Internal Funding Opportunities

Research funds available from the Office of the Vice President for Research

The Office of the Vice President for Research offers 14 internal funding programs to help Iowa State researchers pursue new projects and go after external funding for their research and scholarship. Here are our internal funding programs, with descriptions, application forms, and contacts for additional information. For any general questions on internal funding programs, please email vprfunding@iastate.edu.

Please Note: These internal funding opportunities do not require a GoldSheet or Cardinal Sheet during the submission process.

Overview of Programs — 2-Page Printable PDF


General Research Development Grants

Arts and Humanities

Other Research Support Programs

Cost Sharing Programs



Presidential Interdisciplinary Research Initiative (PIRI)

This program funds larger interdisciplinary research groups for up to three years. Groups are expected to define an integrated interdisciplinary research effort distinguished by intellectual excellence and driven by a clear vision of fundamental advances, new discoveries, or technological developments having state, national, and global economic and societal impact. Further, the area of scholarship should likely be such that more than one agency may support the work.

  • Eligibility: Each team will have a lead faculty investigator and a core group of four or more faculty and staff members working together in the interdisciplinary area of interest. The lead investigator should be a full or associate professor at Iowa State, and the team should include participants from multiple academic units on campus.
  • Award Amount: PIRI funds are expected to be allocated at an annual level of $125,000 to $250,000 per team over a three-year period, subject to the availability of funds. A 10 percent cost share with college(s) is expected and should be expressed in the budget proposal.
  • Due Date: Pre-proposals are due to the Office of the VPR by January 31 at the link below. Invitations for full proposals will be sent by February 21. Full proposals are due March 28.
  • Learn More: Grab your lunch and join the Office of the VPR for a discussion of PIRI on Dec. 6 and Dec. 13. VPR leaders will give an overview of the program, as well as information and tips on how to apply.
  • Program and Application Information [PDF]
  • Submit Proposals Here


Presidential Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grant Program (PIRS)

Sponsored by the Office of the President and an endowment from the Mary N. Miller estate, Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grants are intended to support the initial stages of innovative, high-risk and high-reward projects that have an interdisciplinary focus and have strong potential for external (competitive) funding. These stages may include performing preliminary work and facilitating collaboration. It is expected that a competitive proposal for a sizable project will be submitted to an external funding agency within a year of the completion of the Research Seed Grant period.

  • Eligibility: Tenure-eligible faculty and senior lecturers/clinicians from all disciplines and at every career stage may apply for the Research Seed Grant Program. Applicants must be full-time faculty members. Faculty may not be on more than one proposal in a given funding cycle.
  • Award Amount: The Research Seed Grant Program funding is $30,000 (maximum $50,000) total per project, over a two-year project period.
  • Due Date: Proposals are due to the Office of the VPR by October 31 and March 15.
  • Program and Application Information [PDF]
  • Submit Proposals Here


Bailey Research Career Development Award

This award was established with a generous estate gift from Carl A. and Grace A. Bailey. The overall goal of this program is to foster research that is innovative (outside of an established research program) and not only increases knowledge but also has practical applications. It is expected that the Bailey award will allow faculty to devote time toward high-risk, high-impact research addressing emerging scientific, technical, and/or societal problems resulting in practical applications and, in appropriate disciplines, extramural funding.

  • Eligibility: All full-time tenured associate professors and professors may apply for this award. Each award will be given to an individual, but he/she can have collaborators on the project.
  • Award Amount: Up to $50,000 per year for up to three years.
  • Due Date: Proposals are due to colleges by October 23. Colleges select one proposal each to submit to the Office of the VPR by November 13.
  • Program and Application Information [PDF]
  • Past Recipients


Margaret B. Barry Cancer Research Award

This biennial award was established with a generous estate gift from Ms. Margaret Barry, who wanted these funds to further cancer research, especially in the College of Veterinary Medicine. The funds may also support collaborative projects between the College of Veterinary Medicine and other areas.

  • Eligibility: We invite proposals from interested faculty and eligible P&S researchers (P37 and above) in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Award Amount: Usually a maximum of $60,000 per year for two years.
  • Due Date: An RFP is usually issued every two to three years, depending on availability of funds. In active years, proposals are due to the Office of the VPR by November 15.
  • Program and Application Information [PDF]
  • Submit Proposals Here


McGee-Wagner Interdisciplinary Research Fund Award

Sponsored by Dr. Thomas D. McGee in honor of Dr. Stanley D. Wagner and their collaborations, this biennial award fosters collaborative research that involves faculty members from both the College of Engineering and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

  • Eligibility: Each proposal must involve at least one faculty member from the College of Engineering and one faculty member from the College of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Award Amount: Usually $10,000 for up to three years.
  • Due Date: An RFP is usually issued every two to three years, depending on availability of funds. In active years, proposals are due to the Office of the VPR by November 15.
  • Program and Application Information [PDF]
  • Submit Proposals Here

Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Grants (CEAH)

The CEAH provides several grant programs that are specifically tailored to faculty in the arts and humanities in the Colleges of Design and of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


CEAH Planning Grant: The CEAH invites proposals from associate and full professors for support in creating competitive applications to prestigious awards, fellowships, and grants recognized by the Association of American Universities (AAU).

