Inquiry to Impact Project FAQs

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Everything you didn't know you need to know.

FAQs for Students

What's in it for me?

 A unique opportunity to work in teams, pursue an idea towards its impact, add to your portfolio of collegiate accomplishments with publications, conference presentations, value creation, contributions to a field of study, etc. You get to follow your curiosity and exploratory instincts, while crafting important skillsets and mindsets for your future. An opportunity to partner with faculty and staff - rather than work under them - as well as with other students and external partners who share your excitement for the project. An opportunity to take theory to practice. An opportunity to be part of a project that will create new knowledge, new praxis, or both, to contribute to a legacy of changing the world.

I am a first-year student. How can I sign up?

At this time, first-year students cannot sign up for i2i project during your freshman year. Instead, they should attend as many LearnX, MakeX, SprintX events as they can to build up their technical and project skills for the future.

Is this open to graduate students?

Yes! Graduate students are welcome on i2i project teams, especially if their Masters/PhD research project is somehow related. Graduate students are still expected to sign up for the relevant credits. ABD graduate students can propose and mentor and i2i project with their advisor's approval.

How am I graded? Is there a "deliverable" due at the end of the semester?

Your grade will not be based on a series of exams, pop quizzes, five paragraph essays, or multiple-choice chapter tests. Early in the semester, we will work with you to identify your potential end results – where you think you can be at the end of the semester. Once those goals and possible outcomes are determined, then your work in the course will be evaluated on how well you have reached them, how impact-oriented you have been, and how dedicated you have been to getting stuff done.

Why do I have to sign up for credits?

Accountability and responsibility. Plus, the opportunity to leverage academic work into a real portfolio of accomplishment, while progressing toward your degree.

I have never done x... (3D printing, editing a documentary, using AutoCAD, fabricating something, working with power tools, programming, etc.) What should I do?

Be on the lookout for the “LearnX/MakeX/SprintX” series of events held at Wilbur Powerhouse and other locations on campus throughout the semester, where you can learn, make, and hack a variety of tools, things, and ideas that will help you accomplish more.

What can i2I funds be used for?

Each project will have a negotiated budget for necessary equipment, supplies, travel, participant incentives - anything that is not already available for free as a Lehigh resource. We will expect all i2i teams to establish their own web page (which will link from the Office of the Vice Provost of Creative Inquiry website for greater visibility), but the University Communications team can help that to happen. If you need a freelancer to do some work related to the project, that is fair game. Finally, and most importantly, i2i funds should be used, in conjunction with existing Lehigh sources, to provide conference and travel funding to disseminate your amazing work to the world at large.

Is this about the experience or the outcome?

It is about the phenomenal experience that leads to awesome outcomes. They are not mutually exclusive!

Does everything need to have measurable, tangible impact?

Yes - but impact is defined in a multitude of ways, and you define the impact that your project can and should have. We want to encourage all areas of inquiry at Lehigh, but we also hope that those areas will include something of substance that will create real impact in the world.

 


 

FAQs for Faculty

What's in it for me?

Perhaps a better question would be...

Does this count on my PAR?

Yes, as service and mentoring work if not teaching and research - although the latter will have to be negotiated with your department chair. Do you get paid? No, unless you negotiate this course as part of your semester teaching load. Do you get to work with highly motivated, awesome students? Yes! Those students take radical ownership of their projects and you are a leader with them, so any new knowledge or new praxis (or, preferably, both) that is created is for your credit as well as theirs.

How are projects proposed and selected?

Faculty members may propose new i2I projects at anytime by contacting the Office of the Vice Provost for Creative Inquiry. Projects will be vetted by a panel of internal and external experts in the subject matter at hand and who have experience working on these types of open-ended ventures. Comments will be sent back to the proposing team for review, edits, and resubmission if necessary. Ultimately, the Vice Provost for Creative Inquiry will make the final determination on whether to admit projects into the i2i portfolio. In most cases, projects which are not selected as i2i will be classified as Creative Inquiry projects until they mature into larger-scale endeavors.

What kinds of projects are considered?

i2I projects contain creative inquiry, create value (broadly defined), and lead to measurable, tangible impact in the world. They can come from many different fields and disciplines of study, and ideally, are inter- or cross-disciplinary. They are multi-semester/ multi-year projects which won’t reach the end zone (or spectacularly fail) until well into their life cycle, typically 3-5 years but possibly more. The possible ecosystems range from the arts and public humanities, to community engagement projects, to projects in the sustainable development arena, to projects with an entrepreneurial flavor, to projects influencing the K-12 education ecosystem.

Are you open to projects that do not have an end "product" for the marketplace?

Yes! We are open to all kinds of creative projects! If you are interested in commercializing a product for the U.S. marketplace, you should reach out to the Baker Center for Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship.

If the Inquiry to Impact Project involves human subjects, do we need IRB approval?

Yes! The IRB protects research participants, but it also protects your team. Going through the IRB process ensures that you think through every aspect of your study and do it right. You can publish your work only if it has been approved by the IRB and we really want you to present your work at conferences and publish it in journals. The IRB process may seem scary, but it's not actually that hard and we can help you with it!

What can i2I funds be used for?

Each project will have a negotiated budget for necessary equipment, supplies, travel, participant incentives - anything that is not already available for free as a Lehigh resource. We will expect all i2i teams to establish their own web page (which will link from the Office of the Vice Provost of Creative Inquiry website for greater visibility), but the University Communications team can help that to happen. If you need a freelancer to do some work related to the project, that is fair game. Finally, and most importantly, i2i funds should be used, in conjunction with existing Lehigh sources, to provide conference and travel funding to disseminate your amazing work to the world at large.

Is this about the experience or the outcome?

It is about the phenomenal experience that leads to awesome outcomes. They are not mutually exclusive!

Does everything need to have measurable, tangible impact?

You shouldn't have to ask that question. But since you did, the answer is basically yes. We want to encourage all areas of inquiry at Lehigh, but we also hope that those areas will include something of substance that will create real impact in the world.

Can Lehigh staff members mentor projects?

Yes, and we encourage them to do so! Projects must, however, have at least one faculty member attached for them to be academic adventures.