Levitetz Light Bulb Award

Solving complex, real-world problems requires transformational ideas that draw on creativity, ingenuity, and interdisciplinary thinking and research. Do you have a big idea aimed at making the world a better place? The Light Bulb Research Awards provide support to student(s) researching and cultivating potential solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Students or student teams should propose solutions to problems in one or more of the following thematic areas:

· Diversity, equity, inclusion

· Poverty and income inequality

· Food or housing security

· Healthcare

· Community development

· Education

· Democratic practices

· Technology

· Environmental sustainability

· Climate change

Recipients of Light Bulb Research Awards receive funding in the amount of $1500 to further research or develop their ideas, culminating in the production of a proposed innovation or solution to the problem. At the end of the project, students will submit a written report(s) detailing their solutions and give a short TED-talk-like presentation at the “Levitetz Leadership Conference” on March 22, 2024.

To apply, complete the application here.  You will be asked to submit the following: an abstract/proposal (250-300 words) that includes a problem statement, a description of the solution to be explored, and an overview of the interdisciplinary research approaches to be used. You will also include resources needed to complete this project. Students are strongly encouraged to seek input from faculty in developing their projects. Before you apply, review a copy of the Light Bulb Research application. 

Eligibility: New College majors and other students enrolled in a New College Fall 2023 seminar are eligible for a Light Bulb Research Award. Applicants must demonstrate a history of prior engagement with a particular problem or theme beyond a rudimentary interest in the topic. Successful applications must demonstrate evidence of substantial progress toward, and feasibility of, the solution proposed.

Evaluation: Applications will be evaluated on the following:

· Interdisciplinary: innovative, creative, and integrative approaches to be utilized, demonstrating a degree of proficiency in the selected thematic area(s)

· Intellectual merit: potential to advance knowledge and deepen understanding of complex problems

· Broader impacts: potential for feasible solutions to real-world problems and achievement of outcomes

Light Bulb Awards Events

Important Dates:

  • Application process starts for Light Bulb Research Awards on October 12, 2023
  • Light Bulb Applications due October 31, 2023
  • Light Bulb recipients notified, and rejection letters will be sent by November 7, 2023
  • Mandatory Light Bulb Meeting TBA
  • Levitetz Leadership Program Social TBA, RSVP here.
  • Light Bulb “Presentation Day” Friday, March 24, 2024, RSVP here.

In-Person & Virtual Information Sessions will be held:

  • Mandatory Light Bulb Meeting Tuesday, November 29th @ 6 p.m. in the New College Lounge

Previous Participants:

2022 Light Bulb Recipients

2023 Light Bulb Recipients