Office of Research & Sponsored Programs

Internal Funding Available for Research and Other Scholarship by UNI Faculty and Staff

Research and Sponsored Programs Capacity Building Grant Program

The Capacity Building program offers seed grants to faculty and staff for research, creative activities, and other projects which need early phase support to become competitive for external funding. The purpose of the program is to enhance the ability of faculty and staff to successfully compete for external funding, as well as building UNI's capacity for scholarship, research, and creative activities. Awards are made up to a maximum of $10,000 each. For questions about the Capacity Grant program, please contact the Director of Research & Sponsored Programs Tolif Hunt at
Eligibility: All faculty and staff
Project Period: All funds must be spent between February 1, 2022 and August 31, 2023
Award Range: Up to $10,000
Deadlines:  Annually - the next cycle of applications are due Friday, December 3, 2021.
To apply:
  • Read the Request for Proposals (PDF) for details, guidelines, and formatting requirements.
  • Prepare a Letter of Intent - due Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 to
  • Letters of Intent should include the following:
    • Names and departments of the Principal Investigator (PI) and any Co-PIs
    • Project title
    • A brief description of the project
After a LOI has been submitted, the full proposal application must be submitted which consists of the Cover Sheet, Project Description, Budget, Budget Justification, and Biosketch(es). These items must be formatted as requested and emailed to no later than Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. Submission of application materials in a PDF Portfolio file is encouraged.
Please consult the following for complete proposal guidance and reference templates: 



Capacity Grant Recipients Fall 2020

Jennifer McNabb, History, Brenda Bass, Applied Human Sciences, & Cherly Dong, History, Preserving and Sharing Iowa History in the Twenty-First Century: Creating Iowa’s Online State Encyclopedia, $ 10,000.
Lisa Hooper, Center for Educational Transformation, & Scott McNamara, Kinesiology, Online Fit Families: Physical Activity for Children with Autism and their Families, $ 10,000.
Randall Harlow, Music, Kevin Droe, Music, & Jin Zhu, Technology, Hyper-Musical Playground, $ 7680.
James Dietrich, Geography, & John DeGroote, GeoTREE Center, Low-cost stream gauges for early flood warnings, $ 6,732.
Kimberly Hurley, Kinesiology, Senior Iowans in the Balance: Evaluation Needs and Resources, $ 7,009.
Aliza Fones, Languages & Literatures, Online Refugee Student Support, $ 10,000.
Justin Peters, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Investigating the role of HMGB proteins in DNA looping in yeast, $ 9,893.
Amanda McCandless, Music, Northern Iowa Women Composer's Prize for Women Composers of Color, $ 4,310.


Capacity Grant Recipients Fall 2019

John DeGroote, GeoTree/Geography, & Bettina Fabos, Communication Studies, A Pilot project for mapping geo-referenced historical photos onto a 360 "streetview" display, $ 7,550.
Elise Dubord, Languages & Literatures, Migration and Language in Puerto Rico: The Role of Transnationalism in Shaping Bilingualism, $ 5,660.
Laura Edwards, Curriculum & Instruction, Whose Linguistic Competence?  Opportunities to learn in tension: young Latinx children in the Midwest, $ 2,000.
Nalin Goonesekere, Chemistry, & Marek Sliwinski, Biology, Investigating the role of GNMT as a putative tumor suppressor & theoretical target in pancreatic cancer, $ 3,985.
Curt Hanson & Colin Weeks, Chemistry, Development of a Metal Zeolite Taggant System, $ 10,000.
Lisa Kopf, Communication Sciences & Disorders, Developing Self-Awareness Feedback of Voice (SAFE Voice), $ 6,012.
Terrence Moriarty, Kinesiology, The Effects of Exercise on Brain Blood Flow & both Cognitive and Motor Function in Stroke Patients, $ 3,650.
Aleksandar Poleksic, Computer Science, An Informatics Platform for detecting Multi-Drug Therapies with Protective Effects, $ 9,394.
Ali Tabei, Physics, Stochastic Lattice Simulation of the RAD51 Nucleoprotein Filament Formation on Single-Stranded DNA, $ 4,532.
Lixia Zhang, Social Work, The Intergenerational Transmission of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Effects on Young School Children's Emotional and Behavioral Development, $ 1,500. 

Capacity Grant Recipients Fall 2018

Peter Berendzen, Biology, The Use of Genome-Wide SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) data in the application of conservation genetics where conventional datasets fail, $ 8,520.
Laura Pitts, Communication Sciences & Disorders, Aerodigestive patterns in persons with Parkinsonism, $ 6,580.
Ron Rinehart, Educational Psychology & Foundations, Fostering argumentation and scientific reasoning, $ 4,996.

Capacity Grant Recipients Fall 2017

Tilahun Abebe, Biology, Shotgun proteomics to identify proteins for drought tolerance in barley, $ 6,600
Dilbur Arsiwalla & Adam Butler, Psychology, The Mediating and moderating role of sleep patterns and disorders in associations between traumatic brain injury and physical and mental health among young adults, $ 4,340.
Seong-In Choi & Rob Hitlan, Psychology, Cognitive, physiological, and attitudinal reaction to inter-racial interaction stress, $ 7,140.
James Dietrich, Geography, Coupled geomorphic and ecologic river monitoring with an autonomous surface vehicle, $ 5,474.
Randall Harlow, Music, Global Hyperorgan: Bridging cultures through acoustic music, $ 4,000.
James Jurgenson, Biology, Virus induced gene silencing of Fusarium Verticilloides in Zea maize, 5,000.
Amanda McCandless, Heather Peyton, & Cayla Bellamy, Music, Expanding the medium: Commissioning new works for trio d'anches, $ 4,000.
Nageswara Rao Posinasetti, Julie Zhang, & Rukmini Sikrant Revuru, Technology, Application of vegetable oil based cutting fluids in sustainable machining of steel, $ 5,960.
Theresa Spradling & James Demastes, Biology, Analysis of a fragmented mitochondrial genome in chewing lice, $ 8,191.
Matthew Vasquez, Social Work, and Ashleigh Kysar-Moon, Sociology, Anthropology, & Criminology, The Effects of trauma-sensitive Yoga and Tai Chi on mental health: A Pilot RCT, $ 5,000.


Other Internal Funding Available at UNI

Pretenure Seed Grants are provided by the Provost's office - look under Faculty Development Resources

The Intercollegiate Academics Fund (IAF) reimburses students collaborating with faculty on research or creative activity for their travel to conferences and competitions.

Faculty Sponsorship Fund - Faculty who are traveling with students who have received an IAF award - you may apply for travel funds, prior to the trip, through the provost's Faculty Sponsorship Fund. 

Graduate College Professional Development Assignments

CHAS Grants for faculty

CSBS Project Grant

COE Summer Fellowship Grants