What is ICRU?

Gilmore Hall

The Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU) is a unit of the University of Iowa Office of the Vice President for Research.  We promote undergraduate involvement in research and creative projects at the University of Iowa by facilitating the mentorship of students in research/creative work and providing platforms for students to explore research communication.  We work with students, faculty, and staff from the arts, humanities, natural/physical sciences, social sciences, health and medicine, engineering, and business. If you are a student or faculty member looking to get involved with undergraduate research, you have come to the right place!

History of ICRU

Ali at MURC

ICRU was created in 2006 as a collaboration between the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice President for Research. Through partnerships with various campus programs, combined with acceptance and validation from faculty, staff, students, and the university, ICRU has since grown from running one Fellowship program to a full support system for undergraduate researchers.  In 2019, ICRU became a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Research.  This created more opportunities for campus partnerships as well as a deepened connection with the broader university research community. Despite its growth, ICRU still holds fast to its original goal to support individual students through helping undergraduates find research and creative work experiences and providing platforms for students to learn research communication skills.


ICRU is advised by a Steering Committee comprised of faculty and administrative professionals at the University of Iowa.  We are proud to have the following Committee members helping to steer ICRU's future:


Stephanie Gilbertson-White - Associate Professor, College of Nursing

Craig Just - Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

John C. Keller - Dean of Graduate College; Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Education

Rebekah Kowal - Department Executive Officer, Dance; Associate Professor, Dance

Ann Ricketts - Senior Associate Vice President for Research

Christine Shea - Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese, Linguistics

Madeline Shea - Professor, Biochemistry, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Tanya Uden-Holman - Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education; Dean of University College; Clinical Professor, College of Public Health

Sarah Vigmostad - Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Joshua Weiner - Associate Dean for Research and Infrastructure; Professor, Biology

ICRU's Campus Partners

ICRU welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with other University of Iowa departments, offices, and organizations who share a commitment to undergraduate involvement in research and creative work. 

Office of the Vice President for Research

  • ICRU is a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Research, which supports research and creative scholarship at the University of Iowa.

Office of the Provost

  • The Office of the Provost provides academic leadership to the University and provides funding for student awards through ICRU.  Its fundamental mission is to champion innovation and excellence in teaching, research, creative production, and service.

University of Iowa Graduate College

  • The Graduate College Manages the enrollment and degree progress for nearly 5,000 students from over 100 graduate programs in 10 different colleges which span the Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Health Sciences, Engineering, Education, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, and Business.  Faculty and staff also work with undergraduates and ICRU in programs like the McNair Scholars Program and the Summer Research Opportunities Program.

Iowa Biosciences Academy (IBA)

  • The IBA is a grant-funded program that supports the academic and personal success of University of Iowa students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in the Biosciences. IBA students have access to hands-on research opportunities that earn competitive wages, a faculty mentor, professional development workshops, career counseling, free tutoring (as needed) and a strong community of students, staff & faculty that value diversity in the Biosciences.

Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP)

  • LSAMP is a program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the long-term goal of increasing the number of under-represented minority students who enter science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions and who earn doctorates in STEM fields. LSAMP Alliances across the country are designed to provide support services at many levels to help interested students succeed in STEM majors and careers and to provide networks with other LSAMP Scholars.

Latham Science Engagement Initiative (LSEI) 

  • LSEI is a new University of Iowa opportunity to engage highly talented undergraduate students across scientific disciplines to work collaboratively towards solutions to societal problems.  Students learn to communicate science in the public sphere, work in interdisciplinary settings, and demonstrate the “broader impact” of scientific research.

Office of Sustainability and the Environment

  • The Office of Sustainability and the Environment was created to be a focal point for sustainability activities on campus and to expedite action and change through a variety of initiatives and networks on campus.  It was created in response to a call to action from former President Sally Mason and the continued support of current UI President Burce Harreld (who has declared sustainability "the most important issue of the 21st century."

University of Iowa Student Government

  • The University of Iowa Student Government (UISG) exists to represent, serve, and empower all University of Iowa undergraduate students.  As a valued member of University Shared Governance, UISG offers input and guidance to staff, faculty, and administrators on issues that matter to students and act as the official student voice tot he Board of Regents, the State of iowa, and local and federal legislators.

Belin-Blank Center

  • The mission of the Belin-Blank Center is to empower and serve the international gifted community through Exemplary Leadership in programs, research, and advocacy, supporting the development of gifted education programs throughout the world.

The University of Iowa Libraries

  • The University of Iowa Libraries is the largest library system in Iowa and 7th in materials expenditures among US public research libraries (ARL FY17 data).  The University's Main Library, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, 5 branch libraries, and the Law Library contain more than 5 million volumes.  The University Libraries maintains consortial arrangements with the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the State of Iowa Regents libraries (Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa), The Association for Research Libraries (ARL), the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), and the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI).

The University of Iowa Museums

  • The University of Iowa's museums document, archive, and curate topics of regional, national, and international importance.  Exhibits and collections cover natural history to art to athletics, including the Office of the State Archaeologist.

University Honors Program 

  • Honors at IOWA enriches the undergraduate experience by cultivating intellectual curiosity and practical skill through challenging coursework, creative engagement, and experiential learning to nurture a deeper understanding of one's discipline and self.

Obermann Center for Advanced Studies

  • The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies is a convening space dedicated to debate and discovery in multi-disciplinary exploration.  Programming connects scholars across campus and engages the larger public in the ambitious, illuminating, and transformative work of the artists and scholars served.

Iowa Research Online

  • Iowa Research Online preserves and provides access to the research and creative scholarship created by the University of Iowa’s faculty, students, and staff. The research papers, theses, dissertations, books, conference presentations, journals, and multimedia here represent Iowa’s rich intellectual and cultural community.