The Research & Innovation Office (RIO) Travel Grant program provides travel funding up to $1,500 for faculty to meet with extramural sponsors. The goal is to facilitate relationships between CU faculty and sponsors to increase the research, creative work, and scholarly enterprise of CU Boulder. Please review the guidelines below and email with any questions. All requests will be reviewed by RIO and are subject to the availability of funding.


All CU Boulder Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty, Senior Instructors, and Career Track Research Faculty (i.e., Research Professors Series, Senior Research Associates* (SRA), and Research Associates* (RA)) who hold an appointment of half-time or greater are eligible to apply. Other fulltime staff routinely engaged as principal investigators on scholarly or scientific research, such as librarians or curators, are also eligible. Visiting professors are ineligible for support.

There is no limitation on the number of trips that can be supported through this program. Priority is given to those who have not received travel support during the past 12 months. Faculty are normally expected to follow through with a proposal submission to the sponsor visited. It is recognized, however, that some visits may result in the conclusion that submission of a proposal to that sponsor is inappropriate.

The College of Engineering & Applied Science also provides travel grant funding for its faculty. College of Engineering & Applied Science faculty are welcome to apply to the RIO Travel Grant program as well.

Travel Information

Subject to the availability of funds, this program supports up to $1,500 in travel expenses (i.e., airfare, lodging (not to exceed two nights), ground transportation) to meet with extramural sponsors, including government, foundation, and industry sponsors. It does not support travel to scholarly or scientific meetings, even though useful contacts with sponsor representatives can often be made at such meetings. There may be exceptional cases where meetings with sponsor representatives (e.g., from two or more different cities) can be arranged during a scholarly or scientific meeting at considerable cost savings to the university. To justify support for such travel, you must provide evidence that you have arranged formal, one-on-one meetings with the sponsor representatives in advance. Any such special requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Travel to meetings or workshops designed for the purpose of bringing faculty together with sponsor representatives is supported. Requests to support the recruitment or enrollment of students are ineligible.

RIO prioritizes requests that optimize travel expenses. For instance, travel support for two days of meetings will be prioritized over a request for meetings spread over a week.

Small grants may be made to cover supplementary expenses involved in adding sponsor visits to travel already scheduled for other purposes. For example, if you are attending a scientific or scholarly meeting in Washington and wish to travel to New York to visit with foundation officials, you may apply for travel expenses between Washington and New York.

Except in limited circumstances, travel funds cannot be used to support multiple faculty on the same trip as the program’s intent is to foster relationships across a wide array of sponsors.

The program supports travel to discuss an investigator’s research or scholarly direction, and/or technical aspects of projects. If any trip is for the negotiation of an award, investigators must coordinate before travel with their Contract Officer in the Office of Contracts and Grants (OCG). Per CU Administrative Policy Statement 2005, OCG has contracting authority on behalf of CU Boulder and all award negotiations must go through OCG.

Funds are not intended to support individual donor meetings. For such trips, please contact your unit’s Advancement officer.

Application Submission Process

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and must be submitted through this online portal, which lists the application requirements. Please log in with your CU credentials. If you have any questions, please email

Apply Here


By submitting an application to this program, you certify that you will not use travel funds to engage in lobbying. Under federal lobbying legislation and regulations, it is not lobbying to discuss your research, schoarly or creative ideas with a federal program official, nor is it lobbying to seek information about how or when to submit a proposal or to seek the advice of a program official about how to submit the most competitive proposal. Lobbying involves attempting to influence a federal official outside of the established rules of program competition, such as interfering with the review process, asking for an exception that would circumvent established procedures for determining merit or priority of funding, or providing any kind of inducement for the federal official to fund your proposal.

Final Report

Once the travel and sponsor visit are complete, faculty grant recipients are required to report to the Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation. Grantees should complete this survey within 60 days after returning from travel. For auditing purposes, grantees should retain receipts for airfare and lodging as they may be asked to provide copies to RIO.