AB Nexus Spring 2024 Research Collaboration Grant Program

AB Nexus is pleased to announce its Spring 2024 Research Collaboration Grant Program, which seeks innovative proposals for research on human health and well-being from interdisciplinary teams led by researchers from CU Boulder and the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. The timeline for the Spring 2024 competition is below, along with more information about the grant program.

Since its launch in Fall 2020, the AB Nexus Research Collaboration Grant Program has awarded over $3.5M to 48 teams featuring researchers from CU Boulder and CU Anschutz conducting innovative research involving basic, translational and clinical approaches. Please review the guidelines for our grant program below and feel free to reach out to AB Nexus with any questions (abnexus_seedgrants@colorado.edu).  

Key Dates - SPRING 2024
  • AB Nexus Grant Info Session #1: November 29, 2023, 12—1 p.m. MT
  • ​AI, Advanced Computing, Quantum & Human Health Teaming Event: December 6, 2023 @ 10 a.m.—1 p.m.
  • Climate Change & Human Health Teaming Event:  January 18, 2024 @ 11 a.m.—2 p.m.
    • SAVE THE DATE—registration will open soon
  • AB Nexus Grant Info Session #2: February 1, 2024, 12–1 p.m. MT
  • Notice of Intent (NOI) Deadline: February 16, 2024, 11:59 p.m. MT (NOI Form Available Here)
  • Invitation to Submit Full Proposal: February 20, 2024
  • Full Proposal Deadline: March 22, 2024, 11:59 p.m. MT
  • Proposal Review: April 1—May 13, 2024 (Tips for AB Nexus Reviewers)
  • Awardee Notification: May 15, 2024
  • Project Start Date: July 1, 2024

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Notice of Intent (NOI)


AB Nexus email (best): abnexus_seedgrants@colorado.edu
CU Boulder: Lisa Nanstad: lisa.nanstad@colorado.edu
CU Anschutz: Erin Calhoun: erin.calhoun@cuanschutz.edu

Program Description

AB Nexus is requesting proposals that expand and strengthen areas of research collaboration between CU Anschutz and CU Boulder researchers. By integrating expertise across our two campuses, AB Nexus aims to create high-impact opportunities to improve human health and well-being, demonstrate leadership and innovation, and spur economic development. 

The goal of the AB Nexus Research Collaboration Grant Program is to support interdisciplinary research activities that leverage expertise across campuses. Teams submitting a proposal should aim to answer relevant research questions involving basic, translational, clinical, and epidemiological approaches, such as:

  • What challenges related to human health and well-being could be investigated via unique collaborations between two or more disciplines?
  • What new discoveries related to the study of disease and other factors that negatively impact human health and well-being could be achieved? 
  • What unmet needs related to operations within clinical science, clinical systems, health services, population health could inform and drive the development of novel research technologies and capabilities? 
  • What opportunities are there for two or more disciplines to come together to translate innovations that positively impact humans, patients, practice, or population health? 

Award Information

AB Nexus seeks research project proposals from teams that involve new collaborations and teams that have collaborated in the past.

  1. New Collaborations ($75k) involve teams that have not previously worked together, but have identified a path for how integrated, joint work could facilitate the study of unique research concepts and may include projects led by junior investigators seeking to form connections early in their research career or senior investigators interested in expanding their research scope and capabilities. 
  2. Existing Collaborations ($125k) involve teams with a history of collaboration, who may have received external funding, and are interested in expanding research efforts.  involve teams with a history of collaboration, who may have received external funding, and are interested in expanding research efforts. ​

Teams may include junior and/or senior investigators pursuing interdisciplinary research that could lead to new sources of external funding. Projects will potentially explore research concepts that have been identified as areas of growth in the research community and which are of strategic interest to external agencies. Projects potentially propose higher-risk research concepts, which have not previously been explored in depth or involve a non-traditional approach.

Note: Research ideas that are in a more preliminary stage than what is described above are encouraged to consider pursuing the CCTSI Pilot Grant Programs (contact: Kristen House, CCTSI: kristen.house@cuanschutz.edu).  

Research Tracks

In each annual AB Nexus Research Collaboration funding cycle, we invite collaborative intercampus research project proposals that address challenges related to human health and well-being (Track 0).  For the Spring 2024 funding cycle, two (2) special tracks have been developed in an effort to best align with shifting trends in federal research funding. AB Nexus, therefore, seeks to support research efforts that stimulate and catalyze interdisciplinary research from the following two tracks, in addition to the original broad initiative:

  • Track 0. Broad Initiative: Broadly, what challenges related to health and human well-being could be investigated via unique collaborations between two or more interdisciplinary research disciplines? 
  • Track 1. Climate Change & Health: Explores health threats from climate change across the lifespan and builds health resilience in individuals and communities, especially among those at highest risk (see NIH cog wheel: https://www.nih.gov/climateandhealth).   
  • Track 2. AI and Advanced Computing & Health: Leverages artificial intelligence and advanced computing to address biomedical and healthcare challenges. Teams may consider but are not limited to submitting proposals that utilizes artificial intelligence, virtual/augmented reality simulation, computational modeling, robotics, and quantum technologies. 

