The Research & Innovation Office (RIO) Core Facility Assistance Grant Program seeks to enhance operations within Core and Shared Instrumentation Facilities on the CU Boulder campus.

The Program has limited funds to be awarded to:  

  • Improve operations, safety, visibility and accessibility of Core Facilities.
    Core Facilities enable opportunities o develop transformative and innovative ways to improve operations, safety, visibility and accessibility with a goal towards achieving long-term financial sustainability. Addressing how Core Facilities can safely and effectively provide services and while augmenting productivity is critical towards supporting the needs of our undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, staff, faculty and the CU Boulder research enterprise. 
  • Acquire and upgrade instrumentation. 
    Acquiring, upgrading or replacing existing instrumentation is critical to maintaining CU Boulder’s research infrastructure. Equipment should benefit the broader CU research community by increasing collaborations and technical capabilities. Funds are to be applied towards the purchase of equipment to be housed in the Core Facilities. Applicants seeking funding for equipment acquisition, repair or upgrade must explain why support cannot be obtained through other internal and external funding channels. Departments can apply funds to cost share towards the purchase or repair of an equipment.


Eligible applicants include CU Boulder Core Facility directors/managers, faculty or staff. Applicants who are not Core Facility directors/managers must collaborate with one or more CU Boulder core directors/managers in developing the project proposal. Only one application is allowed per core. View Eligible Core Facilities


The Core Facility Assistance Grant Program will fund up to $100,000 in grants in FY24. Funding for the program in future years is subject to availability of funds. The maximum award for FY24 is $10,000 per application, regardless of the number of Core Facilities involved. Note: RIO will not provide funding to pay for GAR/GIR related to this funding opportunity. Use this template to provide a budget for the request. 


  1. Applicants that are not core directors must co-develop the proposal with CU Boulder core director(s)/managers to assess feasibility and discuss the budget prior to applying. A single award may be used to support a project that involves more than one Core Facility, but the maximum award will remain $10,000. 
  2. All funds must be spent in one or more Core Facilities.  
  3. Funds cannot be used to pay salaries of Core Facility or other staff. 
  4. Funds can be used for safety improvements, remote access capabilities and equipment (repair and acquisition).
  5. Funds must be spent in the Core Facility associated with the project described in the grant application. 
  6. All awarded funds must be spent by the end of FY25 (June 30, 2025). There will be no no-cost extensions. 

Terms & Conditions

  1. Recipients will submit an annual Impact Report for three full fiscal years (three reports in total). Failure to do so may result in the Core Facility being disqualified from future funding opportunities.  
  2. If a significant outcome of this grant award is realized at any time, recipients will immediately notify Joe Dragavon, Director of Core Facilities & Shared Instrumentation in writing by emailing
  3. If there is a change or absence (60 days or greater) in PI, recipients will contact and provide a justification to Joe Dragavon, Director of Core Facilities & Shared Instrumentation at   
  4. 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. 
  5. Awards will be made available through the financial office in recipients’ respective college/school/institute on the 15th day of July following award notification (not earlier), at which time project spending can commence. The budget office at the PI’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.  
  6. The project duration is up to 12 months (July 1, 2024—June 30, 2025). There will be no No-cost extensions awarded. Unused funds at the end of the project will be returned to RIO. 
  7. If a recipient fails to fulfill any of the aforementioned conditions, RIO reserves the right to suspend funds. 


Faculty volunteers review applications, provide comments and recommend proposals for funding. Proposals will be evaluated in four primary areas:

  • Need: Does the acquisition satisfy a growing unmet need that will be utilized by multiple investigators? 
  • Overall Benefit:  Does the acquisition benefit Core Facility operations and Users, and enhance the capabilities of the University’s research infrastructure?
  • Management and Expertise:  Is the Core Facility able to appropriately operate the acquisition and ensure that it can be accessed by the CU Boulder scientific community? 
  • Funding Request: Is the expenditure of these funds accurate and justifiable, and worth the investment from the Research and Innovation Office? 

Application Deadline and Portal

Applications for FY24 will close on April 5, 2024, 11:59pm MST

Click Here to Submit

Proposal Format and Preparation

1. Cover page; please include the following: Access a template here.

  • Date of application (submission date)  
  • Full name of the Core Facility  
  • Home department/institute/unit of the Core Facility 
  • Name of Core Facility director/manager  
  • Name of facility manager (responsible for day-to-day management, may be the same as the director)  
  • Name of contact person (for this proposal)  
  • Proposal Title  
  • Amount requested ($)
  • Amount of Matching Funds ($)
  • Signatures of the facility director and department Chair or Chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee are required; these signatures will constitute acknowledgment that the request has been discussed and approved. 

2. Project description; please include the following:

  • Page Limits: 2 pages maximum
  • Project description should be in sufficient detail to be understood by a non-expert reviewer.
    • Brief description of the Core:
      • Users
      • Labs
      • Broad overview of the Core
    • Funding request: 
      • What will be purchased? For how much exactly?
      • How does this purchase complement the existing resources of the Core Facility?
      • How will this purchase advance the capabilities of the Core?
      • Does similar equipment exist? If yes, why does it not fit your needs?
    • Administration/Management Plan:
      • Where will it go? Describe the location where the requested purchase will be housed. 
      • How will access and use be managed and supervised?
    • Justification of Need:
      • Is there a growing unmet need that can be addressed by this purchase? 
      • Is current research being limited in some way (technical limitations, access restricted or hindered)? 
    • Technical Expertise: 
      • Who will oversee the acquisition?
      • Any prior experience with the purchase or other relevant experiences? 
    • Overall Benefit of the Purchase:
      • Anticipated usage and impact?
      • Research enabled? 
    • Example and Supporting Documentation or Data:
      • Example figure or data table

3. Proposed budget with a clear, concise justification and timeline (1-page maximum of written text):

  • Using this template, provide a budget for the request. Indicate explicitly, sources of revenue to sustain the equipment (i.e., increased usage, increased rates, etc. or both).     
  • Project timeline (to demonstrate that funds will be spent within 12 months). 
  • Sources of revenue to support the technology beyond the purchase.
  • Current Price Quote (will not count against the page limit).
  • Note: RIO will not provide funding to pay for GAR/GIR related to this funding opportunity. 

4. Biosketch (NIH or NSF format) or current Curriculum Vitae for the PI  

5. Support letters

  • From Core Facility if not the PI
  • Department/Institute Chair
  • At least one Major User (max 2 Users)

6. Resubmission of a prior CFAG application?

  • If yes, please provide the Year, Title and PI of the original submission. 

7. Annual award report agreement

  • By submitting for the Core Facilities Assistance Grant, you agree to submit an annual Impact Report for the next three fiscal years (three reports in total). Failure to do so may result in this Core's disqualification from future funding opportunities. 

For questions about the Core Facility Assistance Grant Program, please contact Joe Dragavon, Director of Core Facilities & Shared Instrumentation at (