Seed Grants Available for Faculty to Hire Student Researchers

Graphic image of lightbulbs with the word "grants" beneath

The Public Policy Center (PPC), in collaboration with the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU), is pleased to offer funding for UI faculty who would like to hire an undergraduate student(s) to assist with their policy relevant research. Up to ten $2,500 awards will be made for the Summer 2021 term.  

The goal of these grants is twofold:

  • Provide faculty with more capacity for their policy relevant research
  • Create more opportunities for undergraduate students to be involved in research 

Eligibility is limited to full-time, tenure-track faculty who otherwise would not be able to hire a student to participate in their policy relevant research. Students receiving a Summer ICRU Fellow award will not be eligible to work on a Summer Policy Research project concurrently. 

Applications should be a maximum of two pages and include the following: 

  • Name, title, department, and contact information for primary investigator
  • A description of the research project in high-level terms
  • Role for the student(s) involved in the research
  • Potential impact of the research (e.g., publication, grant application, policy relevance)
  • Description of how the funds will be used (see below)

Additional priority may be given to:

  • Projects that engage undergraduate student(s) in a meaningful way
  • Faculty who involve a student(s) from underrepresented populations in research
  • Projects led by junior faculty members
  • Projects that include a goal of submitting a grant proposal for external funding

Applications will be accepted until March 29, 2021 and should be submitted electronically to Funding decisions will be announced within 3 weeks of the submission deadline and funding will be available as of May 15, 2021. Funding is for summer 2021; however, unspent funds may be used through the Fall semester. 

Funding may be used for the following expenses specific to the project:

  • Remuneration for student personnel, up to $2500
  • Up to $500 in additional funding is available for other appropriate expenses, which may include: 
    • Data collection, survey development support (available via the ISRC)
    • Software, supplies
    • Research participant payments

The Public Policy Center and the Iowa Social Science Research Center (ISRC) can provide support at no cost for:

  • Learning/sharing sessions for faculty on how to effectively engage undergraduates in research
  • Assistance in finding interested, eligible, underserved students in the UI community
  • Connection to our campus partner, the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates
  • Grant development and submission support

Additionally, students are eligible for and encouraged to participate in the Iowa RISE Summer Policy Research Institute, a 6-week social science research training program.


The University of Iowa prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, associational preferences, or any other classification that deprives the person of consideration as an individual. The university also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access  to university facilities. For additional information on nondiscrimination policies, contact the Director, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, the University of Iowa, 202 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA, 52242-1316, 319-335-0705 (voice), 319-335-0697 (TDD),