Research Funding

We're committed to helping DU's faculty researchers raise their visibility and reputation, and enhance their chances for external funding. Explore these resources to get started, and if you need additional help or have any questions, please contact us.

    • Internal DU Funding Sources
      Funding Source Eligibility Description Award Amount Timing
      Faculty Internationalization Grants All DU faculty  The Faculty Internationalization Grants are intended to provide support for significant international endeavors and/or as seed money for projects and pilots that should become self-sustaining.    $500-$8,000 Fall, Spring
      Faculty Research Fund (FRF) Appointed faculty from all units Faculty Research Fund grants aim to stimulate research, scholarship and creative activity by the University of Denver Faculty.   $3,000 Spring 
      Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Study of (In)Equality All DU faculty, must illustrate interdisciplinary and community engagement IRISE provides support for faculty and students to engage in the development of cutting edge interdisciplinary research on racial equity in Colorado and the larger Rocky Mountain West. Such support can include 2 year pilot grants, postdoctoral fellows, grant writing consults, and student stipends. Projects must be inter or trans disciplinary and include a community collaborator. $10,000 - $20,000 (over two years)  On-going
      Knoebel Institute Research Pilot Proposals Natural sciences, engineering and social sciences  Proposals for pilot research projects in the area of aging research  $250,000 (between 4-6 projects) Winter
      Partners in Scholarship (PinS) Undergraduate students collaborating on a project with a faculty member  PinS provides a unique opportunity for students to collaborate on a project with a faculty member. Students should work with the faculty partner to develop a detailed project plan.  



      Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
      Professional Research Opportunities for Faculty (PROF) Full-time faculty members whose job responsibilities include conducting research, scholarship or creative works  The goals of the fund are to support an increase in scholarly / creative activity by the faculty in a manner that strategically enhances the reputation of the University. 

      $27,000 (1 investigator)/$45,000 (2 or more investigators)

      Public Good Fund for Faculty All DU faculty The fund promotes and increases faculty public good research and outreach at the University. 

      $100,000 (split between all awardees) 

      Student Scholar Travel Fund Undergraduate students whose work has been accepted at an academic conference or meeting The travel should be for the purpose of presenting academic research.  $1,000 Rolling
      Summer Research Grants Undergraduate students collaborating on a project with a faculty member The Summer Research Grants are intended to stimulate student/faculty collaborative projects. $3,500 Winter
      University of Denver/National Jewish Health Seed Grant All full-time faculty collaborating on a project with National Jewish Health full-time faculty The University of Denver and National Jewish Health offer a collaborative opportunity to generate novel research and new discoveries at the forefront of health research and healthcare and community sustainability for full-time faculty members at both institutions. Funding for this collaborative opportunity is graciously provided by DU alumnus Lewis J. Hoch, Esq. $7,000-$10,000

      Twice per year


      View previous awardees here.

      Walter Rosenberry Fund & Indexing Grant Faculty in CAHSS

      The overarching theme for projects should be "Making Our Work Public." This would generally include costs associated with professional publications (e.g. copyright permissions, reproductions), theatrical productions, musical performances, art exhibitions, film presentations, and conference presentations. Highest priority will be given to projects with the greatest impact on professional development and that provide the greatest opportunity for public dissemination.

      $250-$1,500 Fall, Winter, Spring
    • Limited Submission Sources
      Funding Source Eligibility Description Award Amount Timing

      Keck Foundation

      The Foundation funds the high-risk and high-impact work of leading researchers to lay the groundwork for new paradigms, technologies, and discoveries that will save lives, provide innovative solutions, and add to our understanding of the world. The Foundation funds projects that are innovative, distinctive, interdisciplinary, and that demonstrate a high level of risk due to unconventional approaches. The Keck Foundation’s Research Program supports pioneering discoveries in science, engineering, and medical research. Grants that pioneer biological and physical science research and engineering, including the development of promising new technologies, instrumentation or methodologies are prioritized. This approach also includes a preference to fund projects that fall outside the mission of public funding agencies. Typically range from $1 million - $1.4 million

      Pre-application concept papers accepted July 1 – August 15

      Limited submission: Phase 1 Application due November 1; Phase 2 Application due February 15, by invitation only.

