadth of criteria described in the "Context, Purpose, and Expectations" section above.

Potential faculty applicants are invited to speak with any member of the evaluation committee or the Vice President for International Affairs if they have questions or if they want to get feedback to an idea. This should help the interested faculty member develop a strong proposal, with the understanding that such a consultation does not confer an advantage on the proposal beyond helping to sharpen its focus. Consultations with members of the evaluation committee are intended to provide advice and guidance at an early stage of proposal development, not on near-final drafts of already crafted proposals.

Proposal Components (a maximum of 2 pages)

  • Professional and personal goals for the visit
  • Expected outcomes: short-term and long-term
  • Nature of interaction: provide a narrative outlining substance of the interaction at the host institution and the arrangements
  • Name(s) of the foreign academic institution(s) or the research center/institute, and the name(s) of one or two faculty members (or equivalent) in these institutions
  • What pre-trip planning and preparation will be done prior to leaving campus to ensure that the stated goals will be achieved? Attach a letter or e-mail message from the proposed counterpart extending an invitation outlining in concrete terms the proposed joint activities during the faculty member visit to the host institution and host’s own expectations.
  • Expected follow-up steps upon return to campus. Note: Each faculty member who is awarded this grant will be asked to submit a brief written trip report upon their return to campus to the Vice President for International Affairs, his/her department chairperson and dean as well as agree to join the rest of the recipients to give a short oral presentation about their experiences to faculty interested in applying for this program as well as newly hired faculty.
  • A proposed budget for travel and in-country costs and proposed dates of trip. Please provide estimates that are as accurate and reasonable as possible for all individual items in the proposed budget, as the accuracy of this information can impact the evaluation committee’s recommendations.

Proposal Timeline

The 2015 timeline will be announced in January 2015.

Proposals should be sent to the following address:

Faculty Grants for International Connections Committee 
c/o Cindy Hart 
Office of International Affairs
Coxe Hall – 3rd floor

Committee Members

Current Iacocca Professors

Nada Sanders, College of Business and Economics
George White, College of Education
S. David Wu, P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science
Peter Zeitler, College of Arts and Sciences

Members-at-large

Vincent Munley, Deputy Provost for Faculty Affairs
M. Edurne Portela, Director, Humanities Center and Director of International Initiatives for the College of Arts and Sciences

Award History