Types of Grants

What funding works for me? Download a comparison sheet. 

Each of these grant types supports outreach and engagement work. Each has its own selection criteria, application requirements, allowable expenses and application deadlines.

These differences are described in more detail on separate web pages for each grant type, which can be found at the Outreach Funding page.

In general, CU Boulder Outreach Awards fund projects that are larger in scope and have more fully established partnerships. If your project is in an earlier stage or you want to extend your work into new areas, consider applying for our office's grants. These include Community Impact Grants that seed or extend community-engaged work and Micro Grants that support outreach-related travel, events and more.

The Micro and Community Impact grants are reviewed, awarded and administered by a team in our office.

The annual campuswide Outreach Awards are reviewed by the CU Boulder Outreach Committee composed of faculty and staff from multiple academic disciplines and offices across campus. Once awarded, the grants are administered by our office.

Project Timeline

Typically, projects should be completed one year from the date of the award for both Micro and Community Impact grants. The due date for your final report will be included in the award letter. Contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the timing or scope of your work.

You may submit more than one proposal in one academic year; however, each proposal must be for a distinct, substantially different outreach activity or project. Due to the limited amount of funding available, if you have already received funding, subsequent proposals are less likely to be funded during the same academic year.

If you receive funding during one academic year, you may apply in the next academic year for funding that would significantly expand or extend your project. If appropriate, you may also consider applying for a campuswide Outreach Award in a different year following successful project work funded by Micro or Community Impact grants.

Typically, no. We view the Micro and Community Impact grants as “seed funding” that can help develop or extend projects that are at an early or pilot phase of collaboration. If those projects are successful, we encourage people to expand the scope and apply for an Outreach Award in the following year. An Outreach Award application is unlikely to be funded in the same year that a smaller grant was awarded, and vice versa. We recognize there may be exceptions and we are happy to consult with project teams on the most effective sequence or strategy for the different grant types.

No. Project team members may apply for a grant to fund a completely different project, but not to fund additional activities within the same project in the same year.

Perhaps. Our intent in each academic year is to share resources equitably across campus. Due to the limited amount of funding available, multiple applicants from the same department may be less likely to all receive funding during an academic year.

Each deadline is intended to accommodate activities that will be initiated in the following two terms. Out-of-cycle proposals will not be accepted.

The September deadline is intended for project activities in late fall or beyond; the January deadline is intended for project activities in spring, summer, or early fall. April deadlines (Micro Grants only) are intended for project activities in summer or fall.

Contact us to discuss possible known issues with timing of applications.


No. Funds cannot be used to pay or reimburse expenses to outside speakers or experts who are not affiliated with CU Boulder.

No. Funds cannot be used for pay or travel expenses for outside speakers or experts who are not affiliated with CU Boulder. An external expert may be involved in the program but the grant funding needs to be used for other program expenses, as defined in the Funded Expenses sections on the web page for each grant.

Yes. Funding may be used to cover travel expenses, scholarships for workshop attendance, or honorariums for participation by community partners in your project.

You may forfeit your funding. Please check with the administrative staff in your department or unit, before you complete your application, regarding the process and timeline for obtaining SpeedTypes. Please contact us as soon as possible if you anticipate any delays.

Grants can be used to support professional development related to outreach work only, and can not be used for professional development generally related to your area of research. In the past, we have supported conference travel to present your outreach and engagement work. However, we are not currently funding travel since university-sponsored travel is suspended due to COVID-19. 

Project Work and Partners

We define external constituents and audiences for outreach and engagement work as individuals and groups who are involved in and/or affected by the project, and who are not CU Boulder faculty, staff or students.

The roles of the external constituents/audiences vary among project types; examples include project collaborators, stakeholders, partners, participants and attendees at conferences or events.  

No. We fund projects that extend and promote the mission of your academic unit and/or the university, and foster collaboration with external constituents who have related missions and needs. To be successful, proposals must focus on project activities that are directly connected to the applicants’ research, teaching or creative work.

No. Outreach and engagement funding cannot be used solely or primarily for work with CU Boulder campus constituents.

It depends. Projects are the best fit for these awards if they include meaningful components that go beyond the researcher/research subject partnership. We typically fund engagement that includes co-development of the goals and applications of the work with partners. To be highly competitive, projects will generate outcomes and products that benefit the partners directly and tangibly — instead of (or in addition to) traditional academic products such as data summaries or journal articles.

In some situations, yes. Micro Grant funding may be requested for individuals’ travel expenses to partners’ locations for the purpose of partnership development. However, Community Impact Grants are intended to support projects in which a foundation has already been laid for collaboration or substantive engagement.

In these situations, we advise teams to first apply for Micro Grants if considerable support is needed for planning and partnership development. Community Impact grant applications are more likely to be successful when our review team sees evidence that meaningful two-way partnerships and mutual benefits are already established or in development.