Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The Research Development Office (RDO) in the University of Iowa Office of Vice President for Research (OVPR) is seeking proposals from interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teams to conduct innovative research, creative activities, and scholarship with grants of up to $150,000.

Jumpstarting Tomorrow, a hybrid pilot grant/community-building program, is supported through $2 million in funding to RDO from the first round of disbursements related to the UI utility public-private partnership (P3).

A Letter of Intent from prospective applicants for Jumpstarting Tomorrow funding is due by April 15, with feedback and invitations to submit expected to be generated by April 23. For details, visit this page.  

“One of the university’s largely untapped strengths is the collegiality and cooperation that has long been in place across disciplines,” Vice President for Research Marty Scholtz said. “Our hope is that this funding will unleash that potential and lead to more dynamic and productive research and discovery across multiple colleges and departments.”

Two objectives of Jumpstarting Tomorrow are advancing creative and scholarly inquiry at the UI by collecting feasibility/pilot data that enables future competitive grant proposals, and building collaborative communities of engagement through speaker series, networking events, and ideation activities.

This initiative seeks novel interdisciplinary research conducted by new teams of investigators. Successful proposals will not be an extension of already funded research.

Proposals from any discipline are welcome but should entail “convergence research” that incorporates diverse campus perspectives. The National Science Foundation (NSF) defines convergence research as being driven by a specific and compelling problem and involving deep integration across disciplines.

“While interdisciplinary cooperation is often thought of as a nice aspiration in research and academics, it’s really central to the intent of Jumpstarting Tomorrow,” RDO Director Aaron Kline said. “We want to amplify, and support, the University of Iowa’s collaborative spirit with these grants.”

Kline said RDO is further facilitating collaboration this year through Micro Labs for ideation, a four-part team science skill building series, and a presentation on current and upcoming federal funding opportunities.

“We’re here to help folks connect, be creative, and develop exciting ideas, and I look forward to see what fruits these efforts bear,” he said.

UI faculty (tenure/tenure track) from any discipline are eligible to be PI or Co-PI on a single proposal but may be collaborators on multiple proposals. Project teams must consist of one PI and three or more Co-PIs, together representing three or more departments within two or more colleges.

The maximum award is up to $150,000 earmarked for research/community building, with another $50,000 to be made available later in support of new campus relationships that emerge as a result of the winning teams’ work. Up to five awards are expected.

Proposals will be peer-reviewed by campus research leaders and assessed based on innovation and impact; community convergence; campus engagement; sustainability via extramural funding; methods and approach; team leadership; and efforts to engage historically excluded groups, career faculty, and students.

All awardees are expected to participate in a Jumpstarting Tomorrow symposium in fall 2022. The symposium will provide an additional engagement opportunity and showcase the teams, communities, and outcomes from the program.

To submit a Letter of Intent, log in to Infoready competition portal with your HawkID and password. Submit the LOI and application including all components through the portal. Contact or 319-384-3332, with submission questions. 

The UI Research Development Office is part of the University of Iowa Office of the Vice President for Research, which 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