J.J. Neiman-Brown was a sweet, kind, and inquisitive child who loved gymnastics, dancing, animals, and music by Prince (whom J.J. lovingly called “my friend”). On Feb. 2, 2020, J.J. went to bed a healthy almost-three-year-old but suddenly and unexpectedly died in his sleep that night.
J.J. sparkled through his brief life. He was a happy child, brightening the day of everyone he met with his smiles, questions, and curls. Since his loss, J.J.’s parents, Maurine and Bennett, have focused on making meaning out of tragedy, working to ensure J.J.’s name lives on as a source of joy and positive change.
Maurine and Bennett know firsthand the challenges of balancing the demands of family and caretaking with an academic career. These challenges were amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic, which exposed the major inadequacies and inequities of the caretaking infrastructure in the United States. The caretaking burden imposed by the pandemic hit women and historically marginalized groups especially hard, with many juggling work and family and even forced out of the workforce. Many talented and determined people have lost ground and some left academia when caretaking responsibilities overwhelmed them.
About the Fund
The J.J. Neiman-Brown Memorial Fund supports child or other caretaking costs for University of Iowa tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure-track faculty and postdoctoral researchers. It aims to help these caretakers stay academically and/or professionally engaged. This award is not restricted to any sex or gender.
Awards provide caregiving support for faculty/postdocs as they engage in academic or professional opportunities. Examples of academic or professional opportunities could include:
- Attendance at a conference or other professional event
- Event where research is presented or shared
- Travel to work with collaborators, or to access field sites/resources
- University of Iowa faculty member or postdoctoral scholar
- Have caregiving responsibilities for a child or loved one
Applications can be submitted at any time for amounts up to $500, and are reviewed on a quarterly basis. Applications must be received before the deadlines below to be considered for the current award cycle.
Quarter 1: October 31
Quarter 2: January 30
Quarter 3: April 30
Quarter 4: July 31
Apply for a J.J. Neiman-Brown Academic Caretaking Fund Award by completing a short form in the University's Workflow System. Apply Now
Common Questions About the Fund
Examples of caretaking services include, but are not limited to:
- Childcare/adult care (daycare, babysitting)
- Home nursing costs
- Travel costs for caregiving partners (other parent, relative, babysitter, etc.)
- Products/services to facilitate separation between a caregiver and recipient (e.g., breast pump, breast milk shipping services, etc.)
Awards of up to $500 can be requested.
The award selection committee consists of representatives from Faculty Senate, Office of the Provost, and the Council on the Status of Women.
The award selection committee reviews applications, matching eligibility criteria with need and funds available.
Applications will be responded to within two weeks of the application deadline (see “Application Process” above). Once approved, payments will be received within 1-3 weeks.
A check will be mailed to your home address. If direct deposit is preferred, applicant can contact email@example.com to set-up.
There is no limit to how many times someone can apply, however priority will be given to new applicants.
No, awarded funds do not need to be repaid.
Yes, awarded funds are considered taxable income.
Additional questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Family Services at 319-335-3558.
Donations can be made to the J.J. Neiman-Brown Academic Caretaking Fund here.