The Research & Innovation Office (RIO) Outstanding Partner Award annually recognizes a campus employee (not rostered in RIO) who exemplifies a strong spirit of partnership and collaboration with RIO. The RIO Outstanding Partner Award is reserved for campus employees who foster relationships and a collaborative work environment with RIO units. 


All CU Boulder employees who have been employed more than two years who interact with any RIO unit(s) are eligible for this award. Employees can only receive this award once every decade during their CU Boulder career. 


  • Strong Spirit of Cooperation & Collaboration
    • ​Fosters RIO relationships and partnerships to maximize job performance
    • Embodies a team-player attitude and willingness to contribute wherever necessary
  • Clear and Consistent Communication
    • Communicates consistently and comprehensively with RIO to ensure that tasks are fulfilled in an effective manner
    • Anticipates possible communication lapses to prevent inefficiencies and misunderstanding, and ensures that need-to-know staff and partners are appropriately advised
  • Trust and Integrity
    • Demonstrates honesty, authenticity and dependability in RIO job duties
    • Treats everyone with respect and dignity 


Nominations may be submitted by any RIO faculty or staff member who has firsthand knowledge of or experience with the nominee. Nominations will be reviewed by RIO and/or Academic Affairs leadership.

Nominations should consist of a letter (two-page maximum) from up to three co-nominator(s) attesting to the criteria above. The nominators should endorse one letter.

 Applications for the 2022 award will open in Fall 2022

Award Recognition

The award consists of $500 (net pay) and a plaque provided by RIO. The award will be presented at an event every fall.