In some cases, a funder limits the number of applications that can be submitted by CU Boulder to a given funding opportunity. For all limited submission funding opportunities, the Research & Innovation Office (RIO) coordinates an internal competition to identify the project(s) with the highest likelihood of receiving funding. All interested applicants should review the campus procedures for limited submission funding opportunities provided below. Click here to get our limited submission funding opportunity newsletter, the RIO Bulletin, delivered directly to your inbox every other Tuesday.

Interested in serving as a reviewer for limited submission competitions? Click here!

Current Open Opportunities

Past Opportunities

Procedures for Limited Submission Funding Opportunities

  1. Announcement of Opportunities
    1. Webpage: The RIO limited submission funding opportunities webpage lists active limited submission funding opportunities. Information about past opportunities can be found here.
    2. Email: RIO circulates the biweekly RIO Bulletin via email to campus stakeholders; the Bulletin includes notices of newly announced limited submission funding opportunities. Subscribe to the RIO Bulletin here. In certain time-sensitive situations, RIO may circulate a special issue of the Bulletin announcing a limited submission opportunity. RIO may also notify individual units and stakeholders of opportunities focused on specific disciplines or research areas.
    3. If individual faculty or staff become aware of limited submission funding opportunities not posted through the above sources, they should notify RIO immediately at
    4. To prevent CU Boulder from being disqualified from a limited submission funding opportunity, materials should not be submitted to the sponsor until a final selection is made and the winner of the internal competition has been notified.
  2. Internal Application Process
    1. Timeline: RIO will typically post notice of an internal competition at least 10 weeks in advance of the sponsor deadline (this will increase to 16 weeks for particularly large, complex, or multidisciplinary funding opportunities). This window allows RIO to allot at least: (a) 6 weeks for internal competition winner proposal development in advance of the sponsor deadline (this will increase to 12 weeks for particularly large, complex, or multidisciplinary opportunities), (b) 1 to 1.5 weeks for the internal competition proposal review process, and (c) 3 weeks for internal competition proposal development. ​RIO will make best efforts to adhere to the timeline outlined here, however, RIO reserves the right to make modifications considering sponsor timelines are outside of RIO’s control. If there is insufficient time to administer an internal competition, RIO may render a decision as to whom will be granted CU Boulder’s slot to apply to an opportunity.
    2. Application Submission: Applicants will submit internal competition applications through an online portal with a unique hyperlink provided on the limited submission funding opportunities webpage.
    3. Application Requirements: Internal application requirements may vary based on sponsor application requirements, but will typically include: (a) 2-3 page project summary, (b) CV/biosketch, and (c) 1 page budget overview (basic budgets outlining projects costs are sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required for internal competitions).
    4. RIO does not provide any advice or feedback during the internal competition process.
  3. Internal Review Process
    1. Applications are reviewed by faculty and staff with expertise in the relevant subject area(s). Based on reviewer input, an applicant (or applicants) is selected as the internal competition winner. The internal winner is invited to submit a proposal to the opportunity sponsor on behalf of CU Boulder.
    2. The CU Boulder Office of Advancement will provide input during the review process for private foundation-sponsored opportunities.
  4. Notification of Applicants
    1. RIO will notify all applicants via email. When possible, applicants will receive reviewer comments to allow the internal winner and other applicants to strengthen their proposals to the sponsor or for the subsequent funding cycle, respectively.
    2. RIO will provide internal winners with instructions on how to proceed with submission of a full proposal to the sponsor, working in conjunction with the Office of Contracts and Grants (OCG) and/or the Office of Advancement.
    3. RIO will share the names of internal winners when other internal competition applicants, whom were not selected, inquire for collaboration/partnership purposes. The intent is to encourage collaboration and to ensure that CU Boulder is submitting the most competitive proposal possible. Partnerships are at the discretion of the internal PI winner.
  5. Expectations for Internal Winners
    1. Internal competition winners are required to submit a full proposal to the sponsoring agency on behalf of CU Boulder. RIO expects selected faculty to make contact with their OCG Proposal Analyst (and with the Office of Advancement for applicable philanthropic funding opportunities) within one week of being notified by RIO. This one-week window may be shorter depending on the program deadline.
    2. Even if a sponsor allows a PI to submit on their own, PIs must submit through OCG (and should be in contact with the Office of Advancement for philanthropic funding opportunities).
    3. If, for any reason, an internal winner will not submit a proposal to the sponsor, (s)he is required to immediately contact If time permits, another internal competition applicant will be invited to apply on behalf of CU Boulder.
      1. For instances in which an internal winner does not apply and neglects to inform RIO, the dean/director of the internal winner’s respective unit will be notified, and this will be taken into consideration for future limited submission opportunities.
    4. If an internal winner wishes to appoint another faculty member as PI before the application is submitted to the sponsor, the internal winner must request approval by sending an explanation to Changes in PI must be approved by RIO.
    5. For projects involving cost-share, it is incumbent upon the selected faculty to secure appropriate financial commitments. Cost-share commitments should be identified and described in the internal campus competition application. In cases that RIO is able to contribute matching funds, RIO’s contributions are typically limited to funds for equipment and/or facilities for equipment. Typical matches total $50,000, with $25,000 from RIO and the remaining $25,000 from units or colleges.
    6. RIO expects applicants to send a copy of the submitted proposal to and to keep RIO informed of the proposal status and whether or not the proposal was funded.
    7. As an internal winner, you agree to provide you agree to provide sponsor feedback to RIO by filling out this form within 60 days of receiving sponsor feedback. You also agree to provide advice and sponsor feedback to the following year’s internal winner upon request. 

