This Program is for: Faculty and Research Staff


Applications for Fall fellows are due the second Tuesday of May (May 8, 2018). Applications for Spring fellows are due the second Tuesday of September (September 11, 2018).

Fall 2018 Fellows

Application Period: February 13, 2018 - May 08, 2018


University of Iowa Applicants

  • Are tenured or tenure-track University of Iowa faculty or researchers with a continuing position. Emeriti faculty may also apply.
  • May apply more than once (preference will be given to applicants who have not been a Fellow-in-Residence in the past five years).
  • Commit to being in residence full-time during the semester of the award working on the proposed project.
  • Agree to participate in bi-weekly discussions of Fellows' work-in-progress.
  • Are available to participate in occasional lunches and other opportunities for intellectual engagement with the community gathered at the Obermann Center.

External Applicants

  • Are tenured or tenure track faculty members.
  • Reside in or near Iowa City during the period of the residency (close enough to commute to the Center daily).
  • Meet all other requirements for UI applicants.

Required Items

  • A cover sheet: Please include your name, department, desired semester, the award releasing you from all teaching responsibilities, and a signature indicating that the DEO(s) has approved a full-time residency if the application is successful.
  • A curriculum vitae: No more than three pages.
  • An abstract: Include an abstract of the proposed project (in third person), including a title (100 words or less) that will be used on our website if you become a Fellow.
  • A project description: This 3-5 page, single-spaced description should be clear and comprehensible to reviewers from a variety of disciplines; it should clarify how working at the Obermann Center and participating in the bi-weekly Fellows’ seminar will benefit the project and how the applicant’s participation will benefit the other Fellows. Given that the Fellows-in-Residence program is increasingly competitive and that we have limited space, please state specifically how often you anticipate using an office at the Center. The description should include the following. 

Additional Notes

Please use these categories as headings to organize the description.

  • An overview of the project and methodology.
  • The significance of the project.
  • A brief plan that indicates work that has been completed, the present status of the project, specific goals for the semester in residence, and a timeline for the project (which may extend beyond the semester of the award).
  • The anticipated outcome for work completed during the residency and for the larger project, including publication, performance, or exhibition plans; conference presentations; grant applications; impact on teaching; or plans to share discoveries with groups or communities outside academe. (Again, please discuss projected outcomes for a general audience of non-specialists.  That may mean including a few sentences to clarify where your project intersects with existing work in your field.)
  • How you hope to benefit from and contribute to the multi-disciplinary intellectual community of the Center generally and participating in the bi-weekly Fellows’ research seminar specifically.
  • The amount of time you anticipate working at the Center.

Submission Guidelines

Please submit the required materials in a single PDF by e-mail to Call (319) 335-4034 with any questions.

Fall 2018 applications are due May 8, 2018.  Spring 2019 applications are due September 11, 2018.

This Program is for: Graduate Students

Graduate Institute on Engagement and the Academy

The 2018 Obermann Graduate Institute took place the week of January 8. PDF iconView the CFP. Applications were due October 10, 2017.

There are no upcoming application deadlines for this program.
Download CFP


University of Iowa graduate students in any program and at any level of their studies are eligible to apply. As part of the goal of the Institute is to augment public engagement in teaching, if you are in a professional program please consider the value of this aspect of the Institute to your future aspirations.

Required Items

(Please submit your CV and answers to the four questions in one .pdf document to:

  • An academic CV: This should be no longer than 2 pages and should include a) your projected date of graduation and your final degree; b) a list of academic accomplishments, including presentations, publications, exhibits, and teaching assignments, and c) your current contact information (mailing address, phone, and e-mail), academic department, and advisor’s name. Send your CV as a PDF to Be sure your name and e-mail address appear at the top of the first page.
  • Responses to the four questions below: Your responses should be no longer than 200 words per question. Send your responses as a PDF to Be sure that your name and address are at the top of the page.
  • A confidential letter of support from your faculty advisor: Provide a confidential letter of support from your faculty advisor. This should address:  a) your standing in your graduate program, b) the value of the Graduate Institute to your present and future teaching and research, and c) your potential for collaborative, publicly engaged teaching and/or scholarship. [For a definition of public scholarship, see below.] Your faculty advisor should email this letter directly to
  • An optional confidential letter that addresses your abilities or potential abilities to work as partner with a community organization or work experience with public engagement: This letter might come from a faculty member, a mentor, or a supervisor in a volunteer position. It can address any or all of the following: a) your potential to bring this project to fruition, and b) your ability to work with a community partner, and c) the viability of your proposed project. Please have this letter e-mailed directly to
  • An email from the applicant’s Director of Graduate Studies: In order to ensure that the DGS of your department is aware of your participation, we require an email from the Director of Graduate Studies from your home department stating the following: “NAME OF APPLICANT is in good standing in our department. If he/she is accepted, I support his/her participation in the Obermann Graduate Institute in January 2018.” This statement—no more and no less—should be e-mailed by your DGS to