  • Eligibility: Applicants must be an associate or full professor at the time of application with a home department in the arts and humanities disciplines in the College of Design or College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
  • Award Amount: Up to $15,000 per award.
  • Due Date: The information will be posted as soon as it is available.
  • Coming Soon Program and Application Information
  • Coming Soon – Submit Proposals Here
  • Past Awards


CEAH Research Grant: The CEAH provides grants for research and creative activity that will make a significant contribution to the scholarly development and academic career progression of faculty in the arts, design, and humanities disciplines.

  • Eligibility: Applicants must be tenured or tenure-track faculty in the College of Design or College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, with a home department in the arts and humanities disciplines.
  • Award Amount: Usually up to $5,000 for research grants, and about $5,000 for summer salary or course release.
  • Due Date: Proposals are due by October 13 and February 9.
  • Program and Application Information
  • Submit Proposals Here
  • Past Awards


CEAH Symposium Grant: CEAH provides Symposium Grants in the range of $2,000 to $10,000 to support the creation of artistic and scholarly activities, symposia, or other events that bring attention and recognition to the scholarly work being done by Iowa State’s arts and humanities faculty.

  • Eligibility: Applicants must be tenured or tenure-track faculty in the College of Design or the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, with a home department in the arts and humanities disciplines.
  • Award Amount: Up to $10,000 per award.
  • Due Date: Proposals are due by October 13 and February 9.
  • Program and Application Information
  • Submit Proposals Here
  • Past Awards


Brown Graduate Fellowship

The Brown Graduate Fellowship is to be used to strategically advance ISU research in the areas of study that are governed by the Valentine Hammes Family and Leopold Hammes Brown Family Trust. These include science, agriculture, and space science.



Publication Subvention Grants

Grants from this fund are used to defray costs for two forms of publications: (A) articles targeted for high-quality, peer-reviewed open access journals when other funds are not available, and (B) publication in the appropriate medium of meritorious scholarly writings and other worthy original works by faculty and staff of Iowa State University as well as works by others on topics of Iowa or regional interest.

  • Eligibility: Any full-time faculty member or any P&S staff member at the rank of P37 or above may apply for this award through his/her academic unit. Anyone outside of the university working on Iowa-related research topics may apply to part (B) of this program by working directly with the Office of the VPR.
  • Award Amount: Part (A): half of the publication cost, up to $1,250; Part (B): variable, recently ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 for publication of various types of media.
  • Due Date: Requests to the Office of the VPR are accepted on a continuing basis and considered for funding on a monthly basis.
  • Guidelines for application:  Publication Subvention Grant Program [PDF]
  • For Part A requests: Submit Proposals Here
  • For Part B requests: Submit Proposals Here


Cost Sharing – Research Instrumentation Funding (COSRIF)

This program provides funding for faculty and core facilities with cost-sharing funds to purchase new equipment, replace or add new components to existing research instruments, or de novo assemble an integrated new instrument. The program considers requests whose costs fall out of the range of federal major instrumentation grants or are not permitted in typical individual federal research proposals.

  • Eligibility: All faculty, departments, and ISU units are eligible.
  • Award Amount: COSRIF considers requests up to a maximum of $300,000 per proposal from ISU funds, with a maximum of one third contributed by the Office of the VPR.
  • Due Date: Proposals are due to the Office of the VPR by October 31 and March 31.
  • Program and Application Information [PDF]
  • Submit Requests Here


Cost Sharing – Sponsored Programs

This program supports projects with a sponsor-mandated cost share requirement or projects where cost share is strongly encouraged and promises to create new opportunities for research at Iowa State.

  • Eligibility: PIs on proposals being sent to an external sponsor.
  • Award Amount: The award amount depends on the project and sponsor guidelines. Packages for cost sharing are generally assembled in collaboration between the Office of the VPR, colleges, departments, PIs, and possibly other units.
  • Due Date: PIs are advised to start discussions with their colleges and the Office of the VPR well in advance of the proposal due date.
  • Program and Application Information [PDF]
  • Submit Requests Here


Cost Sharing – Faculty Development

The Office of the VPR may contribute funds to other research development activities on campus. This includes retention packages, special instrumentation needs,  and visits to or from representatives of federal agencies. If your request does not fit in one of these categories, please provide a description and justification of your request and choose “Other Support” below.



Cost Sharing – Faculty Start-up Funding

The Office of the VPR provides matching funds to college and departmental start-up packages to recruit exceptional faculty to Iowa State.

  • Eligibility: All new faculty are eligible to receive Faculty Start-up Funding from the Office of the VPR. Requests for new faculty start-up packages originate in the hiring department and go through a college approval process including required signatures before the request can be submitted to the Office of the VPR.
  • Award Amount: The default proportion for the OVPR contribution is one-third of the start-up cost. Deviations from this guideline must be discussed with the OVPR prior to submitting the request.
  • Due Date: Requests to the Office of the VPR are accepted on a continuing basis.
  • Program and Application Information [PDF]
  • VPR Request Form for Faculty Start-up Funds [DOC]
  • Submit Requests Here