The ongoing injustices occurring against the Black community and others who are marginalized highlight a need for deep discussion and change.  Discussions about, and change within, the criminal justice system are vital, but they are not sufficient.  Racism more pervasive and includes areas encompassed by innovation, business, and the law.  The racism embedded within these legal structures and systems hobbles innovation, equity, and economic mobility.    

To support this discussion, the University of Iowa Innovation, Business, & Law Center will award up to six Innovation, Business, & Law Prizes for the development of talks on race, business, and the law.  Recipients will each receive $1500 to develop and present a 30-minute live talk via Zoom as part of a fall 2020 speaker series entitled “Examining Institutional Structures: Race, Business, and the Law.” Video recordings of the talks will be posted on the Innovation, Business & Law Center website.  Each talk will be followed by a facilitated small group discussion with the speaker through Zoom.  

Details for proposals:

  • Proposals from speakers should be in writing and no more than 1 page long.
  • Proposals should address the intersection of race and business law.  “Business law” may include corporate law, antitrust, intellectual property, employment law, tax law, financial regulation, bankruptcy, and other related areas.  We especially welcome proposals addressing structural and systemic racism in areas of business law.
  • Proposals should be submitted by email to  The email should include a brief description of the speaker and proposal topic, and a copy of the submitter’s c.v. should be attached. If you would like an example of a previous recorded speaking experience (such as a YouTube clip) to be considered, please include a link.
  • Up to six proposals will be selected for funding to be developed into 30-minute talks.
  • Proposals will be selected based on intellectual merit, relationship to series topic, and qualifications of the speaker to address the topic.

 Talks will be scheduled for days and times that are mutually convenient for the winners and Iowa College of Law. Proposals must be received by Friday, June 26, 2020. Questions should be sent to


UPDATE: Responses to questions are below.

  1. Should there be citations or not in the submission?  It's up to the submitter whether or not to use citations.  If citations are included, short form citations (Author, year) are fine and submitters may include a bibliography on a separate page. 
  2. Is there a word count?  No, but keep in mind the difficulty of reading 10 point or smaller font.
  3. Are we allowed to identify ourselves in the submission?  It is up to the submitter whether or not to identify themself.  Note that one of the assessment criteria is "qualifications of the speaker to address the topic," so proposals will not be evaluated using a blind-assessment process.  
  4. Is X topic within the scope of "business law"?  If the topic plausibly encompasses businesses, then probably. 
  5. If selected, can one still publish what may become a paper related to this topic with a law review or other journal at a later date?  Yes, although it may depend on the policies of the law review/journal.
  6. How will right of publicity and copyright be addressed?  The speaker would hold the copyright; however, we will need a non-exclusive license from the speaker for the talk.  Right of publicity will be addressed similarly.
  7. Can multiple people submit a single proposal (such as in connection with a co-authored article)? Yes; however, only one $1500 prize will be awarded per proposal.