You are here

Limited Campus Competitions

Throughout the year, the OVCR coordinates numerous Limited Campus Competitions. These competitions are required because many private foundations and federal government programs only allow a limited number of nominees from invited institutions, like CU Boulder. The review process is conducted by a group of faculty who are invited by the Vice Chancellor for Research to serve on the OVCR Review Board. Based on their evaluations, applicants are selected to compete for these limited awards. If you have any questions regarding limited campus competitions or if you are aware of a limited program not listed, please email Ryan Reeves at

Anticipated Opportunities and Previous Winners  

Active Internal Competitions

NSF Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI)

David and Lucile Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering

W.M. Keck Foundation Research Program

Active Calls for Interest

Calls for expressions of interest determine whether an internal competition will be held. An expression of interest, which is a simple statement via e-mail indicating your interest in applying to a specific program, should be sent to Ryan Reeves at by the posted deadline. If there are multiple expressions of interest, an internal campus competition may be held with instructions for internal proposals to be sent out at a later time. 

NSF Scalable Nanomanufacturing for Integrated Systems

NIH T Cell Reagent Research for the Study of Allergic Diseases

NSF Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI)

Deadlines and Internal Application

Internal Deadline and Application Link: 11:59 PM MST, September 29, 2016

NSF Deadline: 5 PM local time, January 11, 2017

Limited Submission Guidelines (based on prior solicitation): NSF limits institutions to three (3) proposals as described below. If three proposals are submitted, at least one of the proposals must be for instrument development (i.e., no more than two proposals may be for instrument acquisition).

Program Summary

To ensure a balanced instrumentation award portfolio at diverse organizations, across varied research topics, and in support of a broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce across the entire Nation, the MRI program requires that an MRI-eligible organization may, as a performing organization, submit or be included as a significantly funded subawardee in no more than three MRI proposals. To promote instrumentation development, the program requires that if an organization submits or is included as a significantly funded subawardee in three MRI proposals, at least one of the three proposals must be for (Track 2) instrument development.

NSF reserves the right to carefully examine development (Track 2) proposals to ensure that they meet the requirements for this proposal type (see Section II). If a proposal submitted as development is deemed to be an acquisition proposal either before or during the review, the proposal is subject to return without review or decline.

An unfunded collaboration does not count against the submission limit. Inclusion as a funded subawardee on a development (Track 2) proposal at a level in excess of 20% of the total budget requested from NSF, or as a funded subawardee on any acquisition (Track 1) proposal, will be counted against an organization's proposal submission limit. Separately submitted linked collaborative proposals of either type (Track 1 or Track 2) count against the submission limit of each of the submitting organizations. However, if a subaward to an organization in a development (Track 2) proposal is 20% or less of the proposal's total budget request from NSF, the subawardee's submission limit will not be affected. For subawards within a linked collaborative proposal, the 20% threshold applies to the budget request from NSF in the proposal containing the subaward(s), not to the combined budget request from NSF for the collaborative project.

Note: The 30% cost-sharing requirement applies to only the portion of the total project cost budgeted to non-exempt organizations, including those participating through subawards. When required, cost-sharing must be precisely 30%. Cost sharing is required for Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education and for non-degree-granting organizations. Non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education are exempt from cost-sharing and cannot provide it. National Science Board policy is that voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited. See section V.B. for specific information on cost-sharing calculations and the solicitation text for definitions of organizational types used for the MRI program.

Program Summary (based on prior solicitation): The Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) serves to increase access to shared scientific and engineering instruments for research and research training in our Nation's institutions of higher education, not-for-profit museums, science centers and scientific/engineering research organizations. The program provides organizations with opportunities to acquire major instrumentation that supports the research and research training goals of the organization and that may be used by other researchers regionally or nationally.

Each MRI proposal may request support for the acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2) of a single research instrument for shared inter- and/or intra-organizational use. Development efforts that leverage the strengths of private sector partners to build instrument development capacity at MRI submission-eligible organizations are encouraged.

The MRI program assists with the acquisition or development of a shared research instrument that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs. The program does not fund research projects or provide ongoing support for operating or maintaining facilities or centers.

The instrument acquired or developed is expected to be operational for regular research use by the end of the award period. For the purposes of the MRI program, a proposal must be for either acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2) of a single, well-integrated instrument. The MRI program does not support the acquisition or development of a suite of instruments to outfit research laboratories or facilities, or that can be used to conduct independent research activities simultaneously.

