The Research & Innovation Office (RIO) Core Facility Assistance Grant (CFAG) 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 increase remote accessibility of cores.
    Core facility personnel play a critical role in supporting and improving safety in laboratory research. Efforts to return to campus in the post -COVID-19 phase must prioritize the safety and health of the researchers accessing shared facilities. Core facilities have an opportunity to develop innovative ways to enhance safety with a goal towards a sustainable long-term culture of laboratory safety.  Additionally, with the University encouraging online education and training, core facilities need to implement online and remote access to their research resources.  Addressing how core facilities can safely provide services and maintain productivity is critical in the post-COVID-19 phase. 
  • Acquire, repair and upgrade instrumentation. 
    Acquiring, repairing, upgrading or replacing existing instrumentation is critical to maintaining CU Boulder’s research infrastructure. Equipment should benefit the broader CU research community and increase collaborations. Funds can 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, must collaborate with one or more CU Boulder core directors/managers in developing the project proposal. View Eligible Core Facilities


The Core Facility Assistance Grant Program will fund up to $120,000 in grants in FY21. Funding for the program in future years is subject to availability of funds. Individual award amounts will vary depending on projected expenditures in the proposed core and will be based on need. The maximum single award is $20,000.


  1. Applicants that are not core directors must co-develop the proposal with CU Boulder core director(s) 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.  
  2. All funds must be spent in one or more core facilities.  
  3. Funds cannot be used to pay salaries of core facility staff. 
  4. Funds can be used for safety improvements, remote access capabilities and equipment (repair, upgrade and acquisition).
  5. Funds must be spent in the core facility associated with the project described in the grant application. 

Terms & Conditions

  1. Recipients will submit a final report to RIO no later than 30 days following the end of the award period.  
  2. If a significant outcome of this grant award is realized at any time, recipients will immediately notify RIO 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 RIO 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 30th day of June 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 no longer than 12 months (July 1, 2021 —June 30, 2022). No-cost extension requests of 3 or 6 months must be approved by the Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation or the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research before the project termination date. No-cost extension requests should include a justification of why an extension is needed, how the funds will be used in the extension period and the length of the extension request. No-cost extension requests should be sent to 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 three primary areas:

  • Impact:  Benefit to core facility operations, users and enhanced safety of the University’s research infrastructure. 
  • Inter-/multidisciplinarity:  Potential to foster collaborations and partnerships across scientific research disciplines; team development for future collaborations centered on core facilities. 
  • External users: Improvements aimed at attracting external users are strongly encouraged. 

Application Process

Applications opened January 22, 2021 and closed March 15, 2021

Proposal Format and Preparation

1. Cover page; please include the following:

  • Date of application (submission date)  
  • Name of the core facility  
  • Name of core facility director  
  • Name of facility manager (responsible for day-to-day management)  
  • Name of contact person (for this proposal)  
  • Proposal Title  
  • Amount requested  
  • 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 (1 page maximum); please include the following:

  • Project description should be in sufficient detail to be understood by a non-expert reviewer.
  • If applying for funds to acquire, upgrade or repair equipment, please provide information as to whether similar equipment is available somewhere else on campus and why this equipment cannot meet the needs of your users.
  • Describe the location where the requested equipment will be housed.
  • Supporting documentation on the need for the equipment (e.g., usage data for the equipment, if applicable; letters of support from faculty needing the equipment will strengthen the application).

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

  • Provide a budget for the request. Indicate explicitly, sources of revenue to sustain the equipment (i.e., increased usage, increased rates, etc. or both).    
  • For acquisition, repairs or upgrades of equipment, the strongest applications will include letters of support from users indicating that they intend to increase usage of the equipment in the core facility.  
  • Project timeline (to demonstrate that funds will be spent within 12 months). 

4. NIH Biosketch or current Curriculum Vitae for core facility director and PI  

For questions about the Core Facility Assistance Grant Program, please contact Claudius Mundoma (