The Iowa History Prize

What is the Iowa History Prize?

The Iowa History Prize is a biennial award of up to $90,000, to honor an Iowa history scholar, promote Iowa history appreciation, public discussion and community-based programming.

How long is a term?

The term lasts for two (2) years.

How much is funded?

The recipient of the prize receives up to $45,000 per year.

Who selects the Iowa History Prize recipient?

The Blue-Ribbon Selection Committee, a committee composed of Humanities Iowa board members, selects the recipient from a pool of candidates.

How does one become a candidate?

The Blue Ribbon Committee requires a candidate to provide the following for an application:

  • Sponsoring organization such as a university, college, museum, or historical society
  • Fiscal Agent – where checks are to be paid
  • Project budget
  • Letters of support (one to three)
  • Evaluation plan
  • Narrative – detailing proposed program of content, any partnerships with other institutions; method(s) of engaging/interacting with the public
  • Professional resume with cover letter detailing public programming experience, Iowa scholarship
  • Project timeline, including plans for execution; estimated expected audience
  • Identification of specific percentage of release time secured for the project and specific commitment remaining at home institution

Selection Criteria (to be published):

  • Legal resident of Iowa
  • MA in history or Iowa concentration in closely related field
  • Strong record of Iowa history scholarship
  • Demonstrated ability to speak and write to public audiences
  • Demonstrated willingness to engage in public dialogue
  • Creativity/originality of project proposal
  • Ability to root project in quality scholarship
  • Ability to leverage matching funds
  • Relevance of proposal to Iowa, including impact and audience appeal, geographical reach to Iowa’s rural, remote and urban areas
  • Demonstrable ability to engage and challenge diverse Iowa audiences
  • Would this applicant as Prize Winner reflect positively on Humanities Iowa and promote HI and its mission?

Contact Humanities Iowa for more information.


First Iowa History Prize Winner: Dr. Bill Friedricks

Photo of Dr. Bill Fredricks

View the Press Release

"The Iowa History Prize is a great way to raise awareness of our history. It will encourage the teaching of Iowa history and promote new and interesting research in Iowa history. Hopefully, and most importantly, it will get Iowans talking about our history." -- Dr Bill Friedricks

Meet Bill Friedricks