Published: Jan. 25, 2024 By

The Research & Innovation Office (RIO) announces the launch of the New Frontiers Grant Program, a novel initiative specifically designed to foster groundbreaking, interdisciplinary research projects with the potential for high impact.

A Feb. 7 Virtual Townhall Kickoff will be the first of multiple opportunities for researchers to learn more and explore partnerships in advance of developing proposals.

“We are thrilled to launch this campuswide competition to cultivate new strengths for research, knowledge creation and innovation from our campus,” said Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation and Dean of the Institutes Massimo Ruzzene. “The program is unique in that it is intentionally not tied to specific themes or directions. Rather, the aim is to encourage an organic, grassroots approach that solicits new directions from our exceptional research community.”

“We’re also delighted that the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Education have worked so closely with RIO to make this opportunity possible, through their financial support and thought partnership,” said Ruzzene. The program has been shaped with input and expressions of support from across campus and is open to all eligible CU Boulder faculty.

Cultivating new research strengths across campus

New Frontiers seeks to stimulate new strengths at CU Boulder by encouraging researchers to think beyond individual disciplines and work together to tackle complex and impactful research challenges. The program will support teams with representation from two different colleges or schools and at least one institute-affiliated researcher.

The program will take place over an initial period of three fiscal years, starting with an Idea Phase designed to stimulate ideas and collaborations to explore those ideas.

  • The Idea Phase will start with the Feb. 7 Virtual Townhall Kickoff  and run through Spring 2024, with teams pitching ideas to win one of three anticipated Planning Phase grants of $25,000–$50,000 each.
  • The three Planning Phase projects—running from July 2024 through June 2025 to develop each of the three projects—will then compete to enter the Launch Phase.
  • The single project awarded for the Launch Phase in June 2025 will receive $200,000 in funding for 18 months to launch this new direction and explore even bigger possibilities for the future.

Expanding and supporting research activity at CU Boulder

New Frontiers is the newest in a growing portfolio of internal funding offered by RIO to encourage a range of research and innovation activity across campus and support exploration of ideas that could mature to attract additional investments from outside the university. Other opportunities offered by RIO include the Research & Innovation Seed Grants, Research & Innovation Arts & Humanities Grants, AB Nexus Research Collaboration Grants and Core Facility Assistance Grants, to name a few.

“We are eager to see the ideas and collaborations the New Frontiers competition attracts, and to the new directions it takes our researchers and campus,” said Ruzzene.