“What might be the most interesting interdisciplinary research challenge that the
UI is particularly well positioned to explore in the next three to five years?”

Do you want to blend disciplinary approaches, reimagine possibilities, and transform current thinking to interdisciplinary research challenges that the University of Iowa is uniquely suited to confront? Your response to the question above is critical in identifying the areas to explore during two Ideas Labs this summer.

Contribute and Participate

  • Submit your bold ideas*; 750 characters or less (February 3-7)
    • Theming completed by Office of Vice President for Research leadership and collegiate Associate Deans for Research
  • Rank broad themes derived from submitted ideas (March 2-6)
    • Ideas Lab topics derived from ranked results
  • Apply to participate in Ideas Labs (March/April; April/May) 
    • Compete for $50,000 seed funding per Ideas Lab (June 8-10; August 3-5)

*See NSF 2026 Ideas Machine Gallery for examples of compelling challenges and associated key research questions.

Ideas Labs

Ideas Labs are designed to facilitate collaborations that generate novel research approaches and questions. The Ideas Lab process has been used to facilitate collaboration and ideation by funding agencies, nationally and internationally, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Further, the University of Iowa utilized this method for the Opioid Ideas Lab (2018).

What to Expect

Activity Date(s)
Survey #1: Bold Ideas Feb. 3-7
Survey #2: Rank Themed Responses March 2-6
Ideas Lab Topics Announced Mid-March
Onramp Talks March 23-April 10
Apply to Participate March 23- April 24
Ideas Lab Fellows Notified May 4
Ideas Lab #1 June 8-10
Seed Funding Awarded June 22
Onramp Talks April 13-24
Apply to Participate April 13-May 8
Ideas Lab Fellows Notified May 18
Ideas Lab #2 August 3-5
Seed Funding Awarded August 17


Learn More

Sign Up  

Sign up to stay up-to-date on activities!


Contact Aaron Kline (aaron-kline@uiowa.edu or 319-335-4142)