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

The School of Medicine and CU Chancellor’s office are pleased to partner on this effort to foster the development of interdisciplinary, programmatic research on the CU Anschutz campus. The goal of the CU ASPIRE Program is to increase submission and success of program projects, 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 on the Anschutz Medical Campus 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 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 three to five investigators with complementary scientific backgrounds focused on solving a complex unmet need in basic science or clinical medicine. Two categories of applications are considered from School of Medicine applicants and cross-campus teams.

Eligibility Requirements

For both categories, preference will be given to investigative teams that have a history of prior collaboration, although this is not a requirement. When appropriate and the resources are available, 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. 

Individuals from traditionally under-represented communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

The following general eligibility criteria apply to all applicants: 

  • At least 3 and no more than 5 investigators (inclusive of the PI) are required as part of the application.
  • Multi-PI applications will not be accepted.
  • At least two investigators (other than the PI) must have a primary appointment at the University of Colorado. This could include CU investigators in CU Anschutz schools or colleges (Medicine, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dental Medicine, Nursing or Public Health), investigators throughout the CU System, and CU investigators employed by Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the VAMC.
  • Up to two investigators may be included from an institution outside of the University of Colorado.

Please see tabs at right for additional requirements for each category.

Application and Submission Process

Contacts and Key Dates

For questions regarding the CU ASPIRE program and the application process, please email: 

Jennifer T. Kemp, PhD

Nancy Miller
CU ASPIRE Program Director 
David Schwartz, MD
CU ASPIRE Program Co-Director
Lori Sussel, PhD


Posted Date: November 1, 2022

Application Due Date:  February 1, 2023