Instrument acquisition or development proposals that request funds from NSF in the range $100,000-$4 million may be accepted from any MRI-eligible organization. Proposals that request funds from NSF less than $100,000 may also be accepted from any MRI-eligible organization for the disciplines of mathematics or social, behavioral and economic sciences and from non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education for all NSF-supported disciplines.

Cost-sharing of precisely 30% of the total project cost is required for Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education and for non-degree-granting organizations. Non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education are exempt from cost-sharing and cannot include it. National Science Board policy is that voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowships for Science and Engineering

Packard is expected to release the 2017 guidelines in mid-December and applications are typically due to Packard in April. The information below is from last year’s cycle and will guide the internal campus competition process. The internal application link below details what documents are needed for the internal competition. Questions should be sent to Ryan Reeves at

Please also note that there is also an upcoming lunch workshop on October 13, 2016 from 12-1:30pm in UMC 247. Previous Packard winners will highlight what goes into a winning proposal and answer questions from the attendees. Click here to RSVP

Deadlines and Internal Application

Internal CU Deadline and Application Link: 11:59pm MST December 8, 2016

Packard Deadline: TBD

Program Summary

Each year, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation invites the presidents of 50 universities to nominate two early-career professors each from their institutions in the following disciplines: physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, astronomy, computer science, earth science, ocean science, and all branches of engineering. An Advisory Panel of distinguished scientists and engineers carefully reviews the nominations and selects 18 Fellows to receive individual grants of $875,000, distributed over five years.

Limited Submission Guidelines

Up to two nominations may be made by the University of Colorado Boulder.

Funding Restrictions

Recognizing that certain areas of contemporary science and engineering already have access to relatively generous funding (for example, clinical research, research associated with the design and construction of large national facilities such as accelerators and space stations, and applied research of direct relevance to national security), the Packard Fellowships are directed to other, less generously supported fields. The Fellowship Program provides support for highly creative researchers early in their careers; faculty members who are well-established and well‐funded are less likely to receive the award. 

W.M. Keck Foundation Research Program

There will be a lunch workshop on November 30, 2016 from 12:00-2:00pm in UMC 247. Dr. Prashant Nagpal, a previous Keck grantee, will highlight how to succeed with Keck and attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions. RSVP by November 15, 2016.

Deadlines and Internal Application

Internal CU Deadline and Application Link: 11:59pm MST January 5, 2017

Keck Phase I Application Deadline: 5:30pm MST May 1, 2017

Keck Full Proposal Deadline: 5:30pm MST August 15, 2017

Program Summary 

The Research Program seeks to benefit humanity by supporting projects in two specific areas (1) medical research and (2) science and engineering, that are distinctive and novel in their approach, question the prevailing paradigm, or have the potential to break open new territory in their field.  Past grants have been awarded to major universities, independent research institutions, and medical schools to support pioneering biological and physical science research and engineering, including the development of promising new technologies, instrumentation or methodologies. 

Funding is awarded to universities and institutions nationwide for projects in research that:

  • Focus on important and emerging areas of research
  • Have the potential to develop breakthrough technologies, instrumentation or methodologies
  • Are innovative, distinctive and interdisciplinary
  • Demonstrate a high level of risk due to unconventional approaches, or by challenging the prevailing paradigm
  • Have the potential for transformative impact, such as the founding of a new field of research, the enabling of observations not previously possible, or the altered perception of a previously intractable problem
  • Does not focus on clinical or translational research, treatment trials or research for the sole purpose of drug development
  • Fall outside the mission of public funding agencies
  • Demonstrate that private philanthropy generally, and the W. M. Keck Foundation in particular, is essential to the project’s success.

Keck Foundation’s Limited Submission Guidelines

1 proposal per each category: 1) Medical Research, 2) Science and Engineering.

Award Information

Historically, grants range from $500,000 to $5 million, but are typically $1 million or less.

Scalable Nanomanufacturing for Integrated Systems

Program Summary 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announces a seventh year of a solicitation on collaborative research and education in the area of Scalable Nanomanufacturing for Integrated Systems (SNM-IS). This solicitation is in response to and is a component of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) Signature Initiative: Sustainable Nanomanufacturing - Creating the Industries of the Future (

Many nanofabrication techniques have demonstrated the ability to synthesize small quantities of nanomaterials and nanostructures for characterization and evaluation and simple nanodevices for analysis and testing purposes. The emphasis of the Scalable Nanomanufacturing for Integrated Systems (SNM-IS) solicitation is on research in new nano-scale manufacturing concepts and integration methods to realize complex integrated systems based on nanotechnology. The research will focus on overcoming the key scientific and engineering barriers that prevent the translation of laboratory-scale discoveries in nano-enabled integrated systems to an industrially relevant scale, reliably, affordably and within sustainability and environmental, health and safety (EHS) guidelines. The goal of the SNM-IS solicitation is to study and formulate the fundamental principles of scalable nanomanufacturing and integration for nanotechnology-based integrated systems towards the eventual manufacture of useful nano-enabled products.

