Who can I ask questions about the Research & Innovation Seed Grant Program?
Can I be the lead PI on one application and a co-PI on another application in the same cycle?

Seed grant recipients (lead PIs) from the past two years are not eligible, but may serve as an unpaid co-PI on proposals the year after receiving their award. Like PIs, co-PIs may only be funded in one active seed grant. For instance, if someone serves as an unpaid co-PI in a 2020 project, they can be a paid co-PI for a 2021 project.

How do I log in?

Once the program is open and accepting applications, applicants should navigate to the online portal on the program page where they will be prompted to log in to OpenWater using your CU IdentiKey and password. If you need assistance, please contact rioseedgrant@colorado.edu.

What is the policy regarding Co-PIs and/or external collaborators (i.e., from outside the CU system). Can their name be included in the grant as a collaborator? Can they be included in the budget in any form?

Each application should have a lead PI employed by CU Boulder. Co-PIs and collaborators are allowed and can be funded as long as the co-PI(s) are CU Boulder faculty. Unpaid collaborators from other institutions are permitted. Please note that seed grant recipients (lead PIs) from the past two years are not eligible to apply to the current year competition, and may not be a co-PI on proposals the year after receiving their award.

How much faculty salary can I apply for?

Applicants may request up to two weeks of summer salary in their proposal budgets.

Is funding for third party contractors permitted?

Third party contractor support is permitted if the contractor directly supports the research and is an integral part of the project. 

What is the maximum file size?

All files must be less than 50 MB.

What are the page limits for submissions?

Documents should be in Arial 11 pt type with at least 0.5" margins and no more than 13 pages total in length, including all components of the application (described below). Each section of the proposal must be clearly marked to be considered compliant and eligible for review. 

  • Proposal / Project Plan: up to 5 pages
  • Supplemental Materials: up to 8 pages, consisting of the following:
    • PI CV: up to 2 pages
    • Abstract / Project Summary: up to 1 page
    • Co-PIs/Collaborators: up to 1 page
    • Budget and budget justification: up to 2 pages
    • Honors, awards, representative scholarly works or publications relevant to proposal: up to 2 pages

See the application process and requirements section for more specific page count requirements.  

I am an adjoint professor in a department at CU Boulder, but work off campus at a national lab. Am I eligible to apply as a lead PI to the Seed Grant program?

Yes, an adjoint professor in a department at CU Boulder is eligible to apply as a lead PI. In the interest of making it clear to reviewers that the funds will benefit CU Boulder research / faculty, RIO encourages applicants in this situation to describe the nature of their appointment in their proposal to make it clear that their appointment is permanent/long-term. If it is a short-term appointment, or if it is unclear to reviewers, this may come up as a red flag to reviewers.

Can summer graduate research assistant support be included in the project budget?


What should I include in the Honors, Awards, Representative Scholarly Work or Publications Relevant to Proposal section?

This section is exists to provide an opportunity for the applicant to highlight things that they may not have included in their abbreviated CV. This section is intended to help reviewers understand the applicant's preparedness and qualifications to successfully undertake the proposed work and achieve what they set out to do. It is at the discretion of the applicant what, specifically, to include.