Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities

CEAH Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Awards


November Deadline To Be Announced




The CEAH awards Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Awards for projects involving two or more Iowa State University collaborators, one from the arts and humanities and one from the sciences. Awards in the amount of $5,000 per individual (with $10,000 maximum per group) are available. Funds are disbursed as summer salary support or as a grant account and must be divided equally among participants. The Center will call upon the winners to present their research at a public event.


All tenured or tenure-track ISU faculty, as well as P&S staff classification P17 or above, are eligible to apply.

Recipients must be returning to Iowa State University the following academic year. An award will need to be forfeited if one or more of the recipients decides not to return to ISU subsequent to award notification.

Former Fellows of the Center are eligible to be collaborators on these awards at any time, however the committee may take a faculty member's recent CEAH award into consideration when rating proposals.

Arts and humanities faculty applying for the Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Award are not precluded from applying for a CEAH Fellowship for Scholarship and Creative Activity during the same fiscal year. Unless both applications are clearly superior to others under consideration, it is unlikely that the committee would decide to fund both proposals.

State funds are used to support this program, so faculty members who wish to apply for the salary award option and have other salary committments for summer 2008 (teaching or administrative) should contact the Center regarding their eligibility.

B-base faculty who are teaching during the summer may apply for the salary option, but only if their payment for teaching does not exceed one-ninth of their current academic salary. That is, a faculty member may receive no more than two months of salary from summer teaching and/or research activities.

A-base faculty are eligible to apply for salary support if the buy-out is approved at the department and college levels.

Faculty members who wish to apply for the salary award option and who will receive salary support in June from another administrative unit may not be eligible for a full award. Please contact the Center is you have questions about your eligibility.


Proposed projects must involve two or more collaborators, one from the arts and humanities and one from the sciences.

Proposals in which arts/humanities and the sciences are in genuine collaboration, not one in service to the other, will be ranked highest. Applicants are encouraged to review the evaluation criteria the Center uses to rank proposals.

Support will be provided for scholarly projects in any stage, including the planning stage.

All projects must be designed to result in a scholarly publication or creative work with appropriate credit to the Center included.

Compliance Approval: If the proposal involves animal subjects, human subjects, radioisotope or radiation producing device use, recombinant DNA, animal or plant pathogens, or biological toxins, you must obtain approval from the appropriate Office of Research Compliance administrative review committee(s) prior to the release of funds.

Award Options:

You will be asked to specify your preferred disbursement method on the application form. Each collaborator may elect to take either the grant account or the salary-support option--not a combination of the two. The total award must be divided equally among participants and may not exceed $10,000. Please review the Eligibility section above, which includes additional information regarding awards disbursed as salary support.

Salary Support:
Salary support is the equivalent of one month's salary, plus fringe benefits, up to $5,000. Salary support will be paid out in June 2008 unless alternate arrangements are approved in advance.
Advantages: Award is disbursed as one payment, and the funds may be used without time or purchasing restrictions. No budget need be submitted with your application.
Disadvantages: Fringe benefits are deducted and taxes are withheld, decreasing the overall amount of the award.

Grant Account:
Funds will be made available in a university (700) account to cover allowable expenses that will most benefit the project: travel expenses (including airfare and lodging but not per diems), materials, supplies, or hourly wages. Purchases should be made in compliance with the university's procurement policies and will be approved at the department level.
Advantages: Funding is available immediately and is received in full; taxes are not withheld, and fringe benefits are not deducted.
Disadvantages: Funding is available for allowable expenses only. All funds must be spent by June 30, 2008. An itemized budget must be submitted with the application, and subsequent changes to the budget must be approved by the Center. Supplies and equipment purchased through university grant accounts are considered property of the university.


Applicants are required to use the electronic application form provided. The text of the form must be typed in 12-point double-spaced type--no exceptions.

Download the CEAH Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Grant Application Form (Word)

Submission: Proposals should be mailed or hand-delivered to the Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities (171 Carver Hall) and should include 17 copies of the following:

  • the completed application
  • an itemized budget (this is required only of collaborators requesting a grant account; if you are requesting summer salary support, an itemized budget is not necessary)
  • two-page curricula vitae for all collaborators
  • letters of endorsement from the respective department heads (Department heads: letters of endorsement should not exceed one page; please do not rank multiple submissions from your department or program)

Please collate and staple copies; do not use paperclips or binder clips.

Contact the Center staff with questions regarding the application process.



2008-2009 Award Recipients

Barbara Walton, Art and Design (left) and Tong Wang, Food Science and Human Nutrition (right) are the 2008 CEAH Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Scholars for their project, Modifying Soywax for Encaustic Painting and Comparing it to Traditional Encaustic Painting Waxes, which funded research to chemically modify soybean oil to obtain a soywax with desirable physical and functional properties for encaustic painting. Petroleum-based waxes used in encaustic painting raise both environmental and sustainability issues. Soywax is a possible cost-effective, safe, and biorenewable resource for encaustic painters. This collaboration will allow Walton and Wang to complete the first stages of their proposed multi-stage project for which they anticipate seeking further funding from such entities as the US Department of Agriculture, the US Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

2007-2008 Award Recipients

Christopher Hopkins, Music (left) and Mark Bryden, Mechanical Engineering (right) are the 2007 CEAH Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Scholars for their project, Mapping Sound to 3D Virtual Materials: A Real Time Touch Sensitive Instrument for Virtual Engineering and Electroacoustic Music, which created an instrument that produces sound in response to the shape and surface characteristics of three-dimensional virtual objects. The outcomes of the project are that new sonic feedback tools are available for engineering decisions and design, and that interactive virtual-reality environments provide new instruments for composition and performance of electroacoustical music.