The SNM-IS solicitation is driven by the discovery of numerous new nanomaterials with unique properties (2D atomic layer, transition metal dichalcogenides, van der Waals heterostructures, perovskites, metal-organic frameworks, metamaterials, origami, etc.) in recent years and invention of many novel fabrication methods (nano additive manufacturing, strain engineering processing, bio-nanomanufacturing, etc.) to synthesize nanostructures with different geometries, 'microstructures' and functionalities. These nanomaterials and nanostructures need to be assembled into larger-scale components and devices, which, in turn, need to be integrated into higher-order subsystems and systems so novel and useful products can be made for a variety of applications in the areas of functional and structural materials, mechanics, optics, electronics, chemical, biomedical, catalysis, environmental, energy, sensing, security, defense, etc. Integration will need to be across material sets (0D, 1D, 2D, 3D, hierarchical nanoparticles, etc.), across length-scales (molecular to nano to micro to meso to macro), and across function (mechanical, electrical, optical, chemical, biological, thermal, etc.) and across processes (top-down, bottom-up). Integration will involve the study and implementation of hybrid manufacturing and assembly processes and methods. The research will be driven by the need to understand and establish, among others, design rules for integrated systems, manufacturing and integration process and control models, and measurement science and technology. The desired outcome will be a nano-enabled integrated system that combines many different functions together to work as one entity and that is made up of component subsystems that are designed to perform in a unified manner.

The SNM-IS solicitation seeks proposals that investigate novel scalable nanomanufacturing and integration methods for nano-enabled integrated systems with a clear commercial relevance. Proposals should consider addressing key aspects of the nanomanufacturing value chain comprised of nano-scale building-blocks  complex nanomaterials and nanostructures  functional components and devices  integrated sub-systems and systems:

  • Novel nanomanufacturing processes and integration strategies for large-area or continuous manufacturing or customized manufacturing of nano-scale materials and structures and their assembly into larger-scale components and devices and the integration of the components and devices into higher order structures, subsystems and systems;
  • Fundamental scientific research in key, well-defined technical areas that are compellingly justified as approaches to overcome critical scientific and engineering barriers to nanomanufacturing scale-up, customized nanomanufacturing and multi-scale integration; and
  • Design principles for production systems leading to nanomanufacturing tools, and platforms; identification of manipulation and control methodologies, and metrology, instrumentation, and standards needed for process monitoring and control and to assess quality and yield; determination of process models and simulations to guide processing and integration; identification of environmental and energy footprints, as applicable.

Competitive proposals will incorporate the following three elements in their research plans:

  1. A persuasive case that the nano-enabled integrated system to be manufactured has or is likely to have sufficient demand to justify eventual scale-up or meet demands for low-volume specialty materials or device systems;
  2. A clearly identified set of research challenges requiring science and engineering solutions that must be addressed to enable the realization of integrated systems for the cost-effective manufacture of high quality nano-enabled products in large quantities or low-volume specialty products; and
  3. A compelling research plan with clear objectives and approaches to overcome the identified research challenges. This may include environmentally benign approaches and life-cycle considerations.

These elements should be carefully explained and justified in proposals, since both the scientific novelty and the feasibility of the methods being researched will be important evaluation factors.

The SNM-IS solicitation is NOT seeking research proposals in large-scale manufacturing of single component nanomaterials and nanostructures. Novel ideas in novel nanomanufacturing processes and scale-up may be sent to the core Nanomanufacturing (NM) Program.

Competitive proposals are expected to address the training and education of students in nanomanufacturing, system integration and related areas. Since Scalable Nanomanufacturing for Integrated Systems research will involve addressing multiple scientific and engineering challenges in the design and manufacture of complex nano-enabled integrated systems, an inter-disciplinary approach is strongly encouraged. Disciplines could range from the physical sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, materials science and others) to engineering (materials, mechanical, electrical, chemical, biomedical, industrial and others) and could include mathematics and computer science. While not required, collaborative activities with industrial or small business companies (e.g., through the GOALI program) are welcome and collaborations in which industrial partners develop industrially relevant test-beds where university and company researchers can experiment and interact are encouraged. It is advisable that such firms be consulted early in the proposal preparation process and that their intellectual contributions be clearly explained in the proposal.

