Faculty Research Grants (FRG)

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Program Description

Fall Submission Deadline: Friday, October 13, 2023 by 5PM
Spring Submission Deadline: Friday, April 5, 2024 by 5PM 

The intent of the Faculty Research Grant (FRG) program is to support Lehigh faculty members in developing continuity and advancement of research programs, and impact from their research, that would not otherwise be possible. The program supports work that is not currently supported by existing university resources, including external grants, gifts or endowments. Priority will be given to those proposals that are likely to enable development of a new research focus, expand applicants' research programs beyond their current scope, or enable ongoing programs to have expanded impact.

Funding for the FRG program is provided by the Smith Fund for Research and Innovation in Science and Engineering for projects in the natural sciences and engineering, and by university funds for projects in all fields.


Grants will be limited to a maximum of $6,000.


All tenured and tenure-track faculty, as well as research professors (Assistant, Associate and Full) are eligible to apply. Applicants must have received fewer than three FRG awards in the past 5 years from the due date. For an application to be considered, all required reports for prior Lehigh awards must be completed.  

Allowable Costs

An internal grant award is an investment in faculty research and its broad impact. Awards may be used for a wide range of research expenses provided that a clear case is made that the expenses are essential to the project. Grant funds may be used for:

  • Support for graduate students, postdoctoral research scholars, hourly wage research assistants
  • Research materials including books unavailable through the library system
  • Access to off-campus research materials
  • Lab supplies
  • Travel necessary to perform research
  • Manuscript preparation
  • Necessary publication costs, costs of performing research and effectively disseminating outcomes. 
  • Travel to disseminate outcomes may be supported, but needs to be carefully justified.  

All expenditures must be in compliance with Lehigh’s Travel and Business Expense Policy

Non-allowable Costs

Grant funds cannot be used for:

  • Faculty salaries (only the Accelerator grant may include request for summer salary)
  • Purchase of general-purpose equipment and computers, unless specifically designated for research usage.
  • Visiting faculty
  • Course development
  • Purchase of reprints
  • Remodeling of alteration of facilities
  • Reimbursement of costs incurred prior to submission of the application.

This list provides some examples, and is not exhaustive.  If you have any questions about allowable/unallowable expenses, please contact our office.  You may also consult the Travel and Business Expense Policy for further information.

How to Apply

Application Details:

Submit your application through Lehigh’s InfoReady portal.  InfoReady will prompt you for the following summary details: 

  1. Descriptive project title - suitable for publication on our public web site.

  2. Name, Department, Position Title of each participating faculty member.  One faculty member must be the main correspondent and will be responsible for all deliverables and management of the budget. All co-PIs must provide approval of the proposal submission

  3. Budget requested

  4. IRB/IACUC status - refer to our Research Integrity site for requirements.

  5. Abstract:  Three to five sentences giving a clear and concise description of the project’s objectives, proposed methodology and anticipated results in layperson’s terms. Include start and end dates for the project. Unless approved by our office, the end date should be no later than twelve months from the proposed start date.

Body of Proposal:

In the proposal upload section, the following must be uploaded to the online system as a single pdf. Page margins must be at least one inch. Exclusive of any figures, text must be 11 point or larger:

1. Narrati​ve: 

  • Provide two or three pages (not including references) briefly describing the proposed work:
  • The narrative should include the project’s objectives, proposed methodology and anticipated results. It should provide a clear statement as to how funding will allow you to take your research beyond where it could have gone with existing resources and what opportunities this may present for you as well as Lehigh. 
  • The narrative should make clear your qualifications as they relate to this project, as well as how this project fits into your overall career trajectory.

2. Budget:

  • Provide a one-page itemized budget and justification with sufficient detail for reviewers to understand how the budget items support the completion of the project. The budget must be appropriate to the specific needs of the research project.
  • Click here to access a simple Google Sheet calculator.  Some formulas are embedded to assist you in your calculations, but you may edit the chart as needed.  Copy and paste the completed budget chart into your application, or upload it separately.

3. Recent Grant Fun​ding: 

  • Provide a listing of all internal Lehigh grants and external grants completed within the past two years, currently active, and currently pending. 
  • In any case in which a non-specialist might perceive the application to support work already funded by the completed, pending or current grant, provide a brief explanation of how the work and its goals are different. 

Please keep in mind that your proposal will be reviewed by a faculty committee with members who may not be familiar with your specific area of study. Therefore, it is important that technical terminology be kept to a minimum and that the project be described in a manner that can be readily appreciated by non-specialists. In addition to providing reviewers with appreciation of the potential of the project, it should enable them to understand the necessity of each budget item to the completion of the work.  

Review Process

Lehigh’s Internal Review Committee (IRC) will review proposals. IRC members are selected for their experience and representation of the scope of research endeavors at Lehigh. Awards will be made by the VP for Research based on the recommendations of the review panel. 

Applications will also be evaluated according to these criteria: 

  • Potential impact of the proposed project. Will the grant support outstanding scholarly work that would not otherwise be possible? Will it enhance the breadth of impact of the work, e.g., through dissemination, access by broad audiences or translation to practice? Will it aid the faculty members(s) in sustaining or growing their research programs? Will it help the faculty member overcome barriers related to biases or injustice in how different subject matter is valued?
  • Potential for success, based upon the plan for use of FRG funding, qualifications, and past accomplishments of the applicants.
  • Budget. Is the budget appropriate for the proposed work? 

Expenditures and Grant Management

If awarded, an individual research account will be established.  The PI will be responsible for assuring that the funds are spent: 

Absent justification for no-cost extension, funds remaining at the end of the 12-month award period will revert to our office to support future research projects. 

For more information, please consult our Internal Grants FAQ.

Reporting Requirements

You will be required to report annually on the progress and outcomes of your project over a 5-year period, and to cite the grant with a unique ID number in any publications , presentations or other significant work that result from the work funded by this grant.

Instructions on reporting will be provided to you by our office.  

Contact Information

Questions and requests for additional information should be directed to VPResearch@lehigh.edu.