The Communicating Ideas Award recognizes excellence in communication about research and scholarship in the sciences and humanities and the study of creative, visual and performing arts to a general audience directly or via print and electronic media. Nominees must be the subjects or creators of original works that address their area of expertise for non-peer audiences in at least one of the following areas: Book; Film/Radio/TV; Magazine/Newspaper; Online; and Public Engagement.

Nominees need not have participated in the summer Communicating Ideas workshop sponsored by the Office of Research and Economic Development to be eligible.


All tenure-track, research-track, or clinical-track faculty members with a 50 percent or greater appointment.


The work or activity submitted should:

  • Be accessible and appeal to a broad, public audience;
  • demonstrate clarity, creativity, originality, and accuracy;
  • address issues and/or advances in science, engineering, medicine, the humanities, or the arts;
  • cover topics that have an impact on society; and
  • have occurred or been published, broadcast, or released between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015, in the United States and in English.

In the case of public engagement activities, submissions should include evidence of the activity and its content (copy of public remarks, media coverage, etc.)

Material primarily intended for children, reference books, and textbooks are not eligible for consideration.

Nomination Process

  • Nomination form with statement from nominator: No more than 750 words describing the nominee’s qualifications and accomplishments.
  • One confidential letter of endorsement from either a UI or non-UI [e.g., experts in the field] source.
  • CV (up to 10 pages).
  • Supporting materials (copies of books or remarks, media clippings, video, etc).

Selection Process

A selection committee composed of leaders from within the Office of Research & Economic Development and the Office of Strategic Communication will be appointed to evaluate nominations with respect to the award criteria.  

PDF iconNomination Form


  • A prize of $1,000 and a commemorative gift.
  • Recipients will be recognized formally at the Celebrating Excellence: The University of Iowa Discovery & Innovation Awards Ceremony that highlights research and innovation achievements.
  • All recipients will be recognized on our Dare to Discover - Research Awards & Recognition page to highlight their accomplishments.