The University of Iowa

Theme Semester Supplemental Grants

$1,000 maximum grant award; minimum amount $250.

The Provost’s Office of Outreach & Engagement provides supplemental grants to the University of Iowa departments to support Theme Semester community outreach and engagement events, activities, research, or educational opportunities.

The 2020 Theme Semester, Flow TogetherThere are currents around us that surround, bind us all together, and move us forward through time. The flow of water, air, and our own blood is fundamental to life. The flow of history teaches us. The flow state allows us to reach our mental peaks. By celebrating and exploring these aspects, we can begin to understand the billions of human beings affected by our actions, and one change, one alter to the flow, can help secure a better future for all.

This theme semester will focus on three main elements: a celebration of the 100th year anniversary of the establishment of the IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering center, the rivers and waters within our state, and the idea of unification through our examination of how the flow connects us.

Funding Cycles

The Office of Outreach & Engagement will accept applications during two windows intended to support activities taking place during the spring Theme Semester 2019. Funding occurs between January 1 through June 1. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on the following days:

  • July 1, 2019
  • December 2, 2019

Applicants must complete the online application form. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

What is the review process?

The Office of Outreach & Engagement has a Grant Review Committee that makes decisions on awarding funds and the level of funding. Partial funding may be awarded. If there is a conflict of interest, members will recuse themselves from the discussion and award decision. 

Decisions on funding will be announced on the following dates:

  • August 1, 2019
  • January 3, 2020

What is the selection criteria for awarding funds?

The Grant Review Committee will consider the following criteria when making its awards:

  • Connection to the Theme Semester topic and Theme Semester goals.
  • Ability to enhance the University of Iowa's statewide impact and social embeddedness.
  • Capacity to prepare University of Iowa students to undertake the complex challenges facing urban and rural Iowans.
  • Feasibility that the project will be completed by June 1, 2020.
  • Long-term sustainability of the project. Does the project provide opportunities for additional community engagement with community partners after this funded project is completed?
  • Range, diversity, and involvement of campus and community partners, as well as matching funds available to enhance impact. Matching funds may come from on-campus units or off-campus sources of support.

What is required of the applicant?

  • Applicant must be a University of Iowa faculty, staff member, or student.
    • Undergraduate students must have a faculty, staff member, or graduate student co-applicant.
  • All recipients must have a 240 funding account so that funding can be transferred. Funds must be spent by June 1, 2020. Any funds not expended by this date will be returned to the Office of Outreach & Engagement.
  • Grant applications must include the following information:
    • Identification of the community or campus partners that are direct partners on the project. Please be specific and include the name of departments, organizations, and businesses, including city governments, non-profit agencies, or community groups.
    • A description of how the project connects to the Theme Semester topic, Theme Semester goals, and description of the proposed scope of work to be completed (approximately 1000 words).
    • Timeline for key milestones in the project, including start and completion dates (does not need to be specific day; week or month is sufficient).
    • Goals for the project, measures of achievement, and potential impact that the project will have on community and/or campus partners (including faculty, students, and staff).
    • A plan to assess project outcomes and deliverables once the project is completed.
    • A project budget, including cost of materials, student participants, events, workshops, and source(s) of funding. The Theme Semester Grant does not cover faculty and staff salaries or out-of-state travel. Expenses incurred prior to the grant award announcement will not be covered by the grant award. Feel free to use the Filesample grant budget or use your own budget format. Space is provided to explain your budget and to describe how the project will change if funding is not awarded.
      • Include specifically how much is being requested from the Theme Semester Supplemental Grant.
      • Include how much additional proposed sources of supplemental funding have you secured.
  • A departmental letter (DEO or Dean/Associate Dean) supporting the project is required, unless the applicant is a department head.

If you receive a Theme Semester Supplemental Grant:

  • All publicity and advertising must acknowledge the Theme Semester program. Logos will be provided to grant recipients.
  • Related activities must be tagged onto the Theme Semester university events calendar.
  • Grantee will be included on the Theme Semester website and social media.
  • Grantee's campus and community partners will be included on the Theme Semester website as collaborators.
  • Add your campus and community partners to the website as collaborators.
  • Postings will use #UItheme on social media.
  • A report detailing the impact of the work completed must be e-mailed to the Office of Outreach & Engagement ( within 30 days of project completion.

The Office of Outreach & Engagement anticipates awarding five (5) grants each award cycle, up to the maximum grant award of $1000. The grant award minimum is $250.

Access the grant application form here.