Published: May 11, 2023 By

CU Boulder’s Shared Instrumentation Network, administered by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO), announced recipients of its 2023 Assistance Grant awards, as well as a June 6 open house and industry fair. 

Ten Core Facilities Assistance Grants totaling $200,000 have been awarded to 14 new Core Facility-led projects for the 2023 cycle. The grants are designed to enhance operations within core and shared instrumentation facilities that span disciplines, departments and research institutes across campus. Including the 2023 awards, the program has boosted 48 Core Facilities projects with a total of more than $515,000. 

Additionally, the Shared Instrumentation Network will host a 2023 Open House and Local Industry Fair on Tuesday, June 6. This showcase event is open to those within and beyond the CU Boulder community, connecting attendees with equipment, instrumentation and services to help meet research goals. Attendees will include representatives from local industry entities that work with campus cores.

About the Core Facility Assistance Grants program

The Core Facility Assistance Grants Program, developed and managed by RIO’s Shared Instrumentation Network, is designed to support and grow the university's core facilities and available instrumentation, as well as the cutting-edge research these tools enable investigators to perform. 

The program aims to improve the operations, safety and visibility of core facilities at CU Boulder, as well as to increase remote accessibility for the facilities. The grants program also helps CU Boulder core facilities acquire, repair and upgrade instrumentation to maintain and expand the university's research infrastructure. 

“These investments not only augment the capabilities found within our cores, but also create a stronger research infrastructure for our community,” said Joe Dragavon, PhD, interim director of core facilities and shared instrumentation at CU Boulder. “As a result, these funds directly support CU Boulder’s investigators by increasing their scientific impact and available research opportunities.”  

Impact of the investment: A real-world example

Dr. Theresa Nahreini, director of the Biochemistry Cell Culture Facility, received a 2020 Assistance Grant of $7,539 to purchase a new Milli-Q IQ 7000 water purification system. This device allows for the generation of extremely clean water, which is essential for preparing high-quality cell culture media and other essential solutions. In just two years, the investment saved more than $31,000 because the facility did not need to purchase commercial media. The savings represent more than a 4-fold return—a figure that would have been significantly higher had COVID-19 restrictions that limited research not been in place. 

In addition to the financial impact, the Milli-Q water purification system supported the needs of 20 different investigators, further demonstrating the broad impact of central and targeted investments within our shared instrumentation centers.

About the Shared Instrumentation Network

The Shared Instrumentation Network is a resource for the entire CU Boulder campus that enables fundamental and applied research, and promotes interdisciplinary collaboration across the university's many departments, institutes and centers. 

If you have core facilities or shared instrumentation and are interested in learning more about the network, as well as related funding opportunities, please submit a request to the network.