About the Pasteur PhD Partnership Program

Louis Pasteur, the father of microbiology and a researcher driven to solve urgent challenges in the here and now, heralded use-inspired research as a fundamentally different approach to the discovery and understanding of natural phenomena. Pasteur started with a practical need or problem, and employed it as a guide to identifying important fundamental questions.

This approach, in contrast to traditional curiosity-driven research, is especially valuable to those who wish to see the impact of their doctoral dissertation in real life within a reasonable timeframe. It provides graduate training through active partnership with companies that are familiar with potential applications and the needs of the ‘customer’ or of society at large.

Named after Louis Pasteur, Lehigh’s P3 program provides four years of financial support for qualified prospective doctoral candidates. Students selected as P3 Fellows are actively involved in defining the scope of their dissertations; together with their academic and corporate-partner advisers, they forge a path that intersects their individual goals with the research objectives identified by one of the program’s external partners.

The opportunities for mentorship and networking are many, including a pre-program summer internship and a one- or two-semester residency at the Fellow’s sponsoring organization.

Academic rigor remains, as always, firmly at the forefront of a Lehigh education. Students in the program will meet all the requirements of their academic department, and faculty advisers will work closely with students and industry sponsors to ensure that students are prepared to succeed through their doctoral candidacy, and into the workplace.

Furthermore, the program offers student an opportunity to gain key additional skills and insight in topics such as intellectual property management, technical communication and team/project-based learning, and ethics and diversity in the modern workplace.

The benefits of Lehigh’s P3 model extend in all directions:

  • Prospective PhDs have an unprecedented opportunity to see the impact of their work rapidly integrated into their chosen industry, working shoulder-to-shoulder with research leaders across our campus and across industries;
  • Participating companies gain access to razor-sharp minds honed on the very challenges those firms seek to address and,
  • The academic community across the U.S. and beyond just may discover a model for unlocking the world of advanced graduate studies to young minds that had never considered themselves as “PhD material.”

See our Web site for more about the P3 program, its benefit to students, the value of project sponsorship, as well as broader efforts to allow P3 to serve as a model for other higher education institutions seeking to invigorate their doctoral studies programs. To inquire about becoming a project sponsor, email pasteur.phd@lehigh.edu.