Small Grants for the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Representatives from the Graduate College and the Office of the Vice President for Research administer funding assistance for students enrolled in graduate programs in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Grants of up to $1,000 are available for research and creative work. Some activities that do not qualify for this funding are paper/poster presentations (see GSS/Graduate College Presentation Travel Funds instead), research or degree related travel, internship travels, job interviews, computers, etc.   

Each expense/budget item must be individually justified and more expensive equipment will remain the property of the department at the completion of the degree program.  For projects involving human subjects, relevant approval documents from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) must be provided. If the budget includes compensation for research participants, the student's department must agree to receive and administer the funds. These steps are required before funding can be released.


Grants of up to $1,000 are available for research and creative work expenses including archive usage, equipment, supplies, software, interviews (research related), on location filming, etc.  For projects with budgets greater than $1,000, there must be clear evidence that additional funds are available to cover the amount of money required beyond this award or that the project can be accomplished as written for the amount awarded. 

Grant recipients have six months to expend the awarded funds. A graduate student may receive this award once throughout a given graduate program degree.

Minimum Requirements


  • The applicant must be enrolled as a student in a graduate program at the University of Iowa at the time of application and at the time of the award payment, and be in good academic standing.
  • The proposed research, scholarship or creative activity must be completed prior to graduation.

While funding is not restricted to dissertation or thesis projects, they will be given priority. First semester graduate students are not eligible to receive the awards. Successful proposals reflect a carefully crafted and feasible research or creative endeavor plan. 


Application Requirements

  1. Students need to fill out the fillable pdf application form. The form requires information about the student's proposed research, scholarship, or creative endeavor, the location where the project will take place, a series of questions related to budget expenditures, and other sources of financial assistance available or pending.
  2. A letter of support from the student's academic advisor confirming that: (1) grant funding is necessary for the project, (2) that the project proposed has faculty endorsement, is well conceived and rigorously designed, and (3) that the project is connected to the student's academic and professional goals.
  3. An unofficial transcript.

Students must submit their part of the application materials to their department at least two weeks prior to the submission deadline. Students should check with their department as soon as possible for departmental deadlines as well as to inform them that they intend to apply. Applications submitted by the student (and not someone in the department such as the DGS, DEO or grad coordinator) will be voided and not considered. Departments should submit the application online here.


Applications for Fall 2024 expenses will be accepted from Monday, September 23, 2024, through Wednesday, October 9, 2024, at 5pm. Those looking for fall funding should apply during the fall application cycle. Please note, you will receive a blank page if you click on the Workflow submission link before the form is officially open.

Additional Information

Please direct any questions to Jamie Frauenholtz (; 335-1466) or