Program Description

The P.C. Rossin College of Engineering, College of Arts & Sciences and College of Business & Economics have grant funds available to undergraduate students to support experiential learning activities in health (preferably off campus). An experiential learning activity is an independent, hands‐on research or “real world” experience that advances the student’s understanding of health or healthcare. For example, a student might shadow a physician in a hospital, work in a health insurance company, take on a research project at the Lourdes Center for Public Health, volunteer for a NGO with a health mission, conduct oral histories of cancer patients, enter the genetic engineering competition, or conduct health‐related research in a laboratory. Identification and justification of the funded activity is up to the student; the principal requirement is that the proposed activity be related to health. Health is broadly defined, stretching from research or work experiences in the natural sciences (e.g., bioengineering; biological research), the social sciences (e.g., history of medicine; health policy; hospital finances and management), to the humanities (e.g., bioethics; narrative; art). The intent of this program is to give students an opportunity to develop and experience a unique learning activity that will broaden and deepen their knowledge of some aspect of health or healthcare.


Lehigh University undergraduates in good standing with at least sophomore standing (minimum 22 credits) at the time of application and who will complete the proposed research prior to graduation are eligible for these grants. Students who have received the GELH previously are not eligible to apply again. In addition, students may not receive academic credit for the research conducted with GELH grant monies.


Students may apply for an individual award of a maximum $4000 or a group award of maximum $6000. A group consists of two or more students all of whom meet the eligibility requirements. Grant funds may be used to pay or complement a stipend. (As a guide, a student using the grant for stipend support should budget $10 an hour.) The funds may also be used to purchase specialized books unobtainable through the library system, to gain access to off‐campus research materials or facilities, to purchase lab supplies, and to fund data gathering and analysis. Travel necessary to perform research, collect scholarly data or perform other scholarly activities (field trips, visits to off‐campus libraries, etc.) may also be supported as well as travel to present a paper, attend a conference, participate in symposia, or attend a professional meeting. Students must comply with Lehigh University’s travel and business expenses reimbursement policies and procedures found on the Controller’s web page: Individual proposals requesting more than $4000 or group proposals requesting more than $6000 will not be considered.

The Mentor

Each student or student group is required to have a mentor who will provide guidance and oversight. This person may be a faculty member, but is more likely to be an employee of an organization where the activity will take place. The mentor must provide a letter of support via the online application tool or email and provide input on the deliverable of the activity. During the timeframe of the experimental learning activity, the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs will communicate with the mentor to confirm work hours.

To Apply

All proposals and supporting documents must be submitted electronically by February 1, 2013. An on‐line application is available at If applying as a group, only one application should be submitted on behalf of your team. All submissions must include:

  1. A four‐ to five‐sentence abstract that gives a clear and concise description of the activity’s objectives, proposed methodology and anticipated results in layman’s terms.
  2. A description of the proposed activity in less than two pages.
  3. A “deliverable”—for example, a research report or poster, a work of art, a summary of work activity, or a diary that will convey the results of the activity to members of the Lehigh community. It is up to the student, with help from his or her mentor, to identify some tangible output from the activity. At the conclusion of the activity this deliverable must be approved, with comments, by the mentor.
  4. Total amount of funding requested and description of budget. Include information on any funding from other sources that will be used to support this activity.
  5. A start and end date for the activity. (As a general guideline, the completion of the project should be no longer than twelve months from the proposed start date. Students may use the funds to support activities during the summer.)
  6. Mentor name and contact information, and location where the activity will take place.
  7. Letter of support from mentor: Students must obtain a written statement of support from the mentor and submit to the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs by February 1, 2013 in order for their application to be considered. Letter may be sent via postal mail or email to the addresses listed below.

Evaluation Criteria

The principle criterion will be the potential of the proposed experiential learning activity to broaden and deepen the student’s knowledge of some aspect of health or of healthcare systems. Clarity of the proposal and reasonableness of the proposed budget will be considered. A cross‐college faculty committee will meet within one month after the deadline for submission to review applications. Based on the recommendation of the review panel, the selected awardees will be notified immediately afterwards by the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs. A confirmation letter will be developed outlining the terms and conditions of the grant. Both the student(s) and the mentor will be required to sign the letter and return to the OIP.

Expenditures and Grant Management

If you receive a GELH award, an individual account will be established. All students will be required to meet with the Interdisciplinary Studies Business Manager who will outline the rules and requirements for stipends and expense reimbursements. It is the responsibility of the awardee and the mentor to assure that the funds are spent in accordance with the proposal budget and objectives. For example, if the funds are being used as a stipend, the mentor must confirm hours worked with the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies. Funds remaining at the end of the award period will revert to the grant program. All funds must be used within 12 months of issue.

Deliverable Presentations

Upon completion of the grant activity, all grant recipients will be required to submit a one paragraph summary of their project summarizing their overall experience. A symposium will be held during the fall semester and students will be asked to present their project to faculty, staff, mentors and fellow students.

Contact Information

Questions and requests for additional information should be directed to Jeanne Kassis, Office of Interdisciplinary Programs, College of Arts and Sciences, Maginnes Hall, Room 490; phone 610-758-3350; email


Office of Interdisciplinary Programs
College of Arts and Sciences
Maginnes Hall, Room 490
Lehigh University

Jeanne Kassis
Phone: (610) 758-3350

ONLINE: Lehigh Grants for Experiential Learning in Health