      National Science Foundation – Major Research Instrumentation (NSF – MRI)

      The MRI Program especially seeks broad representation of PIs in its award portfolio, including women, underrepresented minorities and persons with disabilities. Since demographic diversity may be greater among early-career researchers the MRI program also encourages proposals with early-career PIs and proposals that benefit early-career researchers.

      The MRI Program serves to increase access to multi-user scientific and engineering instrumentation for research and research training in our Nation's institutions of higher education and not-for-profit scientific/engineering research organizations.

      Track 1:

      Up to $1,000,000


      Track 2:

      Up to $4,000,000

      Limited submission applications due in early November

      Pew Charitable Trusts

      Assistant Professors with a doctorate in biomedical sciences, medicine, or a related field, including engineering or the physical sciences. This program supports assistant professors of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health. $300,000 Limited submission applications due in late March
    • External Funding Sources

      For further information about research funding opportunities, please email to be added to the DU Research list-serv. 

    Grant Writing

    The University of Denver’s history is rooted in the Scholar-Teacher model, where the expectation is that every tenure-track faculty member is deeply and passionately engaged in both the learning and scholarship goals of the University.  At the institutional level, DU has already invested considerably in developing resources for faculty to assist them in developing into exceptional educators. The institutional program described here is focused on developing the skills required for successful grantsmanship. Grantsmanship requires six critical elements:

    • Identification of an aligned sponsor

    • Strong, compelling concept

    • Competitive proposal

    • Productive team

    • Values inherent to research integrity

    • Measurement of impact.

    Regardless of whether a project is funded, all faculty members can benefit from \this program. We also encourage every faculty member to identify one or two focus areas each year to develop their professional growth in grantsmanship. These are lifelong learning activities that all faculty should engage in, not just junior faculty. Additionally, many of these resources are available to our postdoctoral associates on campus.

    This program provides educational resources around each of the elements and leverages the experiences of others in our community.

    For further assistance with grant writing, visit the DU Writing Center.

    • Identification of an Aligned Sponsor

      Several resources exist across campus to help find aligned sponsors:

      • The Senior Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Education has gathered a comprehensive list of funding opportunities
      • ORSP has a website dedicated to helping direct faculty in identifying funding opportunities
      • The library has created a resource on “How Do I Search for Grants” which gives access to key data bases such as Pivot
      • University Advancement's Foundation Relations can be a powerful ally for faculty to develop and maintain contact with philanthropic foundations. Their Foundations Directory is hosted by University Libraries
      • When larger corporate partners might be on the horizon, consider utilizing the skills of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Partnerships.
    • A Strong, Compelling Concept

      PIs and teams are encouraged to engage in an abstract-level review process with faculty members who have previously been funded by a certain agency or organization.  The outcome of this critical yet constructive review should be to modify and enhance the proposed activity (e.g. specific aims) for greatest competitiveness, as well as to eliminate ideas which are unlikely to succeed.

      • This critical review should be organized by the PI, department or division.
      • ORSP and the Senior Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Education can help identify individuals with funding from specific sponsors -
      • In the near future, deans and divisions will be able to access this information from the Executive Dashboard.
    • A Competitive Proposal

      The Senior Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Education is now providing access and funds to connect eligible faculty to copyeditors and professional grant writers. Priority access and funds will be provided to junior faculty or multidisciplinary teams.

      • Eligibility to the grant writers and copyeditors will be limited to PIs and teams who have already engaged in an abstract-level review process with faculty members previously funded by the agency or organization.
      • Access can be obtained by contacting the Senior Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Education through your dean or associate dean of research.
      • Resources are limited, so plan to request access at least 6 to 8 weeks in advance. Anticipate that the engagement will last up to 3 weeks.


      Grant writing activities will span:

      • Research-based grants prospecting.
      • Grant proposal development (i.e. comprehensive proposal review and critique).
      • Onsite grantsmanship training open to all faculty, staff and post-doctoral associates.


