Upcoming Events

Application Deadline: Obermann Arts & Humanities Symposium Director (2025–26) promotional image

Application Deadline: Obermann Arts & Humanities Symposium Director (2025–26)

Wednesday, October 30, 2024 5:00pm
Is there a burning topic in your discipline or a topic that cuts across disciplines that we should bring to campus? Is there a format for the conversation that can energize an intellectual community around that topic? That might be the perfect topic for an Obermann Arts & Humanities Symposium! These imaginative half- and whole-day symposia connect the arts and humanities with design, politics, health sciences, environmental studies, technology, and other disciplines via a compelling topic...
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Teresa at OCAS sign

Building a World of Possibility

Wednesday, April 17, 2024
In 2010, Professor Teresa Mangum picked up a paintbrush alongside administrator and compatriot Neda Hatami. The two began transforming the Tudor-style house at 111 Church Street into what is now the University of Iowa’s Obermann Center for Advanced Studies. It wasn’t just a fresh coat of paint. From the start of her fourteen-year tenure as director of the Obermann Center—which falls under the auspices of the Office of the Vice President of Research and is located across from the UI President’s residence—Teresa has been building a legacy. “My favorite thing is watching how people enter the space,” she remarks, speaking about the Center with a mixture of Midwestern lucidity and Southern warmth. “People walk in and you can see them thinking, This is what I thought it would be like to be at a university. The image of people’s faces when they walk in is one of my guiding lights. How do we keep the hope for an intellectual life alive?”
Luis Martin-Estudillo

Martín-Estudillo named new director of Obermann Center for Advanced Studies

Monday, April 15, 2024
Luis Martín-Estudillo, professor and collegiate scholar in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will serve as the next director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies (OCAS). His appointment will begin July 1. “We are very excited that Professor Martín-Estudillo has agreed to lead the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies into its next chapter,” said Kristy Nabhan-Warren, associate vice president for research. “He brings a wealth of international connections, fresh ideas, and a proven track record of collaboration across units and disciplines here at Iowa and beyond. The search committee was deeply impressed with his vision for the center, and the campus feedback we solicited confirmed and amplified our excitement for new possibilities for OCAS.” For more than four decades, the OCAS has served as an interdisciplinary hub for artists, scholars, and researchers who bridge campus with the larger world.

Featured Programs

Lightbulb with plant growing in soil inside it

Interdisciplinary, Experiential Environmental Education and Research

Join us for transformative, place-based research collaboration in Spring 2024

This series invites campus artists, humanities scholars, and researchers in the sciences and social sciences to imagine the many ways that our campus and connected spaces might serve as a living laboratory for environmental research.

The series includes visits from facilities and research leaders at other campuses who have developed transformative, place-based research collaborations that include students, staff, and faculty. It culminates in a Design Workshop for Environmental Studies Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration led by Lesley-Ann Noel, professor of design at North Carolina State University.

These events are hosted by the UI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and generously co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Learn more & apply

Interdisciplinary Research Grants

Fostering collaborative scholarship & creative work

Obermann Interdisciplinary Research Grants (IDRG) foster collaborative scholarship and creative work by offering recipients time and space to exchange new ideas leading to invention, creation, and publication. IDRG groups work at the Obermann Center for two weeks, usually in July and/or August. Applicants propose work on a project with colleagues from across the University, across disciplines within their own department, or with colleagues from other parts of the country or the world. Projects are intended to result in an important scholarly or creative work.

Each collaborator is awarded $3,000 in research funding for a 2-week residency.

We welcome IDRG applications from artists, researchers, and scholars in any discipline and on any topic

Learn more & apply
Butterflies coming out of a book

Book Ends: Obermann/OVPR Book Completion Workshop

This program supports University of Iowa faculty from disciplines in which publishing a monograph is required for tenure and promotion. The award is designed to assist faculty members turn promising manuscripts into important, field-changing, published books.

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