Working Groups

Space, structure, and discretionary funding

Obermann Center Working Groups provide space, structure, and discretionary funding for groups of faculty and advanced graduate students with a shared intellectual interest. Groups have used this opportunity to explore new work and to share their own research, to organize a symposium, and to develop grant proposals. 

This program allows participants from across the campus and beyond to explore complex issues at a moment when cross-disciplinary collaboration is crucial to address shifting domains of knowledge and a rapidly changing world.

Working Groups:

  • have one or two co-directors; one must be a UI faculty member
  • attend an orientation meeting in the fall
  • meet a minimum of once a month throughout the academic year
  • must provide a list of participating members to the Obermann Center
  • provide a one-page report on their activities at the end of the academic year
  • give a brief, informal presentation of the group's work in the spring at a meeting set by the Obermann Center
  • may continue their work to the next academic year but must reapply for funding in the spring
  • can apply for up to $1,000 to support their activities

Note that groups may apply for up to $1,000 in discretionary funds; however, these funds cannot be used for food, and they must be used by the end of the spring semester.   



Applications are due the second Tuesday of April.   


    • 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.