      Copyedit efforts will be limited to:

      1. Technical edits (no rewriting).
      2. Identification of organizational issues and areas in need of improvement for comprehension.
      • Interested faculty will need to email Senior Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Education Corinne Lengsfeld to gain approval to access copyedit staff. The requesting email must contain:
        • Name
        • Department/division
        • Rank
        • Proposal title
        • Sponsor
        • Proposal deadline
        • Name of staff member (if known).
      • Requests should be made approximately 6 to 8 weeks in advance of proposal submission deadline. Copy edit staff will need a maximum of 3 weeks to return edits. Once approved the copy edit staff will contact the requesting faculty for the proposal narrative. This service is limited to proposals for external sponsors only. Priority will be given to junior faculty.
      • Budget development instructions and templates currently exist.  These are available from the ORSP Project Administrators and available online 
      • If any unit on campus has templates they would like to share, please send them to ORSP or the Senior Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Education.
      • Materials to provide information on best practices are under development.
      • Seek input from senior faculty in your division or a colleague at another university with a history of funding. Sharing methods within your discipline will likely be the most effective.


      The University library has collected information on common tools and successful templates used around campus for data management plans.

    • A Productive Team

      Managing an effective research team is important in order to streamline efforts and provide return on investment to the sponsor. Unfortunately, faculty members are rarely provided formal training in this skill.  The Principle Investigators Association can provide help.

      A well-defined set of guidelines have been adopted around the country for graduate student and advisor roles and responsibilities. Most of these, regardless of discipline, are derived from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

      1. Review existing agreements governing ownership and disclosure of materials developed over the course of the project , including data, research tools, code, bio materials, authorship, etc.
      2. Coordinate your team
        • Inform everyone at the outset of the goals, timetables and possible obstacles by making the grant application generally available and reviewing it annually.
        • Complete any annual safety training as a team.
        • Review confidentiality agreements each time a new team member arrives.
        • Design effective communication mechanisms, including project meetings, conference calls, and interim progress reports. While individual meetings are necessary, be sure to also have regular team meetings so everyone is informed.
        • Clearly define each individual’s role and contribution:  who makes personnel decisions, who is authorized to make purchases, who manages or accesses data, who is responsible for IRB/IACUC/IBC/lab safety.
      3. Plan for success
        • Make IP decisions according to University policies.
        • Recognize contributions based on accepted and transparent standards
        • Research strategies are always changing based on the latest data collected—recognize this, discuss it openly, and get collaborator consensus.
      4. Contingency planning
        • Layout a plan for what happens when a team member leaves the project:
          • How materials and work will be handled – e.g. all data stays with grant PI, but the partner may receive photocopies with the understanding that they may be used for reference but not for publication, nor can they be disclosed without PI permission.
          • Should budget overruns occur, hold on to your discretionary funds to cover unforeseen needs.
      5. Project Conclusion
        • Close all protocols and reporting obligations.
        • Decide where data will be stored based on data management plan compliance.
      6. Best practices for recruiting students to the team:
        • Develop a funnel to your group from another institution where you have colleagues who understand your special attributes and unique opportunity for advancing the career of a student. They can watch for students and send them your way, when appropriate, to complete a full degree program under your guidance.
        • Given the price of the tuition, understand how your research focus and mentorship will develop the student’s career.
        • Seek financial support from sponsors for your research so you can offer students a stipend/tuition to work with you.
        • Adjust your expectations for student engagement in light of the declining enrollment nationwide in specific areas. Look for emerging areas or gain financial resources to support postdocs and staff to aid in your research efforts.
      7. Breakout sessions at the annual Research Resource Fair will be created to provide case study information and connect individuals with similar needs and skills in order to develop ad hoc communities of learning around the campus where faculty can share and discuss these issues/activities.
      8. Several units on campus have initiated training on student mentoring. Additional information is available from the Undergraduate Research Center.
    • Values Inherent to Research Integrity
      • Breakout sessions at the annual Research Resource Fair will be created to provide case study information and connect individuals with similar needs and skills in order to develop ad hoc communities of learning around the campus where faculty can share and discuss these issues/activities.
      • Training for responsible conduct of research is available through the Office of Research Integrity & Education and, possibly, through your department.
      • The Senior Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Education will author a quarterly letter to students and faculty regarding a current topic of interest.
    • Measurement of Impact

      Measuring the impact of your work is important for successful promotion and tenure, but it is equally important in setting the stage for repeat funding from sponsors. Traditional measurements include citations, h-index, and impact factors, but alternative metrics are becoming more mainstream.