RIO Proposal Writing Support

The Research & Innovation Office (RIO) provides proposal development services to help increase the competitiveness of grant proposals. Services can include writing, editing, proofreading and rigorous proposal review. Support is also available to convene multiple faculty across campus to foster collaboration on funding opportunities. Based on availability, RIO staff offer proposal support for the following:

  • Large-Scale, High-Dollar, Complex, Multidisciplinary federal proposals;  
  • Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Proposals – federal proposals and select funding opportunities offered by professional societies and institutes;
  • Bioscience Proposals – single investigator and team proposals with an emphasis on collaborative projects between CU Boulder and CU Anschutz researchers;
  • SBIR/STTR federal proposals.

Proposal support for internal, CU funding programs is not provided.

Support Services

Proposal reviews include comments and suggestions that:

  1. highlight where the proposal can better align with funder guidelines and priorities;
  2. help to enhance the proposal’s structure;
  3. make specific grammatical suggestions and edits;
  4. generally assist in helping produce a high-quality, competitive proposal.

No budget development assistance is provided through this service, but RIO can direct you to the appropriate Proposal Analyst in the Office of Contracts and Grants (OCG) who can assist.

Eligibility for Support

All CU Boulder Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty, Instructors and 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 for support. Postdoctoral Associates, Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Associates/Senior Research Associates in short-term, transitional postdoctoral training positions are not eligible for support. Support is subject to the proposal writer’s availability.

If proposal support is sought for proposals to philanthropic organizations or by faculty in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, please see the “Other Campus Proposal Support” section below.

Guidelines and Process

Step 1: Click Here to Request Proposal Support

Step 2: Initial Consultation

  • After the Proposal Support Form is reviewed, and if approved, the proposal writer will meet with the faculty member(s) and determine the scope of support needed and the amount of time involved.

Step 3: Proposal Review Process and Timeline

  • The faculty and proposal writer will develop a plan and agree to deadlines for the first and near final draft reviews. This is not firm protocol, but generally speaking,  
    • If a draft is provided at least 3 weeks before a sponsor deadline, two rounds of review and edits can be provided.
    • If a draft is provided between 2-3 weeks before a sponsor deadline, there will be one review.
    • Note: If a draft is provided under 2 weeks of a sponsor deadline, the review is subject to the proposal writer’s availability and may not be possible.


After support is offered, RIO will contact faculty to complete a survey to provide input on the experience (i.e. what worked well, areas to improve). Faculty agree to complete the survey by utilizing the service.

Other Campus Proposal Support

Engineering & Applied Science Proposal Support

For faculty in the College of Engineering and Applied Science seeking proposal support, please contact the CEAS Research Support Office

Philanthropic & Foundation Proposal Support

For assistance developing proposals for philanthropic organizations, please contact the Industry and Foundation Relations team in the Office of Advancement.