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The goal of the Faculty Grants for International Connections (FGIC) is 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.


Any tenured or pre-tenured faculty member or professor of practice 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, become 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:

  • Potential impact on the individual faculty member’s future research and teaching activities
  • Potential impact on Lehigh’s internationalization efforts
  • Anticipated strength of the connection that will be established: individual colleague(s), academic program(s), research group(s), host institution
  • Anticipated depth and breadth of the connection on the Lehigh side (e.g., solely the individual submitting the proposal, academic department(s) and/or program(s), center, institute, cluster group)
  • Demonstrated quality of the proposed destination: individual colleague, group, or host institution
  • Evidence that sufficient exploratory effort and communication with the proposed host institution has already occurred to lay the ground work for the proposed activity’s timely success

The purpose of this grant's 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.

Proposal Timeline

Proposal submission deadline: January 30, 2019

Notification of awards: February 19-24, 2019

Expenditure of grant funds: May 15, 2019-May 14, 2020

Examples of Successful Proposals

David Anastasio, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Cameron Wesson, Lucy G. Moses Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, will develop research collaborations in paleoanthropology and landscape evolution with colleagues in Spain. Read the proposal (pdf).

Steven McIntosh, Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, will visit the University of Tor Vergata, in Rome, Italy, to study energy efficient solid oxide cells for power generation and renewable energy storage and explore opportunities for student exchange. Read the proposal (pdf).

Martin Takáč, Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, will travel to ETH Zürich to expand his research in designing new and efficient algorithms for solving large-scale optimization problems and to learn about new ways to teach about data science. Read the proposal (pdf).

Sihong Xie, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, is visiting Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications to explore the fundamental commonalities and differences in online behaviors and linguistic patterns of users from different countries. Read the proposal (pdf).

How to Apply

Learn more about the process for applying for a grant and apply here.

If you have questions, please email Jen Topp at