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 Associate Director of Research & Sponsored Programs Lisa Ahern at
The next Request for Proposals will be issued in Fall 2023.
Eligibility: All faculty and staff
Project Period: All funds must be spent between February 1, 2024 and August 31, 2025
Award Range: Up to $10,000
Letter of Intent Deadline:  October 31, 2023. (Must be emailed to
Application Deadline:  Sunday, December 3, 2023 (11:59 pm).
PRAF Submission Deadline:  Sunday, December 3, 2023 (11:59 pm). Applicants are required to complete a Proposal Routing and Approval Form by the application deadline. 



Capacity Grant Recipients Fall 2022

Cara Burnidge, Philosophy & World Religions, A Collaborative History of Religion and Politics in the United States, $9,700.
John DeGroote, GeoTREE Center, & Bingqing Liang, Geography, A Pilot Project to Update High Resolution Land Cover Dataset for Selected Iowa Counties, $9,656.
Sei-Young Lee, Social Work, Mediation Effect of Social Media Use on the Link between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Gender Role Stereotypes among Emerging Young Adults, $9,964.
Scott Peters, Political Science, Susan Hill, Philosophy & World Religions, Jennifer McNabb, History, & Jim O'Loughlin, Languages & Literatures, Humanities for Civic Education: Preparing Teachers and Students for Engaged Citizenship, $9,432.
Aleksandar Poleksic, Computer Science, Advancing Data Science at UNI through the Acquisition of a High-Performance Computing System and Faculty Training, $9,319.
Joshua Sebree, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Mark Hecimovich, Recreation & Community Services, & Terence Moriarty, Kinesiology, Coupling Astrobiological and Astronautical Cave Science Studies, $10,000.
Ali Tabei, Physics, Using simulations to Investigate how RAD51 mutants alter the mechanism of DNA repair, $5,000.


Capacity Grant Recipients Fall 2021

Erika Bass, Languages & Literatures, Reading and Writing Place: Connecting Schools and Communities, $ 9,973.
Michael Fleming, Applied Human Sciences, H. Alan Heisterkamp, Center for Violence Prevention, & Nicole Skaar, Educational Psychology, Foundations, & Leadership Studies, Creating an Ecological Approach to Emotional, Physical and Psychological Safety in Schools: Developing Methods for Collaborative Engagement, $ 10,000.
HyunSeung Koh, Library, Library Chat Transcripts and Topic Modeling Techniques, $ 9,993.
Rebecca Dickinson, Social Work, & Kristin Meany-Walen, Applied Human Sciences, Impact of Adlerian Play Therapy on Reading Scores of First through Third Graders: A Pilot RCT, $ 6,345.
Nilda Rodriguez, Biology, Infection and lipid accumulation in immune cells of male versus female origin, $ 9,404.
Thomas Connors, History, & John DeGroote, GeoTREE Center, Underground Iowans: A Biographical Guide to Iowa’s Cemeteries, $ 9,998.
Lori Norton-Meier, Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literary (JCCL), Sarah Vander Zanden, Curriculum & Instruction, Heather Gallivan, Mathematics, Thaddeus Atzmon, JCCL, & Marissa Schweinfurth, JCCL, Building and Assessing an Empirically Based Racial Literacy Curriculum with a Focus on Math and Science Education for Pre-Service K-6 Teachers Who Intend to Teach in Communities of Color, $ 10,000.
Laura Edwards, Curriculum & Instruction, Young Women’s Situated Identities and Opportunities in Coastal Colombia: Inequalities and Obstacles, $ 9,975.


Capacity Grant Recipients Fall 2020

Jennifer McNabb, History, Brenda Bass, Applied Human Sciences, & Cheryl 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

Faculty Summer Fellowship Grants