Karen Regan receives the 2019 RIO Champion Award from VC Terri FiezKaren Regan, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation, is the 2019 recipient of the RIO Champion Award. 

Karen was nominated by:

  • Ryan Reeves, Senior Research Development Officer
  • Hallie Adams, former Research Development Coordinator
  • Diane Carillo, Proposal Writer

What the Nominators Said About Karen

As the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation, Karen spearheads the Research Development operation where she leads as a big-picture thinker, bringing a unique combination of exemplary soft skills with a deep knowledge of running an effective campus-level research office. Thanks to Karen, RIO’s Research Development team has leapfrogged many other research offices in the country in terms of supporting large research opportunities, seeding new and emerging faculty, and anticipating upcoming barriers to further research growth.

Some of Karen’s key contributions include:

  • Transitioning RIO’s culture from an office that responds to requests to one that anticipates needs and proactively supports faculty;
  • Identifying emerging research themes and developing funding strategies;
  • Spearheading multiple Financial Futures projects to expand the research and creative work enterprise;
  • Leading a cross-campus effort to secure APLU’s prestigious Innovation & Economic Prosperity designation, availing the campus to multiple award opportunities;
  • Transforming and streamlining communications with faculty through the RIO Bulletin, a biweekly newsletter of funding opportunities, honorific awards, events and news;
  • Creating faculty development programs like the PI Academy and NSF CAREER “Commit to Submit”, training programs for early-career faculty;
  • Launching the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs to develop the next generation of researchers;
  • Increasing grant-seeking capacity for faculty through the identification of funding opportunities and proposal development support; and
  • Engaging in outreach to and providing proposal support for Arts and Humanities faculty, an area often overlooked at research-intensive institutions.

Karen’s intelligence, thoughtfulness, and understanding of and adherence to the university’s mission make her an asset to the many projects, committees and conversations in which she engages. Consistent with all of Chancellor DiStefano’s strategic imperatives, Karen is shaping tomorrow’s leaders through her faculty and postdoc development programs. She approaches all the work she does as a true innovator, and she broadly supports all disciplines to ensure that she is comprehensively impacting not only CU Boulder faculty but also seeing that these faculty have a positive impact on humanity. She is valued by the Research & Innovation Office and campus leaders for all she does to advance research on the Boulder campus with an eye for growing CU Boulder’s visibility and reputation nationally.