Awards and Grants

​​​​​Funding and Awards Opportunities

The items below represent opportunities for faculty to seek funding from outside organizations for research, special projects, curriculum development, and other items.

The DMACC Office of Grants and Contracts is able to assist in applying for these and other opportunities. 

They can be contacted at:
Deb Koua, Director, Grants and Contracts, 965-7025,
Sarah Becker, Grants Specialist, 964-6645,

The Spencer Foundation Small Research Grants

The general mission of the Spencer Foundation is to fund research that will improve education. To that end, the Foundation offers grants of up to $50,000 toward academic research projects across a wide range of disciplines. This includes projects that investigate how education can help ameliorate economic or social inequality; projects that explore or create resources for more successful teaching and learning; projects that generate ideas and knowledge on civic action and how improving student lives enriches society more broadly; projects that contribute to strengthening the operations and capacity of educational systems and schools. Eligible applicants must be affiliated with a college, university, school district, non-profit research facility, or non-profit cultural institution, and hold a PhD. Previous grants have funded “a study exploring the process of racial and rural identity formation among African American high-school students who attend de facto segregated schools in the rural South” and a “mixed-methods study focusing on the different types of knowledge novice and experienced teachers draw on in teaching for reading comprehension."​​

National Science Foundation

National Science Foundation, Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE)
Annual Deadline:  early November
The goal of the IUSE: EHR Program is to catalyze colleges and universities and their faculties to provide highly effective, evidence-based teaching and learning experiences for their undergraduate students taking STEM courses. It supports the development and use of practices that are rooted in a solid research base. In pursuit of this goal, IUSE: EHR supports a broad range of projects on two tracks. The Engaged Student Learning track supports the development, use, and testing of instructional practices and curricular innovation that engage and improve student learning and retention in STEM. The Institutional and Community Transformation track supports efforts to increase the propagation of highly effective, evidence-based teaching and learning by promoting this activity broadly at the discipline, academic department, and institutional levels.

National Science Foundation, Advanced Technological Education (ATE)
Annual Deadline:  early October
With an emphasis on two-year colleges, the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program focuses on the education of technicians for the high-technology fields that drive our nation's economy. The program involves partnerships between academic institutions and industry to promote improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary school levels. The ATE program supports curriculum development; professional development of college faculty and secondary school teachers; career pathways to two-year colleges from secondary schools and from two-year colleges to four-year institutions; and other activities. Another goal is articulation between two-year and four-year programs for K-12 prospective STEM teachers that focus on technological education. The program invites research proposals that advance the knowledge base related to technician education.

NSF Scholarship in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program (S-STEM)
Annual deadlines:  September and May
The National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics program (S-STEM) addresses the need for a high quality STEM workforce in areas of national priorities. The program seeks to increase the success of low-income academically talented students with demonstrated financial need who are pursuing associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The program provides awards to Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) to fund scholarships, and to enhance and study effective curricular and co-curricular activities that support recruitment, retention, student success, and graduation in STEM. The S-STEM program encourages collaborations among different types of partners: Partnerships among different types of institutions, collaborations of STEM faculty and educational and social science researchers, or partnerships among institutions of higher education and business and industry. The program seeks: 1) to increase the number of low-income academically talented students with demonstrated financial need obtaining degrees in STEM and entering the STEM workforce or graduate study; 2) improve the education of future scientists, engineers, and technicians, with a focus on academically talented low-income students; and 3) advance understanding of the factors or curricular and co-curricular activities affecting the success of low-income students.

NSF Community College Innovation Challenge
Annual deadline:  February​76
Teams of community college students, a faculty mentor, and a community or industry partner propose innovative, STEM-based solutions for real-world problems related to a theme for that year's competition.

National Endowment for the Humanities

National Endowment for the Humanities
Particularly, Humanities Initiatives at Community Colleges
Annual Deadline:  September
NEH Humanities Initiatives at Community Colleges are intended to strengthen the teaching and study of the humanities in subjects such as history, philosophy, and literature. These grants may be used to enhance existing humanities programs, resources, or courses, or to develop new ones.

NEH Humanities Connections
Annual Deadline: Early October
These National Endowment for the Humanities grants seek to expand the role of the humanities in the undergraduate curriculum at two- and four-year institutions, offering students in all academic fields new opportunities to develop the intellectual skills and habits of mind that the humanities cultivate. Grant projects focus on connecting the resources and perspectives of the humanities to students’ broader educational and professional goals, regardless of their path of study. Grants support the development and implementation of an integrated set of courses and student engagement activities focusing on significant humanities content. A common topic, theme, or compelling issue or question must link the courses and activities. The linked courses (a minimum of three) may fulfill general education or core curriculum requirements but could also be designed primarily for students in a particular major or course of study. The Humanities Connections program gives special encouragement to projects that foster collaboration between humanities faculty and their counterparts in the social and natural sciences and pre-service or professional programs in business, engineering, health sciences, law, computer science, and other non-humanities fields. Awards up to $100,000 for between 18 and 36 months.

NEH Summer Seminars & Institutes
Annual Deadline: February/March
These grants support faculty development programs in the humanities for school teachers and for college and university teachers. NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes may be as short as two weeks or as long as five weeks. Awards for seminars range between $75,000 and $150,000 for a grant period of 12 months. Awards for institutes range from $90,000 to $200,000 for a grant period of 15 months.

U.S. Department of Education

Institute of Education Sciences
The Institute of Education Sciences has an overarching priority to support research that contributes to school readiness and improved academic achievement for all students and particularly for those whose education prospects are hindered by inadequate education services and conditions associated with poverty, race/ethnicity, limited English proficiency, disability, and family circumstance. Background information is available in the Overview of IES Research and Research Training Grant Programs. Please note that not all of the Institute's research and research training programs are offered each funding year and that the requirements for research and research training programs may change from one year to the next.


Fulbright Scholars
Deadlines vary, short and long term opportunities are available.

Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad
Annual Deadline:  early December
The program provides short-term study and travel seminars abroad for U.S. educators in the social sciences and humanities for the purpose of improving their understanding and knowledge of the peoples and cultures of other countries. Support is generally made available through interagency agreements. The Department of Education transfers funds through the State Department to Fulbright commissions in various countries to pay the costs associated with administering seminars. This partnership allows the program to use the services and expertise of binational organizations to plan and conduct seminars for U.S. educators.

Other Opportunities

Dollar General Literacy Foundation
Annual Deadline: January

  • Adult Literacy Grants: Adult Literacy Grants award funding to nonprofit organizations that provide direct service to adults in need of literacy assistance. Organizations must provide help in one of the following instructional areas: Adult Basic Education, GED or high school equivalency preparation, English Language Acquisition
  • Family Literacy Grants: Family Literacy Grants provide funding to family literacy service providers. Organizations applying for funding must have the following three components: Adult Education Instruction, Children's Education, and Parent and Child Together Time (PACT)

Grants typically available January each year, maximum awards are approximately $10,000.

Iowa Arts Council
Annual Deadline: May or November
Project Grants - Project Grants create opportunities for the arts to flourish in Iowa by investing in projects that positively impact the vitality of the arts in the state, demonstrate public value, and support Iowa Arts Council funding priorities (Collaboration & Partnership, Excellence & Innovation, or Impact & Accessibility). Projects must involve the creation and presentation of an original work of art, arts experience or arts learning opportunity and have a clear beginning and end date within the funding period. $1,000 - $10,000 award, with a 1-to-1 matching requirement. Deadlines in May or November each year.