Other research and education projects in nanoscale science and engineering will continue to be supported in the appropriate programs and divisions.


Internal Expression of Interest Deadline: 11:59pm MST September 29, 2016

To express interest, send a simple statement via e-mail to: 

NSF Full Proposal Deadline: 5:00pm MST January 13, 2017


Principal Investigators must be at the faculty level or equivalent.

Proposals may be submitted by a single organization or a group of organizations consisting of a lead organization in partnership with one or more partner organizations. Only U.S. academic institutions with significant research and degree-granting education programs in disciplines normally supported by NSF are eligible to be the lead organization. Principal investigators are encouraged to form collaborations among researchers. However no funds will be provided to private and public sector organizations, government laboratories, or scientists and engineers at foreign organizations. At least three PIs and co-PIs, all with funded time committed in the budget, must be listed on the cover page and on the budget page of the proposal. The maximum number of PIs and co-PIs is five; other participants may be listed in the project summary and on the budget pages.

Collaborations between university and industry researchers using the approach of the Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) program are encouraged. Please see section IX. Other Information about GOALI. Primary support for foreign participants or activities, or both must be secured through their own national sources. For foreign participants, the U.S. organization may provide funds under participant support costs for travel and per diem for visits to the U.S. organization as consistent with applicable international agreements. No NSF funds may go directly to foreign organizations. For this solicitation, funds for salaries and research expenses of staff of for-profit companies, national laboratories, state agencies, and non-NSF Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC) may not be requested. However, it is appropriate for students supported by the award to work on a funded project at a for-profit company, an FFRDC or another comparable site and for the award to support research expenses incurred when scientists from such entities work at university sites. Federal employees may not receive salaries or in other ways augment their agency’s appropriation through grants made by this solicitation, and no funds for equipment at for-profit companies, FFRDCs, or other comparable entities are allowed.

Limited Submission Guidelines

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 1

An academic institution – a university, or a campus in a multi-campus university -- may submit no more than one (1) proposal on which it is the lead organization in response to this solicitation. Potential PIs are advised to contact their institutional office of research regarding processes used to select proposals for submission. The same organization may be a collaborative partner in any number of other multi-organization group proposals in which it is not the lead. A proposal involving more than one organization must be submitted as a single proposal in which a single award is requested, with the managing principal investigator from the lead organization and subawards administered by the lead organization to any other participating organizations.

T Cell Reagent Research for the Study of Allergic Diseases

Program Summary 

The goal of this FOA is to continue NIAID's support of multidisciplinary and collaborative research programs that focus on identifying, characterizing and validating allergen T cell epitopes during the development, progression, or immunotherapeutic management of allergic disease. For the purpose of this FOA, epitope validation is defined as the ability to track the numbers and functions of epitope-specific T cells during various clinical stages and to associate these parameters with careful phenotypic or endotypic characterization. These programs should include state of the art techniques to explore epitope-specific T-cell repertoires and to illuminate their phenotypes, their function and their contribution to allergen-specific T cell memory. New T cell epitope identification should be limited to allergens that have not been previously extensively examined and which are of importance in allergic diseases with high public health impact (e.g., milk, mouse and fungal antigens).

This FOA seeks applications with projects that are highly synergistic and relate to a central theme relevant to the goals described above.  All projects in an application must focus on human disease and can involve subjects with allergic rhinitis, asthma, or food allergy who will be carefully phenotyped.  In addition or alternatively, the application can utilize human specimens obtained from outside studies provided that these studies have conducted clinical phenotyping of high quality and that all this information is readily available to the applicant investigators. Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with funded clinical networks that can supply high quality clinical information and have the ability to prospectively follow large numbers of participants with various phenotypic characteristics.  NIAID requires that all of the proposed research in each application meets the definition of NIH clinical (human subjects) research and clearly defines the central role of T cell epitope analyses in the study hypothesis, design, and mechanistic assays.  For the NIH definition of clinical (human subjects) research, please refer to the NIH Office of Extramural Research Human Subjects website. Healthy non-allergic subjects may be included in the proposed clinical studies as controls. This FOA may also support new phase I and small-scale phase II clinical trials. If proposed, these clinical trials must focus on immune-based therapies and/or interventions involving experimental allergen exposure.


Internal Expression of Interest Deadline: 11:59pm MST October 11, 2016

To express interest, send a simple statement via e-mail to:

NIH Letter of Intent Deadline: February 3, 2017

University of Colorado Boulder
© Regents of the University of Colorado
PrivacyLegal & Trademarks