Open Limited Submission Funding Opportunities

Please see the table below for a complete list of active internal competitions. Click on the linked award name for more information and to access the internal competition application portal. If you are aware of a limited program not listed below, please email

CU Internal Competition Deadline

(11:59pm MST)

Sponsor Deadline                                                                                       


May 22, 2019 June 20, 2019 3:00pm MT (Concept Paper)
August 29, 2019 3:00pm MT (Full Proposal)
DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) Multi-Topic FOA
May 22, 2019 June 25, 2019 3:00pm MT (Letter of Intent)
September 24, 2019 3:00pm MT (Phase II Application - invitation only)
Brain Research Foundation Scientific Innovations Award
May 22, 2019 July 11, 2019 NEA Art Works
May 22, 2019 August 25, 2019 5:00pm MT (Letter of Intent)
September 25, 2019 5:00pm MT (Application)
NIH NINDS Neuroscience Development for Advancing the Careers of a Diverse Research Workforce
May 23, 2019 August 1, 2019 5:00pm MT (Preliminary Proposal)
January 30, 2020 5:00pm MT (Full Proposal)
NSF Physics Frontier Centers (PFC)
May 23, 2019 July 1 - August 15, 2019 (Pre-Application Counseling Period)
November 1, 2019 (Phase I Apps, invitation only)
February 15, 2020 (Phase II Apps, invitation only)
W.M. Keck Foundation Research and Undergraduate Education Grants
May 30, 2019 August 10, 2019 5:00pm MT Bonfils Stanton Foundation Project Support Grants
June 5, 2019 August 1, 2019 Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation Grants
June 5, 2019 July 31, 2019 (Intent to Apply)
January 14, 2020 (Pre-Proposal)
December 1, 2020 (Finalist Proposal, invitation only)
HHMI Inclusive Excellence (ie3)
June 12, 2019 September 18, 2019 5:00pm MT NSF Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) in Engineering and Computer Science
June 25, 2019 August 13, 2019 5:00pm MT (Letter of Intent)
September 13, 2019 5:00pm MT (Full Application)
NIH Director's Early Independence Award
June 25, 2019 September 27, 2019 5:00pm MT NSF Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Program
July 2, 2019 September 1, 2019 ORAU Events Sponsorship Program
July 30, 2019 November 6, 2019 5:00pm MT NSF Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL)
July 31, 2019 September 25, 2019 NEH Summer Stipends
Email if interested May 9, 2019 5:00pm MT NSF IUSE: CUE Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Computing in Undergraduate Education
Email if interested May 13, 2019 3:00pm MT (Concept Paper)
July 9, 2019 3:00pm MT (Full Proposal)
DOE EERE Water Power Technologies
Email if interested May 15, 2019 5:00pm MT (Concept Paper)
August 20, 2019 5:00pm MT (Full Application)
DOE Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute: Cybersecurity in Energy Efficient Manufacturing
Email if interested May 2019 Adaptation and Partnership Competition:
May 15, 2019
5:00pm MT(letters of intent)
May 22, 2019 5:00pm MT(full proposals)
January 2020 Adaptation and Partnership Competition:
November 1, 2019 5:00pm MT(letters of intent)
January 15, 2020 5:00pm MT(full proposals)