Awarded Project Requirements

Upon accepting an award, the project PIs agree to fulfill several requirements.

  1. Project Reporting
    • Project PIs will submit brief reports at 6, 12 and 18 months. Progress reports will outline the general progress of the project and key metrics including external funding, resulting publications, presentations, research partnerships, IP, and student engagement (see example AB Nexus Progress Report Form). After the project completion date, teams will respond to periodic surveys that will aid in establishing return on investment of the program.  
  2. Reviewer Duties
    • Awardees will agree to serve as reviewers in subsequent annual AB Nexus Research Collaboration Grant cycles.
  3. Pursuit of External Funding
    • Project PIs will agree to identify and pursue external funding. Research development staff will be available to assist in this activity through funding opportunity searches and proposal development support. 


  • All project teams must include two PIs, one from CU Anschutz and one from CU Boulder.   
  • Current AB Nexus awardees with active projects are not eligible to submit a new proposal until their current project is completed, and the award is closed out. 
  • Past AB Nexus awardees are eligible to submit a new proposal if their previous funded project has been completed and all award and reporting requirements have been fulfilled.  However, decisions about additional awards to previously funded applicants will be at the discretion of the AB Nexus Faculty Advisory Committee.   
  • Eligible applicants at CU Anschutz must meet the school and/or department eligibility for being a principal investigator on externally funded grants. 
  • Eligible applicants at CU Boulder include Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty, Senior Instructors, and Career Track Research Faculty (i.e., this includes Research Professors Series, Senior Research Associates (SRA), and Research Associates (RA)) who hold an appointment of half-time or greater.  

Other eligibility requirements and information:

  • Applicants may submit no more than one proposal as a PI but may serve as a collaborator on multiple proposals. 
  • Projects with a primary focus on curriculum development are not eligible. 
  • Faculty course or teaching buy-out is not an eligible expense. 
  • Applicants with existing resources, such as funding from internal or external sources, that could be used to fund their proposal are discouraged. 
  • Applicants may request up to two weeks of summer salary (or the equivalent of 0.04 FTE) in their proposal budgets.  
  • If your project involves any regulatory compliance considerations that are identified within governing bodies such as IRB, IACUC, EHS, biohazardous material, etc., you certify that, if awarded, all proposed activities will be approved by compliance offices before initiating any work.

Application Process and Requirements

InfoReady Online Portal Access Instructions
Notices of Intent and invited full proposals will be submitted through InfoReady. PIs from both campuses may use the portal to submit. However, please note that for this cycle, submitting PIs from CU Anschutz and CU Boulder should log in following different instructions:

  • Submitting PIs from CU Anschutz should select “Login for University of Colorado Users” and proceed with their university credentials/single sign-on.
  • Submitting PIs from CU Boulder should select “Login for Other Users” and register/create an InfoReady account. In future cycles, CU Boulder investigators will be able to use single sign-on.

Notice of Intent
Teams are required to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) by Friday, February, 16, 2024, 11:59 p.m. MT.  The NOI requires information about the PIs, designation of team status and research track, along with a brief project abstract.

Invitations to submit full proposals will be sent on by Tuesday, February 20, 2024.  Full applications are due by Friday, March 22, 11:59 PM MST.  

Full Proposal
Full proposals should use clear writing appropriate for non-experts and make a strong case for the importance of the project to reviewers outside the discipline(s). Investigators should prepare applications using the style and content formats described below:

  • 0.5” margins minimum 
  • 11 pt Arial type, single spaced 
  • 3.5 pages (content and page limits below) 
  • Additional 2 pages for budget (1 page for planned expenses occurring on each campus) 
  • Additional page(s) for references (no page limit for references) 
  • PDF format

All proposals should include the following bolded sections: 

Project Title, PI Names, Titles/Positions, Campus, Department (at the top of the page) 

Project Summary (1 page maximum): Provide a summary of the proposed activity that outlines the concept to be explored and/or problem to be addressed. Explain why it is important or innovative. For existing collaborations, include a brief description of previous work. 

