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                                                                                       


January 22, 2019 April 2, 2019 3:00pm MST NSF INCLUDES
January 24, 2019 February 19, 2019 5:00pm MST (Letter of Intent - not required)
March 19, 2019 5:00pm MST (Application)
NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) Awards
January 28, 2019 March 11, 2019 Dept of State Internet Freedom Annual Program Statement
February 7, 2019 March 29, 2019 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminars
February 7, 2019 March 31, 2019 John G. Duncan Charitable Trust Arts, Culture and Humanities or Education Grants
February 7, 2019 March 31, 2019 Marion E. Kenworthy - Sarah H. Swift Foundation Grants
February 12, 2019 April 24, 2019 5:00pm MST (Letter of Intent)
May 24, 2019 5:00pm MST (Application)
February 12, 2019 April 25, 2019 5:00pm MST (Letter of Intent)
May 25, 2019 5:00pm MST (Application)
NIH Jointly Sponsored Ruth L Kirschstein National Research Service Award Institutional Predoctoral Training Program in the Neurosciences
June 25, 2019 September 27, 2019 5:00pm MST NSF Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Program
N/A: To apply, please coordinate with your respective college/school. January 28, 2019 (Letter of Intent)
February 28, 2019 5:00pm MST (Full Proposal)
NIH Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) Award
N/A: To apply, please coordinate with your respective department. February 25, 2019 Graham Foundation Production and Presentation Grants
N/A: To apply, please coordinate with your respective college/school. March 27, 2019 5:00pm MST NSF Scholarship in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM)
Email if interested January 15, 2019 (Letters of Intent - not required)
February 15, 2019 (Full Proposals)
NIH Blueprint for Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity through Undergraduate Research Education Experiences
Email if interested January 18, 2019 5:00pm MST (Letter of Intent - required)
March 19, 2019 5:00pm MST (Application)
NSF Long Term Ecological Research National Coordination Office (LTER-NCO)
Email if interested January 24, 2019 NSF Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP)
Email if interested January 24, 2019 5:00pm MST NSF IUSE / Professional Formation of Engineers: Revolutionizing Engineering Departments
Email if interested January 25, 2019 3:00pm MST (Pre-Application - required)
March 25, 2019 3:00pm MST (Application - invitation only)
DOE Low Temperature Plasma Science Centers and Facilities
Email if interested January 28, 2019 NIH Research Education: Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD)
Email if interested February 7, 2019 3:00pm MST (Concept Paper)
May 7, 2019 3:00pm MST (Full Application)
DOE Energy-Water Desalination Hub
Email if interested February 14, 2019 NEA Art Works
Email if interested February 14, 2019 5:00pm MST (Letter of Intent)
March 12, 2019 5:00pm MST (Full Proposal)
NSF Innovation Corps Nodes (I-Corps Nodes)
Email if interested February 22, 2019 5:00pm MST NIH Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD)
Email if interested March 4, 2019 5:00pm MST NSF Advanced Computing Systems & Services: Adapting to the Rapid Evolution of Science and Engineering Research
Email if interested March 17, 2019 (Letter of Intent - not required)
April 17, 2019 5:00pm MST (Application)
NIH Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers (EHSCC)