Iowa N.E.W. Leadership is an intensive institute designed to empower women across the political spectrum and increase the participation of underrepresented groups in the public sector. The Institute experience is built around a challenging curriculum that develops self-awareness, knowledge, and skill in key areas, including strategic communication, policy analysis, philanthropy, negotiation, community development, professional sustainability, relationship-building, productive engagement with difference, conflict, and collaboration

The University of Iowa will hold its eleventh Institute VIRTUALLY June 9-11th & 14-16th 2021.

Participants should prepare to be available from 12 pm – 6 pm EST on the scheduled days for a variety of programming sessions. Breaks will be scheduled throughout the course of each day

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Any student who identifies as a woman
  • Applicants must be enrolled at least half-time in ANY post-secondary academic institution in Iowa (regardless of state or nation of residence), or in another state (for Iowa residents)

  • All fields of study in any academic discipline
  • Students graduating in December 2020 and May 2021 are still eligible to apply
  • Women from diverse backgrounds, identities, and non-traditional students are encouraged to apply

Iowa N.E.W. Leadership is committed to including students from diverse socioeconomic, sexual orientations, gender identities, and ethnic and racial backgrounds in each Iowa N.E.W. Leadership program. We strongly encourage women of color, non-traditional college women, students who may be gender non-conforming, nonbinary, or transgender, and students majoring in fields outside political science to apply.

Updated Deadline: Apply by April 26th, 11:59 PM CST

Link to apply to Iowa N.E.W. Leadership 2021

You may complete the online form in one sitting, or come back to your work at a later time.
To retrieve your application in progress, simply follow the link you used to access the application from the same computer on which you used to connect to the application.

Submit a Letter of Recommendation.

We are looking for a diverse group of students who are motivated to learn about the importance of women’s participation in public life and to develop their own leadership skills. Having already held leadership positions is not a necessary requirement for acceptance; those who show they have the potential for leadership are also encouraged to apply.  

One letter of recommendation is required for the completion of the application. Make sure to ask for a letter of recommendation from a faculty/staff member or anyone who can speak on behalf of your leadership and/or academic endeavors in the past 12months. Please share the submission link below and give your recommender sufficient time to submit their letter.

 Letter of Recommendation Submission Form:

For more information, contact us at

On Accessibility: 

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact WRAC in advance at 319-335-1486. 

General Information: