Lenfest Grants Summer Lenfest Grant Proposals

The program is made available to expand opportunities for undergraduate faculty scholarship and research, and to improve pedagogy; both activities contribute to vitalizing and advancing instruction at Washington and Lee. There is also an option to apply for a collaborative faculty-student research grant. Collaborative faculty-student research grants are competitive and limited annually.

Full-time tenure-stream faculty are eligible for funding through this program. Current full-time visitors who have been here at least one year and have a university commitment at Washington and Lee for continued full-time employment for at least one year beyond the grant period may apply for a Lenfest Grant. These applications will be considered if funds remain after the tenure-stream faculty applications have been decided. Administrative officers are ineligible unless they teach three-quarters of a full schedule. Full-time faculty with 12-month appointments are also inelgible unless otherwise specified in an appointment letter.

Summer Lenfest grant applications are due at the end of January - please visit the Administrative Deadlines for specific dates. The current Lenfest grant allocations are made possible through the generosity of alumnus Mr. H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest. In addition to the Lenfest endowment accounts for most of the funding for these grants, other permanent endowments that contribute significantly include Glenn, Borland-McDowell, Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation, Hewlett-Mellon, Class of '65, Walker, Turner, and Murphy.

Eligible Projects

A. Projects leading to a scholarly or artistic product, textbook, or paper on pedagogy. Approved projects will be awarded a stipend grant of $4,500 (with an expected time frame of six summer weeks). In addition, approved projects are eligible for reimbursable expenses up to $2,000 for:

a. equipment;
b. research assistants;
c. economy travel, meals, and living expenses for work outside Rockbridge County (see the business and expense guidelines for reimbursement policies and mileage allowance).

An applicant may apply for expense funding above $2,000 with a concomitant reduction in the $4,500 stipend amount, but the total award cannot exceed the sum of $2,000 and $4,500 ($6,500). The stipend grant portion can never exceed $4,500.

B. Projects that improve pedagogy or expertise, such as attending domestic or foreign workshops or seminars or studying significant research and cultural sites can also be funded under this program. Approved projects will be eligible for expenses of up to $2,000, as explained under A. immediately above. Approved projects will include a minimum of six weeks of work.

Grants may not cover any of the following items: capital improvements to any physical spaces or facilities; computer software; copying; preparation of lectures or other classroom materials; attending professional meetings; or University administrative expenses.

Collaborative faculty-student research grants

Collaborative faculty-student research grants are competitive and limited annually allowing faculty to apply for an additional $1,500 stipend to support the high-impact practice of student research experiences with faculty. These practices are not defined by discipline and can take place from the lab to the library. The goal is to give students active research experiences that involve them in observation and creative activities, expose them to cutting-edge technologies, guide them through historical investigation, and help them broadly discover the excitement of expanding academic experiences.

Lenfest Summer Research Grant applications are available via the Watermark Workflow tab. The application will ask for the following information:

  1. project title(s), dates, and location.
  2. project summary (submissions in PDF are preferred, two pages maximum): For each project, describe (i) its purpose, (ii) how it will be carried out, (iii) any special material or assistance required, (iv) the expected end product, and (v) how this will contribute to your growth as a teacher-scholar and to your field(s) of teaching and/or scholarship.
  3. summary of your Lenfest funding history over the past five years, including scholarly products from this past funding. Note especially any previous funding for the current project(s) proposed and progress to date from that funding if this project continues.
  4. budget information: any external funding sought; type and amount of Lenfest funding (stipend, expenses) requested; details of expenses; total amount of grant.

If you are applying for the collaborative faculty-student research grant you will be asked for the following:

  1. Number of summer research students you anticipate working with (including AIM)
  2. A statement explaining the impact of the research experience on the student.

Your application will be submitted to your department head for endorsement. This endorsement indicates that the applicant's proposed activities can be accommodated, are consistent with the applicant's ongoing plan for professional development, and are likely to meet the stated goals. The department head will review and then forward the application to the relevant dean (or return to the applicant for further information); the dean will review and then forward to the Provost for Advisory Committee consideration (or return to the applicant for further information).

Applications will be judged on the following criteria:

  1. Is the application complete and understandable?
  2. Is the project meritorious, feasible, and potentially productive?
  3. Has the applicant made productive use of Lenfest Grant funding?


Every Lenfest Grant recipient must submit, no later than October 15 (following the summer research period), a statement of the project's achievements and an accounting of expenditures. The report may vary in length according to the nature of the project but, in general, should be in summary narrative form, one to two pages in length. It should note the amount received and expended, the period of work, the location of the project, and the extent to which the original plan of operation was followed. If the recipient received support for a student researcher, the report should explicitly address student accomplishments. The report should indicate what the faculty member believes has been accomplished of the proposed project. If the project is not completed per the Lenfest Proposal, a statement of progress should be included that is definite enough to enable the Advisory Committee to judge the extent and quality of the work done. Please submit the report to LenfestResearch@wlu.edu.

Faculty who present their research at the Lenfest Colloquium may submit a one-paragraph summary of the work accomplished and any relevant budgetary accounting in lieu of the full report.