Research Strategy (1.5 page maximum): Outline the proposed research program including specific aims research plan and expected outcomes.  Proposals are also expected to include metrics of success and project timeline. Please refer to the Metrics of Success and Timeline Template to develop this section of your proposal. 

Leverage (0.5 page maximum): Discuss how AB Nexus funding can lay the foundation, or continue support, for an expanded activity.  Include specific sources that will be sought for future support and indicate the long-term potential for growth of this activity. Proposals should emphasize a plan for 1) substantial near-term growth and sustained expansion of the collaborative team across campuses and 2) generation of significant and continuing return on investment, including showing specific relevant funding opportunities and prior engagement with target funding agency program officers where possible.  

Expertise (0.5 page maximum): Describe the expertise of the assembled team and why the team is uniquely qualified to achieve project goals. 

Budget (2 pages): Provide a budget and justification that is reasonable and appropriate for the scope of work using the AB Nexus Proposal Budget Template. Each campus will administer the component of the budget occurring on that campus. Therefore, Anschutz and Boulder PIs should coordinate on the total budget requested but submit separate budgets for planned expenses that will occur on each campus.  

References (no page limit): Provide references where applicable, please follow standard citation practices that align with your respective CU Anschutz and/or CU Boulder college/school/department/section. 

Review Process

Projects which have the potential of increasing sustained collaboration across the CU Anschutz and CU Boulder Campuses will be prioritized, especially those with potential for broader and long-term engagement.  The review process involves three phases: (1) peer review by non-conflicted subject-matter experts from both campuses who review and provide comments on proposals; (2) review by AB Nexus Faculty Advisors representing both campuses and make award recommendations to the Vice Chancellors for Research from both campuses; and (3) review by the Vice Chancellors for Research from both campuses who make final award decisions. Proposals will be evaluated in four primary areas:  

  • Intellectual Merit: Merit and quality of proposed research; potential to contribute value and advance knowledge (particularly factoring in the novel approach to concept(s)). 
  • Impact: Measurable benefit of basic, translational, clinical, or epidemiological approaches to significantly improve human well-being. 
  • Interdisciplinarity: Demonstration of fully integrated research collaborations and partnerships across disciplines. Of high interest are proposals that indicate a specific plan to grow and expand the team over time. 
  • Leverage: Long-term potential for growth of the proposed research activity, including identified or prospective support from external funding agencies. Of high interest are proposals that identify specific external opportunities, ideally growing in magnitude or complexity, and a timeline in which the team plans to pursue them. 

Note on Review Considerations across Disciplines: Consideration of review criteria will acknowledge the distinct definitions of merit, impact, and success that exist across various disciplines.  

We encourage all members of our research community to serve as an AB Nexus Reviewer.  Reviewing AB Nexus proposals is a great way to learn about the program and gain insight into intercampus collaborative research.  Reviewers are provided guidance and information to facilitate constructive reviews. If interested, please complete the AB Nexus Reviewer Sign-Up Form-Spring 2024.   

Tips for reviewers

View Tips for Reviewing the AB Nexus Research Collaboration Grant Program


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Frequently Asked Questions


Can I serve as Co-PI on more than one proposal?

Yes, you can serve as main PI on only one proposal, but as Co-PI on multiple proposals.  However, to clarify further, we do require that multiple proposals be significantly different in subject matter.

Does an applicant need to have a full-time appointment to apply?

Eligible applicants must hold a position of half-time or greater.  Eligible applicants at CU Anschutz must meet the school and/or department eligibility for being a principal investigator on externally funded grants.  Eligible applicants at CU Boulder include Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty, Senior Instructors, and Career Track Research Faculty (i.e., this includes Research Professors Series, Senior Research Associates (SRA), and Research Associates (RA)).

How exactly do you define ‘new’ vs. 'existing' collaborations?

New collaborations are geared towards teams that are still building out their relationship and ideas, for example - pitching a brand new idea, collecting preliminary data, and preparing to apply for grants.

Existing collaborations will have full article joint publications, awarded funding, and an established body of research that the team is looking expand in new directions (i.e. to capture new/different sources of funding).


Does the budget need to be routed to OGC/OCG?

No, since this is an internal grant opportunity, budgets do not need to be routed to OGC/OCG.

Are there indirect costs/subcontracts we need to consider?

No, since this is an internal grant opportunity, there are no indirect costs or subcontracts required.

Are we able to have salary support (investigators vs. non-investigators)?

 Applicant PIs and Co-PIs may request up to two weeks of summer salary (or the equivalent of 0.04 FTE) in their proposal budgets.  Salary support may also be requested for non-investigators (i.e. post-docs and students) in an amount that is fitting to the work proposed.

For other questions, please contact ABNexus_SeedGrants@colorado.edu.