Round 1 Letters of Intent (LOI) Due April 15. Round 2 LOI tentatively due Nov. 1.
Round 1 applications are due May 31 (invitation only). Round 2 applications tentatively due Dec. 17.
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The Research Development Office (RDO) within the University of Iowa Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) seeks applications to seed interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research communities that advance research, creative activities, and scholarship through grants of up to $150,000. Download the RFP.

Jumpstarting Tomorrow, a hybrid pilot grant/community-building program, will support innovative and collaborative teams that could become the vanguard for future strategic research investments by the university. The initiative was made possible through $2 million in funding to RDO from the first round of disbursements related to the UI utility public-private partnership (P3).

There are several supporting activities to assist teams in developing competitive proposals. See the Resources for Preparing Competitive Proposals section.

Research Areas

Any area of scholarly inquiry is welcome. However, research areas should strive for convergence research that incorporates diverse campus perspectives. The National Science Foundation (NSF) defines “convergence research as having two primary characteristics: 1) research driven by a specific and compelling problem, and 2) deep integration across disciplines”.

Community Building

Awarded teams are expected to help coalesce interested researchers into intellectual communities around their topic. Community building activities may range from journal clubs, networking events, speaker series, or ideation activities to name a few. The emerging communities will be supported through a competitive feasibility grant program.


The maximum research/community building award is up to $150k. Teams will also assist with distribution of an additional $50k in community feasibility grants.

Round 1 Timeline

April 15, 2021

LOI Deadline

April 23, 2021

LOI Feedback/Invitation to Submit

May 31, 2021

Application Deadline

July 1, 2021

Awards Announced

August 1, 2021

Funds Available

August 1, 2022

Progress Report Due

Fall 2022

Jumpstarting Tomorrow Symposium

Resources Preparing Competitive Proposals

The following resources will assist teams in developing new connections while developing competitive proposals. Potential applicants are encouraged to participate in all events.

Virtual Micro Labs

Are you interested in connecting with others and exploring new ways of thinking? Three 90-minute Micro Labs are planned. These are designed to kickstart new ideas and teams. Through a deliberate process, participants can suggest ideas, refine ideas, vote on ideas, and recognize idea champions to move concepts forward. The topics were chosen from last year’s Bold Ideas for Big Challenges competition. These Micro Labs are facilitated by Knowinnovation.

  • Navigating the Impact of Extreme Weather. Science Presenter: Gabriele Villarini (Director, IIHR; Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering). Monday, March 8 @ 12pm-1:30pm.  Register here.  
  • Digital Health Delivery. Science Presenter: Harleah Buck (Co-Director, Csomay Center for Gerontological Excellence; Professor, Nursing). Wednesday, March 10 @ 12pm-1:30pm. Register here.
  • Microbiome Science. Science Presenters: Ashutosh Mangalam (Associate Professor, Pathology) & Hans-Joachim Lehmler (Director, Environmental Health Sciences Research Center; Professor, Occupational and Environmental Health).  Friday, March 12 @ 12pm-1:30pm. Register here.

Integrating Team Science into Grant Proposals Series

Are you interested in learning about evidence-based principles that can be adopted into team effectiveness? The overall objective of the series is to provide investigators with knowledge and skills for improving the integration of team science principles into the process of obtaining and carrying out research grants. See the series webpage for details including registration options.

  • Team Science Overview: Tuesday, March 23 @ 3pm-4pm
  • Choosing Your Team: Tuesday, April 6 @ 3pm-4pm
  • Team Coordination: Tuesday, April 20 @ 3pm-4pm
  • Developing Team Leadership: Tuesday, May 4 @ 3pm-4pm

A Federal Perspective: Landscape and Future Funding Opportunities

Join the Office of Federal Relations for a presentation and discussion regarding current and upcoming federal funding priorities and opportunities.

Networking Surveys

To help facilitate networking and collaboration, the RDO has created Networking Surveys. The goal of the Networking Surveys is to create a directory to help identify potential collaborators for your ideas and projects. See here for current surveys and results.

Jumpstarting Tomorrow Round 2

Jumpstarting Tomorrow will have a Round 2 RFP with a tentative due date of Dec. 17.

Sponsored by:
Research Development Office within the Office of the Vice President for Research

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Britt Ryan in advance at 319-335-9575 or