NSF ADVANCE: Organizational Change for Gender Equity in STEM Academic Professions
Email if interested May 21, 2019 5:00pm MT NIH Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) (T34)
Email if interested May 21, 2019 3:00pm MT USDA NIFA Women and Minorities in STEM (WAMS)
Email if interested May 23, 2019 10:59pm MT Halliburton Foundation Grants
Email if interested April 19, 2019 5:00pm MT (Letters of Intent - not required)
May 31, 2019 5:00pm MT (Applications)
NIH Team-Based Design in Biomedical Engineering Education
Email if interested May 31, 2019 5:00pm MT NIH High-End Instrumentation (HEI) Grant Program
Email if interested May 31, 2019 5:00pm MT NIH Shared Instrumentation Grant (SIG) Program
Email if interested May 31, 2019 5:00pm MT NIH Shared Instrumentation for Animal Research (SIFAR) Program
Email if interested June 9, 2019 5:00pm MT (Letter of Intent)
July 9, 2019 5:00pm MT (Application)
NIH Science Education Partnership (SEPA)
Email if interested June 13, 2019 11:59pm MT National Forest Foundation Matching Awards Program
Email if interested June 24, 2019 5:00pm MT NSF Faculty Development in the Space Sciences
Email if interested June 25, 2019 5:00pm MT (Preliminary Proposals)
January 27, 2020 5:00pm MT (Full Proposals - by invitation only)
NSF Science and Technology Centers (STCs): Integrative Partnerships
Email if interested July 1, 2019 3:00pm MT American Diabetes Association Pathways to Stop Diabetes
Email if interested July 1, 2019 (Concept Applications)
September 3, 2019 (Full Proposals)
Conservation, Food & Health Foundation Support for Programs in the Developing World
Email if interested July 2, 2019 1:00pm MT William T. Grant Scholars Program


Past Winners - Limited Submission Funding Opportunities

Please see the table below for a list of CU Boulder faculty who have received popular limited submission funding opportunity awards. If you are aware of any winners not listed here, please contact

Sponsor Award Past Winner(s)
W. M. Keck Foundation Science and Engineering Research Grants Daniel Dessau, 2017 (Physics)
Prashant Nagpal, 2014 (Chemical & Biological Engineering)
Rob Knight, 2013 (Chemistry & Biochemistry)
W. M. Keck Foundation Undergradate Education Grants Derek Briggs, 2014 (Education)
National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Margaret Murnane, 2018 (Physics)
Wil Srubar III, 2017 (Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering)
Won Park, 2016 (Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering)
Markus Raschke, 2015 (Physics)
Thomas Hauser, 2015 (Research Computing)
Kevin Mahan, 2014 (Geological Sciences)
Rafael Piestun, 2014 (Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering)
Daniel Dessau, 2004 (Physics)
National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and
Engineering Center (MRSEC)
Noel Clark, 2008, 2002, 1998 (Physics)
Joseph Maclennan, 2006 (Physics)
National Science Foundation Science and Technology Centers (STCs) Margaret Murnane, 2016 (Physics)
The Pew Charitable Trusts Pew Biomedical Scholars Jingshi Shen, 2010 (MCDB)
James Goodrich, 1999 (Biochemistry)
Bradley Olwin, 1990 (MCDB)
Robert Boswell, 1987 (MCDB)
Michael Klymkowsky, 1985 (MCDB)