Additional Notes

Four Questions:

  1. EXPERIENCE: What is your past involvement as a student, teacher, and/or scholar with publicly engaged scholarship, volunteerism, service learning, or community activism? (See definition below.) What skills have you built in these areas?
  2. CURRENT VISION: Describe a project that you would like to develop further that involves teaching or scholarship and community engagement. This project can be in any stage—from the spark of an idea to a program that is already in place and to which you would like to build. The Institute will help you to move the project further, but we would like to hear what excites you and where you can imagine applying the methodologies of the Institute.
  3. DIVERSE PERSPECTIVE: How does your background and life experiences relate to your interests in publicly engaged scholarship? We are particularly interested in how you could bring a unique and diverse perspective to the Institute.
  4. PATH FORWARD: Explain how participation in the Obermann Graduate Institute will benefit you as a scholar, teacher, and individual, as well as how it will benefit the University of Iowa and/or a scholarly community of which you are a member.

Note: It may prove useful to you and those writing letters on your behalf to consider this three-part definition of public scholarship from Imagining America, a coalition organization to which the Obermann Center actively belongs:

  • Public scholarship is scholarly or creative work integral to a faculty member’s academic area. It is jointly planned, carried out, and reflected on by co-equal university and community partners. And it yields one or more public good products. 
  • Subject to these three conditions, public scholarship may encompass artistic, design, historical, and critical work that contributes to public discourse and the formation of robust rubrics. It may also include disciplinary or interdisciplinary efforts to advance public engagement in higher education itself and reflection and research on the import of such efforts.
  • Public good products may take diverse and plural forms, including but not limited to peer-reviewed individual or co-authored publications; other forms of writing and publication; presentations at academic and non-academic conferences and meetings; oral histories or ethnographies; interviews with or reflections by participants; program development; performances, exhibitions, installations, murals, or festivals; new K-16 curriculum, site designs or plans for "cultural corridors," and other place-making work; and policy recommendations. 
This Program is for: Faculty and Research Staff

Interdisciplinary Research Grants

Applications are due the second Tuesday in November. PDF iconView the CFP.

There are no upcoming application deadlines for this program.
Download CFP


  • Proposed projects should involve 2-3 collaborators who will work together in residence during a continuous 2- or 4-week period during the summer.
  • Applicants who received this award in the past two years are not eligible. 
  • One member of the team must be a UI tenure-track faculty member or research staff.

Required Items

  • Cover Sheet
    • Title of the project
      • Proposed start and end dates of proposed project (any continuous 2- or 4-week period between mid-May and mid-August) when all collaborators will be in residence
      • Name, rank, department, office mailing address, and e-mail address for each collaborator
      • Short abstract (300 or fewer words)
      • A narrative (maximum five pages, single-spaced) that answers all of the following questions in the order they appear:
    • What do you propose to do?
      • Why is it an important undertaking?
      • What earlier work has been done on the project and related areas by the applicants individually or collaboratively? What work has been done by others?
      • What is the value of the collaboration? Specify the distinctive contribution of each collaborator to the interdisciplinary effort? Include the value of working together, face-to-face, during a specific time period at the Obermann Center..
      • How will the work proceed? Include a timetable for the grant period and afterwards until completion. Describe what collaborators will be doing individually or collaboratively. If applicable, describe the methodology.
      • How will the work benefit from extended, face-to-face work time between the participants? (Note that participants are expected to be actively working at the Obermann Center and not in separate locations.)
      • What will be achieved by the end of the grant period?
      • How will you disseminate your work—through publication, exhibition, other? When do you estimate the project will be completed? Please specify the most likely publisher, journal, or venue and explain. (Edited collections and textbooks generally have not fared well in this competition but are not automatically excluded: the proposal should focus only on the collaborative original research involved.)
  • The curriculum vitae (maximum three single-spaced pages for each CV) of each collaborator
  • A letter from your department chair endorsing the proposed project and the two- or four-week residency at the Obermann Center (sent by DEO to
  • Submit all materials in .pdf form to

Additional Notes

  • Applicants who previously received any Interdisciplinary Research Grants should add a page listing the title and year of each grant and giving full citations for resulting publications or creative work or external research grants.
  • The curriculum vitae (maximum three single-spaced pages for each CV) of each collaborator should include current position, dates of appointment, degrees, relevant publications, grants, courses.
  • This program is intended for collaborators who will be working together in residence at the Obermann Center. Please consider the benefits of face-to-face work time to your project.
  • Each collaborator is awarded $3,000 in research funding for 2-week residencies, or $6,000 for 4-week residencies.
This Program is for: Faculty and Research Staff

Humanities Symposium

There are no upcoming application deadlines for this program.

Required Items

Applications are due the second Tuesday in October.

