Mpho Bowie, '17, and Gwladys Boukpessi, '18, stand in front of a pile of recyclable bottles in Ghana on Monday, July 18, 2016. Bowie and Boukpessi traveled there with other Lehigh students on the Strohl grant and participated in sustainable waste management research. (Courtesy of Gwladys Boukpessi)

Research grants provide opportunities for students and faculty

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Students have four opportunities to apply for grants in the month of October. 

The Strohl undergraduate research and senior thesis grants, the Gipson grant, the College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate research grants and the Mellon Digital Humanities Initiative for engaging undergraduates with the local community grant applications are due before the end of October.

The Strohl undergraduate research and senior thesis grant

The Strohl undergraduate research and senior thesis grants are made possible as a result of donations made by Dale S. Strohl, ’58.

The Strohl grants offer funding to students looking to engage in “independent inquiry, artistic creation and scholarship, under faculty supervision,” according to the College of Arts and Sciences website. The grants are awarded to help students expand their experiences, perspectives and skills.

The Strohl undergraduate research grants fund projects up to $3,000, compared to the Strohl senior thesis grants fund research projects up to $5,000, and are only open to current juniors and seniors.

Students applying for Strohl grants are required to write detailed proposals of up to 1,000 words about the approaches of their research projects. Within these details students can include budgets, timelines and their goals if awarded the grant.

All application materials must be received by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies Oct. 7 by 5 p.m.

The Gipson Grant

The purpose of the Gipson grant is to provide students and faculty the opportunity to investigate projects that necessitate travel to a historical society or archive.

The research project must focus on a topic related to eighteenth-century America or Europe, since the Gipson Institute’s mission is to further research in this area,” said Scott Gordon, an English professor involved in overseeing the Gipson grant.

The Gipson grant can provide up to $200 for undergraduate student projects and up to $500 for graduate student projects. The Gipson grant covers the cost of students attending professional conferences to present their research.

The grant money awarded to students may be subject to change.

“If the project seems really promising we can typically offer a bit more,” Gordon said. The grants are typically more popular for graduate students and faculty. Gordon encourages more undergraduate students to apply for the grant.

Gordon said about half a dozen faculty and graduate students are recipients of the research awards each year. A board of faculty members from the English, history, and modern languages and literature departments review the applications and award the research grants.

Gordon said one or two dissertation fellowships are awarded each year.

“These fellowships enable a graduate student to focus entirely on her or his research . . . substituting for a teaching fellowship,” he said.

Proposals for the grant are due Oct. 16. The application should include a description of the research, a budget and for graduate students, a faculty endorsement.

The College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate research grant

The College of Arts and Sciences also offers research grants for undergraduate students. The grants range from $100 to $1,500.

Olivia Mobarakai, ’16, applied for one of the undergraduate research grants this year. Her proposal included testing the following: the compositional differences in uropygial oils in black-capped, Carolina. She is also testing how hybrid chickadees convey information and influence mating behavior within the hybrid zone.

“I feel that it is important that Lehigh students conduct research at the undergraduate level to develop reasoning skills that will last a lifetime,” Mobarakai said.

The grant would allow Mobarakai to conduct research she was previously unable to conduct in restricted laboratory settings.

The research grants also allow undergraduate students the opportunity to travel. Students can use the grants while abroad.

“If a student travels internationally using one of those grant sources, then our office is notified and we collect some paperwork and information from those students that is required of all study abroad students,” said Katie Radande, the director of study abroad.

The Mellon Digital Humanities Initiative grant

The purpose of this grant is to strengthen the relationship between the Lehigh and Bethlehem communities. The grant does this through digital humanities and documentary studies.

Recipients of the grant can be awarded up to $5,000. In the 2015-16 academic year, the undergraduate research grants supported six projects, according to the College of Arts and Sciences website.

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