PI AcademyIn the fall of 2017, the Research & Innovation Office (RIO) launched the Principal Investigator (PI) Academy program to orient early career, tenure-track faculty to CU Boulder’s research community and resources. Through the PI Academy, presenters and facilitators actively engage faculty on a number of “core” research topics to ensure early investigators are well-positioned to apply for and secure external funding for their research, scholarly and creative endeavors. 

Since fall 2017, PI Academy has had great success, more than doubling in participation from its first to second year. There are over a dozen PI Academy graduates across campus, and over 50 more current participants. Graduates and participants represent a range of departments, colleges and institutes, with participants from the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Engineering & Applied Science and the College of Media, Communication and Information.

Register for PI Academy Here

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Participation in the PI Academy includes the following benefits:

  • The opportunity to build a network of faculty leaders from across the campus
  • Priority registration for RIO Workshops – 4 each semester, breakfast/lunch provided
  • Coaching to explore strategies to develop your individual research plan
  • One-on-one assistance to identify targeted funding opportunities
  • Roundtable discussions with campus leaders, including the Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation; Associate Deans for Research; and Institute Directors – among others
  • Certificate of Completion (signed by the Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation and your College Dean; reportable on your Faculty Report of Professional Activities (FRPA)) 


The PI Academy is geared toward tenure-track faculty who are within the first three years of their CU Boulder academic appointment at the level of Assistant Professor or the equivalent. If you are interested in participating, but do not fall into this category, please contact the RIO Research Development Team at: rio@colorado.edu.

Registration & Requirements

Register Here

Note: In addition to the workshops and panel discussions, there will be a mandatory PI Academy Kickoff Luncheon on August 29, from 12:00-1:30pm in CASE E422. 

To receive a Certificate of Completion, faculty must attend a minimum of 6 different PI Academy workshops over an 18-month period.

Upcoming PI Academy Workshops

October 17 ► Inside NSF's Engineering Research Center (ERC) Program with Division Director Kon-Well Wang

Have you considered applying to NSF’s prestigious Engineering Research Center (ERC) program? Want to know more?  Please join NSF Division Director Kon-Well Wang to learn about the history and current status of the ERC program, as well as the new opportunities for the Gen-4 ERCs.  Dr. Wang will discuss the foundational components of Gen-4 ERCs, including convergent research, workforce development, diversity and inclusion, and innovation. Q&A will follow the presentation.

  • When: Thursday, October 17 2019, 12:00-1:30pm
  • Where: CU Rec Center Ice Overlook Room
  • RSVP: RSVP Here
  • Lunch will be provided 

October 21 ► Conversation with Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation Terri Fiez

Come meet Terri Fiez, CU Boulder's Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation. Terri joined CU Boulder in 2015, and has spearheaded many new initiatives since arriving. Terri will field questions from attendees, discuss efforts to improve support for campus investigators, and highlight how CU Boulder's research, scholarship, and creative activities are advancing the university's strategic imperatives. Please feel free to submit a question for Terri in advance of the workshop on your workshop registration form.​

  • When: Monday, October 21 2019, 12:00-1:30pm
  • Where: Center for Academic Success and Engagement (CASE) E422
  • RSVP: RSVP Here
  • Lunch will be provided

​Late October (Rescheduled) ► Mentoring Series (2/3): Promoting Equity and Inclusion in Mentoring

Facilitated by June Gruber, Assistant Professor, Psychology and Neuroscience, Leisha Conners Bauer, Program Director of Health Promotion, and Nichole Barger, Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. The University of Colorado strives to draw students from diverse backgrounds, both at the undergraduate and graduate level. This workshop will focus on exposing mentors to methods that will help them to better recognize and address the specific needs, styles, and goals of their mentees. Additionally, the workshop will provide mentors with the necessary tools to foster a community atmosphere that is welcoming to students from all backgrounds and experiences.

  • When: TBD (rescheduled)
  • Where: TBD
  • RSVP: RSVP Here
  • Lunch will be provided 

November 5 ►Mentoring Series (3/3): Mentoring Postdoctoral Associates or Fellows

Facilitated by Nichole Barger, Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. While mentoring undergraduate and graduate students hold a great deal of similarity, Postdoctoral fellows and scholars occupy a unique position within the university, and as such have very different mentoring needs from their student counterparts. This workshop will be tailored to discuss the knowledge, skills, and experience required of Postdocs entering the academic job market, and how mentors can best provide resources for this group.

  • When: Tuesday, November 5 2019, 12:00-1:30pm
  • Where: Center for Academic Success and Engagement (CASE) E351
  • RSVP: Coming Soon
  • Lunch will be provided 

November 6 ►  Applying to the Research & Innovation Seed Grant Program

"Mighty oaks from little acorns grow"- so says an English proverb. Have you been considering a project with great potential, but are having difficulty finding funding for initial progress? Come learn about the Research & Innovation Office's annual Seed Grant program! Designed to catalyze new areas of research, scholarship and creative work, the Seed Grant Program awards nearly $1 million annually to CU Boulder faculty across all disciplines. At this event, RIO will convene a panel of previous Seed Grant recipients; attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and hear from previous grantees about their experience securing a Research & Innovation Seed Grant.

  • When: Wednesday, November 6 2019, 12:00-1:30pm
  • Where: University Memorial Center (UMC) Aspen Rooms
  • RSVP: RSVP Here
  • Lunch will be provided 

November 11 ► PI Academy Strategic Career Planning

Have you learned about the tools that CU Boulder can provide to accelerate your research and creative work, but need a bit of guidance on putting the pieces together cohesively? CU Boulder's Director of Strategic Projects Emily CoBabe-Ammann will guide PI Academy participants through a strategic career road mapping exercise to help participants develop methods to achieve their individual research, scholarship, and creative goals. This workshop will lay the foundation for individual career strategy sessions with Emily offered in the Spring of 2020. Don't miss out on this great resource - register today!

  • When: Monday, November 11 2019, 12:00-1:30pm
  • Where: Center for Academic Success and Engagement (CASE) E422
  • RSVP: RSVP Here
  • Lunch will be provided 

Past PI Academy Workshops & Materials


Faculty Grant Writing Groups

Grant writing is an important aspect in the careers of faculty members across campus, however, it often takes a back seat to other faculty responsibilities. Given the significance of grant writing to early career faculty advancement, the Research & Innovation Office (RIO) recognizes the importance of supporting faculty grant writing efforts through facilitating faculty grant writing groups.

Faculty grant writing groups provide dedicated time and space for faculty members to write, hold oneself (and one another) accountable on writing goals, exchange ideas across disciplines, and receive peer support and feedback on writing efforts.

Visit RIO's Faculty Grant Writing Groups webpage to learn more. Sign up to join or start a new faculty grant writing group. 

Fill out this interest form to join or start a faculty grant writing group.

Please note that writing groups typically form in August/September, December, and May, so it is a good idea to indicate your interest in one of these months.