  • Send a letter of introduction regarding your symposium topic: including its relevance to a particular field or fields; potential for sustained impact through publication or other means of sharing knowledge beyond the immediate event; and ideas for engaging with the community.
  • Include a CV: for each applying director. We encourage but do not require that one director is a senior faculty member. 
This Program is for: Faculty and Research Staff

Working Groups

Applications are due the second Tuesday of April.   

    There are no upcoming application deadlines for this program.


    • At least one director must be a UI tenured or tenure-track faculty member, a clinical faculty member, or a P&S staff with a terminal degree in an area related to the proposed topic.
    • Upper-level graduate students may serve as co-directors or participants.
    • Current Working Groups may reapply; applications should indicate that yours would be a continuing group.

    Required Items

    Send the following as ONE PDF to

    • Description of your topic that concisely explains its significance and your desired objectives as a group.
    • CV for the director or co-directors of no more than two pages each.
    • List of at least six probable participants.     
    This Program is for: Faculty and Research Staff


    We're delighted that you're interested in partnering with us. Please complete the form below, and we'll get back to you shortly. Note that co-sponsorship requests should be submitted at least one month in advance of the event. 

    There are no upcoming application deadlines for this program.
    This Program is for:

    Humanities Without Walls

    Pre-Doctoral Summer Workshop

    Applications were due November 1, 2017 for the 2018 Workshop.

    Graduate students in the humanities and qualitative social sciences may apply for the Pre-Doctoral Workshop.

    The application process has two stages. University of Iowa graduate students should read the instructions on the HWW website before applying. Students apply to the Obermann Center by November 1, 2017. A review committee will select four students to forward to the HWW Consortium committee. Two students will be chosen from each consortial school to attend the summer workshop.

    Application requirements:

    • A completed application cover sheet
    • A narrative of no more than 1,000 words explaining the applicant’s intended career trajectory and addressing the following questions:
      Why do you want to attend the workshop?
      What are the most important pieces of information you are seeking?
    • A two-page CV
    • Two letters of recommendation. One letter should be from the applicant’s primary adviser/dissertation chair; both should emphasize the applicant’s fit for this workshop.

    Letters of recommendation should be submitted to the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies via our email address by November 1st, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. CDT.

    Applicants should prepare and submit the rest of the required application materials to the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies via our email address by November 1st, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. CDT.

    Center directors will nominate up to four finalists from the applications they receive, compile the applications and recommendations, and submit them using the online application portal by5:00 pm CST on December 1st, 2017.

    Center directors must submit the required application materials, including the two letters of recommendation they have received, via the portal as a single PDF file.

    Announcement of fellowship awards will be made by the end of January 2018.


    Grand Challenge

    Tenured faculty members from the University of Iowa from the humanities and qualitative social sciences may apply for the Grand Challenge. Find application checklists at the Humanities Without Walls website.

    There are no upcoming application deadlines for this program.
    This Program is for: Public


    To learn more about OberFriends, contact Erin Hackathorn at 335.4034 or

    There are no upcoming application deadlines for this program.
    This Program is for: Faculty and Research Staff

    Digital Bridges for Humanistic Inquiry

    There are no upcoming application deadlines for this program.
    This Program is for:

    Book Ends—Obermann/OVPRED Book Completion Workshop

    Application: Due Wednesday, September 12 by 5pm

    Please submit the following as a single PDF file to The complete submission (not including the cover sheet) should be no more than five single-spaced pages. (Please use a 12-point font size.)


    From the applicant

    • Include a cover sheet (name, department, contact information, title of book project, and one sentence description of your thesis.)
    • Describe the project and its significance, including a brief outline of chapters.
    • Clarify how much of the manuscript is written and what remains to be done.
    • Provide a timeline for completion of a full draft of the manuscript.
    • Identify 4-6 senior scholars who would be excellent readers and mentors for this project, briefly noting what each would contribute to your project. Please include a link to each scholar’s homepage. The scholars should not have served on the applicant’s dissertation committee and should not have a close relationship with the UI scholar.
    • Identify 2-4 University of Iowa faculty members who would be excellent readers and mentors for this project, briefly noting what each could contribute.
    • Include drafts of two completed chapters of the monograph.


    From the applicant’s department chair

    Please send a brief letter with “Letter of support for X” in the subject line to The letter should indicate—

    • Support for the application.
    • Confirmation that you personally have seen the complete or nearly complete manuscript.
    • Affirmation that the faculty member is meeting professional expectations, as indicated by successful annual reviews, etc., in your department.
    • Your own suggestions for possible internal senior faculty members to participate in book workshop.


    Successful applicants will meet with the Director of the Obermann Center to plan invitations to external readers and determine possible dates for the workshop. Please note: applicants should be prepared to share their manuscripts with internal and external readers by early October.

    There are no upcoming application deadlines for this program.