2016 Call for Proposals

On behalf of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (OVPRED), the Pentacrest Museums and Office of the State Archaeologist invite UI departments to participate in the development of exhibits for the 2016 UI Mobile Museum.  The Mobile Museum, which is sponsored by OVPRED, is a custom-built 38-foot RV housing object-based physical exhibits and digital touchscreen stations.  It travels throughout Iowa for outreach and education events; this year’s venues included the Iowa State Fair, RAGBRAI, county fairs, and school and library presentations, among many others. By July 31st, 2015 the Mobile Museum had reached over 48,000 visitors in 45 counties in Iowa, and these numbers continue to grow.  This project is a wonderful way to showcase important research that affects people all across the state of Iowa in a fun and engaging manner.  It also provides an excellent forum for faculty to highlight the broader impacts of their research.

There are two ways to get involved, through a physical exhibit or through touchscreen digital content (physical exhibits may also incorporate digital content).  The three physical Mobile Museum exhibits will be replaced each winter, with each new set displayed for an entire summer season. Applications not accepted for one the three physical exhibits may be contacted regarding development of a digital exhibit.  Digital touchscreen content may be added more frequently, and will generally be displayed for more than one year.  The Mobile Museum team seeks a combination of compelling exhibits from across the humanities, arts, and sciences at the University of Iowa.

Departments, faculty, or staff interested in exhibiting in the Mobile Museum should prepare a proposal addressing the following points: 

For all proposals:

  • What makes the proposed exhibit appropriate for the Mobile Museum?
  • What makes it particularly interesting or relevant to Iowans?

For those interested in developing a physical exhibit:

  • Provide the basic outline or storyline of the research or exhibit content.
  • How would your work resonate with a public audience?
  • What objects or types of objects could be presented with your exhibit?
  • What photos, videos, or other media could you provide that would help sup?
  • What, if any, non-digital interactive or hands-on components could be included with the exhibit?
  • What, if any, digital interactive content could be included with the exhibit?
  • What resources (financial, in-kind effort, volunteerism) can you contribute to the exhibit?
  • Would you be willing to accompany the Mobile Museum occasionally to provide subject matter expertise?

For those interested in developing digital-only content:

  • Provide the basic storyline of the research and exhibit content.
  • What resources already exist, and what elements would require development? 

With all proposals, include a contact person and identify participants anticipated to be involved (including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff as appropriate for your proposal). Mobile Museum staff will assist each selected departmental team with final exhibit design.  Proposals selected for development will require completion of an agreement document with OVPRED.​

Priority will be given to exhibit proposals that include:

  • A focus on current ongoing research or creative activity at the University of Iowa
  • Student involvement in the research or creative activity
  • A commitment of departmental/program resources or efforts (staff time, student time, funding, demonstrations, hardware, volunteer docent time, etc.) 

Proposals must be submitted using the online proposal submission form.

If you are interested in this opportunity or have questions about the project, please contact J.C. Gillett, the Mobile Museum Educator, at jeffrey-gillett@uiowa.edu and be sure to visit discover.research.uiowa.edu/2016-call-proposals for the exhibit proposal form and more information on the 2014 and 2015 exhibits.

All proposals are due by September 25th.  Please submit your proposal using our webform.  You can attach PDF files or other supporting documents to the form.

The timeline for final exhibit planning and development is as follows:

  • September 25th: Proposals due
  • October 12: Exhibits for 2016 chosen and department’s notified, introductory meeting and planning begins
  • December 15: Draft written content due; objects and media material selected.
  • January 15: Mobile Museum Staff comments/reviews of draft materials due back to proposers
  • February 1: Final written content due
  • February-March: Exhibit design finalized; component fabrication; printing; installation.
  • April 1: Mobile Museum 2016 ready for travel.

The timeline for some digital-only exhibits may be more flexible, as digital content can be added throughout the year.  Please contact the Mobile Museum Educator with questions.


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