Research & Innovation Office (RIO) Funding

  • Seed Grant Program: Designed to catalyze new areas of research and creative work, the Seed Grant Program awards nearly $1 million annually to Boulder faculty across all disciplines.  Recent winners included faculty from the Departments of French and Italian, Religious Studies, Linguistics, History and the University Libraries.
  • Faculty Conference Awards: These awards provide partial support for planning and hosting conferences at CU Boulder that promote and encourage the scholarship, research and creative work of the Boulder campus faculty.

CU System Funding

  • President’s Fund for the Humanities: The President’s Fund for the Humanities (PFH) was established to promote and enhance the humanities on and across campuses and in the wider community, and to preserve a balance in the university’s programs of education and research by giving special attention to the humanities.

Federal Funding Opportunities & Limited Campus Competitions

RIO Workshops

  • Introduction to the Research & Innovation Office (RIO) – September 14, 2017, 8:30-10am (UMC Aspen Rooms 285-289, breakfast provided); September 15, 2017 12-1:30pm (SEEC Main Auditorium, lunch provided)
  • Budgeting 101 – October 25, 2017, 12-1:30pm (UMC 247, lunch provided)
  • Working with Foundations – November 16, 2017, 12-1:30pm (UMC 247, lunch provided)
  • Seed Grant Workshop – December 6, 2017, 12-1:30pm (UMC 247, lunch provided)
  • Humanities/Fellowship Panel – December 11, 2017, 12-1:30pm (UMC 247, lunch provided)

Please visit the RIO Workshops page for full details and registration information. 

RIO Recognition

  • Distinguished Research Lectureship: This lectureship, among the university’s highest honors, recognizes a tenured faculty member for a distinguished body of academic or creative achievement and prominence, as well as contributions to the educational and service missions of CU Boulder. Past recipients include faculty from the departments of Music, History and Fine Arts.

Online Resources

  • SPINPlus: SPINPlus is a web-based, searchable funding opportunities database available to all CU Boulder faculty, staff, and students.
  • Foundation Directory Online (FDO): FDO includes more than 140,000 foundations, corporate giving programs and grantmaking public charities in the U.S.; a database of more than 4,000 sponsoring companies, offering a quick pathway to corporate funders; and much more.
  • RIO SharePoint Site—Featuring the Research Development and Grant Writing Newsletter: Log in with your CU credentials and access “Documents” for university subscribed research funding newsletters and guides.
  • Philanthropy News Digest (PND): PND publishes RFPs and notices of awards as a free service for grant-making organizations and nonprofits. Sign up for free email alerts for funding opportunities in your academic area. 

Faculty Consultations

One-on-One Faculty Funding Consultations

Contact Eric Carlson
The Research & Innovation Office has hired a part-time Research Development Associate, Eric Carlson

Eric is our resident expert on funding opportunity databases, including SPIN and the Foundation Directory Online. He is available for individual faculty consultations to help identify relevant opportunities and can also customize trainings for groups of researchers. Please contact him directly to schedule a meeting specific to your interests.

If your proposal to a Limited Campus Competition has been selected to move forward for submission to a funder, RIO staff may be able to assist with proposal development, writing/editing and proofreading. 

Additionally, if you have identified a large-scale, interdisciplinary, high-award funding opportunity, RIO staff may be able to assist in convening faculty across campus and helping with proposal development, writing/editing and proofreading. 

In either case, please contact Research Development staff to discuss the opportunity:


Do you have suggestions about how RIO can better support your research and creative works? We welcome your feedback and suggestions. Email us: rio@colorado.edu