CU Anschutz SOM Programmatic Incubator for Research (CU ASPIRE) Program


The School of Medicine is pleased to announce a new RFA to foster the development of interdisciplinary, programmatic research on campus.  The goal of the CU ASPIRE Program is to increase submission and success of program project, center grants, and large multi-investigator programs on campus by supporting milestone-driven collaborations between investigators across campus.  The CU ASPIRE Program is designed to facilitate collaborative research groups working on unmet needs in basic science or clinical medicine that can only be addressed by a team of investigators.     

During the funding period, the investigative group is anticipated to:

Establish preliminary findings

Establish preliminary findings to support the unifying scientific theme of the program, including joint publications.

Develop a plan

Develop a plan to programmatically integrate the investigators, projects, and cores.

Identify a funding agency

Identify a funding agency and establish a timeline and plan for grant submission.

The anticipated outcome of the milestone-driven CU ASPIRE Program is an external programmatic or multi-PI grant application to the NIH, DOD, or other external public or private funding agencies.  Program funding may be used for research support (such as supplies and PRA salaries) to generate collaborative preliminary data, to purchase essential equipment that will be used jointly by the multiple investigators, or to support joint publications.  Funding may not be used for salary support for investigators, administrative activities, support conferences, or travel (unless approved by the CU ASPIRE Program).


Successful applications will include 3-5 investigators with complementary scientific backgrounds that are focused on solving a complex unmet need in basic science or clinical medicine.  The PI must have a primary appointment in the School of Medicine.  The investigators will preferably have primary appointments in different schools, departments, or divisions; however, this is not essential.  Preference will be given to investigative teams that have a history of prior collaboration; however, this too is not a requirement of the RFA.


We expect to fund up to two awards annually with up to $100,000/year for up to 2 years of support.  When appropriate, administrative in-kind support will be provided at the conclusion of the award to assist with the development, preparation and submission of a future grant proposal.

Submission Process

  • Format application materials as a single PDF
  • Submissions will only be accepted through the following RFA Submission Form
  • The application due date is February 14, 2022


For questions regarding program and application process:

Jennifer T. Kemp, PhD (

Bethany Ginzburg, MPA (

Program Director:  David Schwartz, MD (

Program Co-Director: Lori Sussel, PhD (