Lehigh’s innovative Pasteur Partners PhD (P3) Fellowship—a launchpad for advanced students who are focused on creating immediate impact in their fields through use-driven research—is featured in the May/June 2021 issue of Diversity in Action magazine

In the article, materials science and engineering professor Himanshu Jain, who leads the program, discusses how it was developed to fill a “void developing in graduate education, as major corporate research labs were closing and modes of training for students in the real world began to disappear.”

“Without hands-on experience, students didn’t know how to best use their doctorate,” Jain says in the article. 

P3 Fellowships provide four years of financial support for highly qualified students. Their graduate training involves partnerships with companies on the cutting-edge of STEM applications. Students follow a path that intersects their individual goals with the research objectives identified by their corporate sponsor. P3 Fellows obtain an academically rigorous education that is rich with mentorship opportunities, including a pre-program summer internship and a one- or two-semester residency at the Fellow’s sponsoring organization.

The story highlights current P3 Fellow Karen Vazquez, who is in her first year of a five-year track that combines civil and electrical engineering and her interests in network resilience and post-disaster recovery. She says the P3 program will help her accomplish her goal of making an impact on society.

“It’s amazing to be able to connect with people while constantly moving toward my dissertation,” she says in the article. “The program provides so much support and so many connections.” 

Vazquez also credits Lehigh’s supportive environment for first-generation college students as well as the university’s initiatives for women pursuing STEM disciplines. “Lehigh is the type of place that wants students to make a footprint in society; they believe we can do something great.” 

For Jain, the P3 Fellowship “is one of the highlights that makes Lehigh stand out,” he says in the article. “We are able to provide a program where students truly get to relate the impact of their work firsthand.”

Read the full story, “Looking Back to Move Forward: How Lehigh University is changing the approach to graduate education in STEM,” in the May/June issue of Diversity in Action magazine. 

Karen Vazquez

P3 Fellow Karen Vazquez is a first-year PhD student in the Rossin College.

Himanshu Jain

Himanshu Jain is Diamond Distinguished Chair and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. He also directs the Materials Institute for New Functionality in Glass and the Institute for Functional Materials and Devices (I-FMD).