Serving a unique role at the University of Iowa

The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies offers a unique and critical resource for the university: a neutral space outside departments and colleges where scholars can take risks and wrestle with the challenges that genuinely collaborative and interdisciplinary work demands.

The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies is dedicated to advancing the research mission of the University of Iowa by encouraging innovation, cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas, imaginative collaborations, and engagement with our local and global communities. We serve more than a hundred scholars each year, including UI faculty, visiting scholars, UI graduate students, and the greater community.

Situated in an old house on the north end of campus, we provide offices for six Fellows-in-Residence each semester, scholars who have supported leave. Other Obermann programs provide funding and staffing for a major annual humanities conference, small group collaborations, and an intensive seminar for graduate students, to name a few. In addition, the Center is a nexus for University-community activities, including lectures, workshops, and performances.

The Obermann Center falls under the auspices of the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development. The Obermann Center Director reports to the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and is advised by two boards, a faculty-based Advisory Board and a Development Board that is dedicated to raising the profile of the Center beyond its academic milieu.

Scholars gazing at window

Obermann Center programs are​ designed to:

  • Create an intellectual community that values interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches and the rigorous thought, long hours, and great passion at the heart of artistic and scholarly excellence.
  • Support the work of University of Iowa artists, researchers, and scholars when creative and research projects demand concentrated effort.
  • Foster imaginative interdisciplinary collaborations across disciplines, institutions, and world locations.
  • Inspire faculty and graduate students to experiment with new ideas, approaches, methods, partnerships, and forms for sharing knowledge and resources.
  • Broaden and deepen the impact of the Obermann Center’s support by encouraging faculty members and graduate students to share discoveries through new and re-imagined courses and curricula.
  • Connect the campus with city, state, and global communities through public programming and support for networks of artists, scholars, researchers, local citizens, and international colleagues.