The Research & Innovation Office Arts & Humanities Grant Program fosters the advancement of arts- and humanities-related scholarship, research and creative pursuits at CU Boulder.

The goal is to support projects with value to the disciplines of arts, humanities and humanistic social sciences, while also contributing to the applicants' career development.

This opportunity is inspired by the Research & Innovation Office’s recognition of the essential role of the arts and humanities at a public university, including inspiring deeper connections with others, welcoming multiple and diverse perspectives and contemplating what it means to be human. As such, projects addressing and incorporating justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI)-related topics are encouraged.

Important Dates

The program opens March 18, 2024 and proposals must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 15, 2024. Proposals received after the deadline will not be reviewed. Awards will be announced in late April - early May.


Awards will be made up to $7,500, with the average award expected to be $2,000-$3,000 and used within one full year from the date of award. The anticipated start date for projects is July 1, 2024.


One proposal per PI/Co-PI.

Applicants for RIO’s Arts & Humanities Grant Program must be full-time faculty of CU Boulder holding any rank (including instructors) whose research and scholarly expertise aligns with the arts, humanities or humanistic social sciences. All CU Boulder Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty, Instructors and Senior Instructors (including Teaching Assistant Professors, Teaching Associate Professors, and Teaching Professors), and Career Track Research Faculty (i.e., Research Professors Series, Senior Research Associates* (SRA), and Research Associates* (RA)) who hold a full-time appointment are eligible. Co-leads are allowed and can be funded as long as they are CU Boulder faculty. Collaborators from other academic institutions or organizations are also permitted but cannot receive funding from the program. Third party contractor support or community partnership funding may be permitted if the work is an integral part of the project scope.

*Postdoctoral Associates, Postdoctoral Fellows, and Research Associates/Senior Research Associates in short-term, transitional postdoctoral training positions are ineligible.

Proposal Requirements

Application Portal

Proposal must be submitted in the portal above and documents should be single-spaced, 11-point type with at least 1-inch margins and saved as a PDF, including the lead faculty’s name and the year of proposal in the document title (e.g., MRuzzene2024Grant.pdf).

All proposals should include the components below in one (1) PDF document with clear section headers (as outlined below). Proposals that fail to comply with these requirements will not be reviewed.

Cover Page (1 page)

Please include the following:

  • Proposal Title
  • Lead faculty
  • Other faculty and non-faculty team members, if any
  • Abstract – up to 300 words, including a brief overview of your project with a focus on how this award will be used. Reviewers may not be experts in the same field, so proposals should be jargon-free and written for a broad audience of the arts and humanities.

Project Description

Please respond in 1-3 sentences to each of the following questions:

  1. What is the value and significance of the project to the arts, humanities and/or humanistic social sciences?
  2. What is the project’s relevance to and impact within (and potentially beyond) its given field? (e.g., how does the project complement and/or challenge the field(s)?)
  3. How will the funds be used?
  4. How will this project impact your career?
  5. What is the goal or final product intended for this project?
  6. How and by what method(s) will you determine the impact and success of the project?
  7. Does the PI have plans for publication, exhibition, performance or other avenues of knowledge transfer to the public, including accessibility? 

Supplemental Materials

Please supply relevant websites and/or social media sites and/or 1-3 work samples, if applicable.

CV (up to 3 pages)

Submit an abbreviated CV (up to 3 pages) for each faculty member involved in the project.

Budget and Budget Justification (up to 2 pages)

Applicants are required to use this template for project costs. Requests for faculty salary support are not allowed. While no overhead or indirect costs need to be accounted for in the budget submitted, GAIR is being calculated due to the funding source utilized to fund these projects. To comply with university policy, the total award amount will include funding to cover the GAIR and the project cost.

Concisely provide a justification of the items requested in the budget. Particular attention should be given to justifying budget items that may not be obvious to reviewers who are familiar with (but are not experts in) your specific field. Up to 2 pages total (approximately 1 page for the budget and 1 page for the budget justification).

Unallowable costs include:

  • Faculty salary;
  • Computers and equipment already accessible from the university;
  • Support for the editorial work of a journal;
  • Students’ tuition or insurance costs;
  • Food and beverages;
  • Travel expenses solely to attend conferences;
  • Course enhancement, curriculum, course development, public service, textbooks or any activities in teaching or instruction, as opposed to research or scholarship.

Review Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed and ranked by a panel of arts and humanities faculty. Applicants are reminded to write for a broad arts and humanities audience as reviewers may not be experts in the same field. RIO will manage the review process.

All proposals will be evaluated based on the following:

  • Significance/value of this project to arts, humanities and/or humanistic social sciences
  • Potential of this project to contribute to the field(s) (and potentially beyond)
  • Appropriate proposal for use of funds
  • If applicable, how the project will impact the applicant’s career development
  • Appropriate evaluation to assess project success
  • Qualifications of the applicant(s) and relevance of those qualifications to the project

Award Terms and Conditions

  • Recipients will submit a final report to RIO no later than 30 days following the end of the award period. RIO staff will be in contact with report requirements and submission details.
  • Recipients are highly encouraged to submit a proposal for external funding (for related work) within 18 months of being awarded an Arts & Humanities Grant.
  • If a significant outcome of this grant award is realized at any time (e.g. securing an external grant, publication, an invention, a key creation or performance, etc.), recipients will notify RIO in writing by emailing
  • If there is a change or absence (60 days or greater) in lead faculty, recipients will immediately contact and provide a justification to RIO at
  • Recipients agree to not seek or accept funding from any other Research & Innovation Office (RIO) funding source for the same project or activities funded under this award including but not limited to AB Nexus, New Frontiers Grants, Research & Innovation Office Seed Grants and/or additional Research & Innovation Office Arts & Humanities Grant funding.
  • Recipients will serve on an Arts & Humanities Grant review panel for future RIO grant programs. As such, recipients cannot be lead faculty or paid co-leads/collaborators on proposals submitted the cycle following the cycle in which they were awarded. Recipients may serve as unpaid co-leads the following cycle.
  • By accepting this award, recipients agree to score and provide written comments on assigned proposals before the review deadline and participate in an in-person review meeting. For any recipients on sabbatical or family leave during the review period, these recipients will serve as a reviewer the following grant cycle. If a recipient fails to serve as a reviewer during the next cycle, funds will be suspended.
  • If the project entails any compliance issues such as IRB, IACUC, EHS, biohazardous material, etc., recipients certify that the appropriate compliance offices on campus will be made aware of the proposed activities before initiating any work.
  • Awards will be made available through the financial office in recipients’ respective college/school/institute on the first day of July following award notification (not earlier), at which time project spending can commence. The budget office at the lead faculty’s respective college/school/institute will set up the speedtype (account) number for the award. RIO will transfer the funds to the speedtype. Recipients are advised to contact respective budget offices for the speedtype in June following award notification. 
  • The project duration is no longer than 12 months July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025. No-cost extension requests of 3 or 6 months must be approved by the Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation or the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research before the project termination date. No-cost extension requests should include a justification of why an extension is needed, how the funds will be used in the extension period, and the length of the extension request. No-cost extension requests should be sent to  Unused funds at the end of the project will be returned to RIO.
  • If a recipient fails to fulfill any of the aforementioned conditions, RIO reserves the right to suspend funds.


All publications, exhibitions or other results supported by the Research & Innovation Office’s Arts & Humanities Grant Program should carry a printed acknowledgment of financial assistance from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Research & Innovation Office. RIO should receive a single copy of each such publication.


For all questions related to this program, please contact the Research & Innovation Office at