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The Research Development Office (RDO) within the University of Iowa Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) sought applications to seed interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research communities that advance research, creative activities, and scholarship through grants of up to $150,000.

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).


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”.

  • Research driven by a specific and compelling problem. Convergence research is generally inspired by the need to address a specific challenge or opportunity, whether it arises from deep scientific questions or pressing societal needs.
  • Deep integration across disciplines. As experts from different disciplines pursue common research challenges, their knowledge, theories, methods, data, research communities and languages become increasingly intermingled or integrated. New frameworks, paradigms or even disciplines can form sustained interactions across multiple communities.

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 were $150k. Teams will also assist with distribution of an additional $50k in community feasibility grants.

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.

Round 1 Awards

See executive summaries here. View more information on Round 1 awarded teams here.

Addressing Health Disparities and Biases in AI and Machine Learning Tools
: Guadalupe Canahuate (Electrical and Computer Engineering, Engineering), Co-PIs: Thomas Casavant (Biomedical Engineering, Engineering), Mary Charlton (Epidemiology, CPH), John Buatti (Radiation Oncology, CCOM)

Decarb 2040 – Positioning Iowa as an energy exporter in the coming era of deep decarbonization
Charles Stanier (Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Engineering), Co-PIs: Jerry Anthony (Urban and Regional Planning, Graduate College), Marc Linderman (Geography and Sustainability Sciences, CLAS), Wei Li (Finance, Business)

Iowa Initiative for Scientific Imaging and Conservation of Cultural Artifacts (IISICCA)
Milan Sonka (Electrical and Computer Engineering, Engineering), Co-PIs: Paul Dilley (Classics, CLAS), Daniel Maze (Art History, CLAS), Thaddeus Wadas (Radiology, CCOM)

Jumpstarting a Quantum Simulation Program at The University of Iowa
Ravitej Uppu (Physics and Astronomy, CLAS), Co-PIs: Aditi Bhattacherjee (Chemistry, CLAS), Joe Gomes (Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Engineering), Xueyu Zhu (Mathematics, CLAS), Thomas Folland (Physics and Astronomy, CLAS)

Public Libraries for Disaster Resilience:  Assessing Libraries’ Community Impacts in Times of Climate and Socio-Economic Crises
Lucie Alice Laurian (School of Planning and Public Affairs, Graduate College), Co-PIs: Iulian Vamanu (School of Library and Information Science, Graduate College), Jennifer Glanville (Sociology and Criminology, CLAS), Phuong Nguyen (School of Planning and Public Affairs, Graduate College), Haifeng Qian (School of Planning and Public Affairs, Graduate College), Kang Zhao (Business Analytics, Business)

Round 2 Awards

See executive summaries here.

Infection Control on Medical Implants
Eric Nuxoll (Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Engineering), Co-PIs: Jacob Elkins (Orthopedics & Rehabilitation, CCOM), David Stolz (Internal Medicine, CCOM), Dominique Limoli (Microbiology & Immunology, CCOM)

Iowa Healthy Lakes Initiative: A multi-dimensional approach to measuring, informing, and solving Iowa's Harmful Algal Bloom Challenge
Corey Markfort (Civil and Environmental Engineering, Engineering), Co-PIs: Xun Zhou (Business Analytics, Business), Greg LeFevre (Civil and Environmental Engineering, Engineering), Peter Thorne (Occupational and Environmental Health, CPH), Elise Pizzi (Political Science, CLAS), Susan Meerdink (Geographical and Sustainability Sciences, CLAS)

Move-ome: mapping 24-hour activity cycles in midlife to promote lifelong cognitive health and resilience
Michelle Voss (Psychological and Brain Sciences, CLAS), Co-PIs: Lucas Carr (Health and Human Physiology, CLAS), Kara Whitaker (Health and Human Physiology/Epidemiology, CLAS/CPH), Chooza Moon (Nursing, Nursing), Nathaniel Jenkins (Health and Human Physiology, CLAS)

NEXT Stages: Live Performance with 3D Video in Shared Virtual Worlds
Daniel Fine (Dance and Theatre Arts, CLAS), Co-PIs: Joseph Kearney (Computer Science, CLAS), Tyler Bell (Electrical and Computer Engineering, Engineering), Bryon Winn (Theatre Arts, CLAS)

Organizational Diversity Initiatives: Understanding Adoption Patterns and Impact
Amy Colbert (Management and Entrepreneurship, Business), Co-PIs: Ion Vasi (Sociology and Criminology, CLAS), Michele Williams (Management and Entrepreneurship, Business), Cassie Barnhardt (Educational Policy and Leadership Studies, Education)

Understanding the Nasal Complex as a Fundamental Portal to Human Health
Sarah Vigmostad (Biomedical Engineering, Engineering), Co-PIs: James Buchholz (Mechanical Engineering, Engineering), Xiaoyang Hua (Otolaryngology, CCOM), Brian Dlouhy (Neurosurgery, CCOM), Eric Hoffman (Radiology, CCOM), Ching-Long Lin (Mechanical Engineering, Engineering), Sajan Lingala (Biomedical Engineering, Engineering)


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