Published: Nov. 22, 2019

The Research & Innovation Office today announced the 2020 RIO Faculty Fellows cohort, which is comprised of 13 of CU Boulder’s most promising faculty. The group of professors reflects the diversity of expertise, research, scholarship and creative works taking place across campus. 

The RIO Faculty Fellows program supports faculty in achieving their research goals and promotes collaboration by “shrinking the campus.” This is done by cultivating a community of diverse, creative research leaders to help drive collaboration and innovation across the university, and includes a series of intensive research leadership retreats.  

“We are seeing the benefits of this shared Faculty Fellows experience—for our faculty leaders, as well as our campus’ capacity to innovate and expand our impact,” said Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation Terri Fiez. “Including this incoming group, we’ll now have 40 faculty who have participated in this program. It is exciting to see how they have grown their leadership skills and deepened their connections across campus. Their leadership is a critical component of the future of the campus." 

“I couldn’t be more excited about this new cohort. It’s truly representative of the innovation and knowledge development that happens on the CU campus.  We have internationally-renowned professors in performance art, law, business, humanities, and across the sciences in this program—and it’s this expansive, yet deep, expertise that makes it such a rich group of scholars,” said Faculty Director Kirsten Rowell. “We’re especially excited to see how this program impacts their work and what emerges from the collective.” 

Incoming Fellows to benefit from previous cohorts

The 2019 cohort, which just completed the 12-month program, and the inaugural 2018 cohort will make contributions to the 2020 program by sharing lessons learned and tips for success with the incoming Fellows at various times during the next year.

In explaining what the 2020 group can expect, 2019 Fellow Christoffer Heckman, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, described the year as “equal parts interpersonal training, intrapersonal reflection, and getting to know a vibrant, excellent group of colleagues on a deep level. Our diverse research interests but singular devotion to scholarship led to new research directions, insight in leading my group, and supportive friendships.”

“The cross-campus network of faculty and the community we built together will last for years to come,” said Wil V. Srubar III, assistant professor of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering Program, and also a member of the 2019 cohort.

More about the program

The RIO Faculty Fellows program identifies and develops individual leadership styles of tenured and tenure-track assistant and associate professors who are poised to lead significant collaborative projects, develop vision and deliver novel and impactful scholarly work. 

The program, along with other faculty development programs like the Excellence in Leadership program, is an investment in CU Boulder faculty and in the university as a global leader in innovation and impact. 

In addition to the cohort’s first intensive three-day retreat in January, the program framework includes several more focused retreats and a variety of informal networking activities throughout the year. Applications for the next cohort will be accepted in September 2020.