Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The University of Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU) will become part of the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), effective Feb. 1.

Bob Kirby

Currently part of the UI Honors Program and led by Director Bob Kirby, ICRU promotes undergraduate involvement in mentored research and creative projects at the UI. It coordinates and supports mentorship of undergraduate students in research and creative work and provides platforms for students to explore research communication. 

By formalizing its partnership with ICRU, and triangulating its efforts with those in the Graduate College, interim Vice President for Research and Graduate College Dean John Keller said the university will be able to work in more coordinated, intentional, and innovative ways to support mentoring, lab experiences, and other research activities across the disciplines.

“This will allow us to support research and scholarship across the entire spectrum, from first-year undergraduate students to our most seasoned faculty members,” Keller said.

Kirby said he’s looking forward to building on ICRU’s already strong ties to OVPR, as well as maintaining its work with the Office of the Provost to support undergraduate research.  

Melinda Licht

OVPR and ICRU partner on a range of initiatives, including undergraduate research fellowships, the spring and fall Undergraduate Research Festivals, and the Excellence in Undergraduate Research Awards presented during OVPR’s annual recognition banquet. Additionally, OVPR spotlights undergraduate students who take part in ICRU’s 3-Minute Research Story Competition during an annual Legislators in the Lab tour, as well as in its Dare to Discover banner campaign each winter.

“OVPR and ICRU have worked together for years to support, enhance, and celebrate the research and scholarship experiences of our undergraduate students,” said Kirby, who will be joined in the move by ICRU Program Director Melinda Licht.

The University of Iowa Office of the Vice President for Research provides researchers and scholars with resources, guidance, and inspiration to secure funding, collaborate, innovate, and forge frontiers of discovery that benefit everyone. More at, and on Twitter: @DaretoDiscover