Campus Address
Mailing Address

E119 Campus Recreation and Wellness Center
309 South Madison Street
Iowa City, IA 52242-2010
United States

The University of Iowa actively supports and promotes a culture that supports health and well-being for all campus community members. Research suggests that people we spend most of our time with can inspire healthy behaviors—if a co-worker exhibits healthy behaviors, we are more likely to show similar behaviors. The built environment can influence our behaviors.

By providing grant funds directly to departments for activities that promote physical and emotional health and well-being, liveWELL aims to make practicing healthy habits in the workplace easier, which in turn supports a culture of health on campus.

Guidelines for Wellness Grant Funds

  • Funds are for work units seeking funding for health and wellness efforts in their specific work area, and all participants benefit equitably from the grant project.
  • Requested funds may not exceed $10 per person.
  • Maximum of $500 will be awarded one time annually for a request.
  • First qualified are first served as funding is limited. Funding is based on fiscal year budgets—only one wellness grant per applicant (work unit) will be awarded each fiscal year.
  • Applications should be environmentally conscious and must promote physical and/or emotional well-being.
  • Wellness Grant funds should directly impact participants' health in a measurable way. Staff appreciation or morale-boosting efforts may be more applicable for the Staff Appreciation Grant Program.
  • All employees in your unit have access to participate in the activity, program, or event.
  • All university regulations must be followed.
  • The unit must commit to completing an outcome evaluation.

Within 30 days of completion of the Wellness Grant project, applicant must provide:

  1. Participant list of those attending and/or those benefiting from the Wellness Grant project
  2. Photo documentation of activity
  3. Any health-related, participation, or satisfaction outcomes
  4. Summary of how the program will be maintained over time, if applicable

Ideas for Wellness Grants

Generally, Wellness Grants will be awarded to applicants who focus on top behavioral health risk areas for University of Iowa faculty and staff:

  • Maintaining and achieving a healthy weight
  • Physical activity (walking groups, stretching breaks, etc.)
  • Nutrition (packing a healthy lunch, smart snacking, reducing unhealthy options in the workplace)

Listed below are activities to consider for Wellness Grant funding. We welcome creative and original applications, as well:

Sit/stand Workstation (Physical and Occupational Wellness)

Your department may use Wellness Grant funding to fully fund (up to $550) a sit/stand workstation. The benefits of being able to move from sitting to standing throughout the day are numerous. After being given the option to sit and stand when working, users report:

  • 84 percent: less fatigue
  • 83 percent: feeling better overall
  • 62 percent: improved comfort
  • 60 percent: more energy

Suggestion: Place the sit/stand workstation in an accessible area where multiple users can access it. We suggest placing this space as a resource or room in Outlook for individuals to reserve it on a 1-2 hour basis. A plan for maintenance and upkeep of this shared resource needs to be provided in the application.

Please note: The Wellness Grant funding guideline of no more than $10 per eligible individuals still applies. Thus, if your department has 25 people, the maximum amount of funding awarded will be $250

Take the Stairs (Environmental and Physical Wellness)

Do you work in a building where the stairs are overlooked or forgotten? Follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s best practices guidelines along with your building’s policies for signage to highlight and promote stair use over elevator use. It is up to the applying individuals to work within building requirements, fire code, and any office administrative approvals needed (i.e., building coordinator, department director, etc.).

Walking Group/Pedometer Program (Physical Activity and Weight Management)

Work with a staff member from liveWELL to purchase pedometers for participants and arrange for an educational session on using the pedometers, as well as setting up a group walking program for accountability and support.

Healthy Lunch Packing/Lunch Bags

Work with a staff member from liveWELL to purchase reusable lunch bags for participants and arrange for an educational session on packing a healthy and budget-friendly lunch.

UI Wellness can assist with ordering of pedometers, exercise bands, and lunch bags and may have quantities in-stock for "purchase" as a part of the Wellness Grants initiative. These items are $5.00 each.

Note: Any weight-loss type program proposal is required to have a UI Wellness staff member consult on program parameters. While weight loss challenges are very popular, it’s important that evidence-based and safe weight loss guidelines are used.

Process to Apply

  1. Complete Wellness Grant Application (pdf).
  2. You will be contacted within 5-10 business days to discuss your application.
  3. You will be notified within 30 calendar days if your application will be funded.
    • Applications are reviewed by a team of UI Wellness and Human Resources staff.
    • Suggestions or changes to application may be recommended.
  4. Funds will be transferred to the appropriate MFK.
  5. Within 30 days of program implementation, documentation of event needs to be submitted via email.


After utilizing Wellness Grant funding, complete and submit this brief Wellness Grant Evaluation Form (pdf) along with itemized receipts and photos to the Wellness Grants Review committee via email.