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Developing Your Ideas

As a driving force in a research-intensive university, faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) are active and productive scholars engaged in basic, applied and translational research and creative activities. CLAS supports these efforts as faculty and students conduct and disseminate their scholarly work in the humanities, natural and physical sciences and integrated sciences by having in place a structure to help move ideas along from the concept stage to the submission and dissemination stage. In our efforts to encourage and promote academic scholarship, administrators and staff in CLAS work in concert with other campus entities to provide support and resources for faculty and students to conduct and disseminate cutting-edge research in an increasingly complex regulatory environment.

Here you will find information to help you understand:

  • The resources available to you,
  • How to find funding,
  • The differences between the different types of funding, and
  • Who you should contact and when.

The Office of Research Development and Education (ORDE), a component of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Colorado Denver, serves as a resource for faculty on both campuses providing services designed to increase the University’s competitiveness in terms of receipt of funding for federal, state, and private sponsors. ORDE can help you:

  • Know what to look for when reading agency proposal guidelines
  • Search for research sponsors
  • Discover the projects sponsors have funded in the past
  • Strategize with you about elements of proposal development, funding sustainability, contacting program officers and other topics
  • Learn about important proposal tips for new investigators
  • Locate videos about the NIH review process, tips for investigators new to NIH and the CDMRP grants program - all available from the ORDE Resources webpage
  • Identify pages on the NIH website that are vital to principal investigators
  • Sign up to receive automatic funding announcements based on your research interests
  • Find the best fund searching databases available to UCD faculty
  • Review funding opportunities that target new/junior investigators

For more information or to register for classes or assistance, please visit the ORDE website.

You can also start a search using the SPIN portal of the InfoEd system.  If you create an account on the SPIN site, you can create and save searches.  Some search tips are:

  • Keep your search terms to a few words as possible.  This will help to focus the search.
  • A SPIN search will automtically search for all forms of entered words.  If you type in test, it will look for test, tests, tested and testing.  You can disable this by inserting a plus sign (+) before the search term.
  • A search can be passed through an integrated thesaurus, potentially expanding the terms being searched.  For example, a search for cancer can be expanded to carcinogens, chemotherapy, tumors, oncology or other cancer related terms.  Insert a tilde (~) before each term you want passed through the thesaurus.
  • Using the word or between words and phrases will yield a search with records containing one or the other word of your phrase
  • Wrapping terms in double quotes searches for records containing the exact phrase
  • Inserting a minus sign (-) before a term removes a term from your search.  For example if you typed in Scientific -Research; your search would yield records with the word scientific and not research.
  • Appending an asterisk to a term invokes a wildcard search.  If you put in Scient*, the search would result in all records containing "scient" and any suffix.
  • Wrapping terms in angled brackets (<>) searches for records containg the words and ranks results by the proximity of the words to each other.

Faculty can access the SPIN search tool at the InfoEd log in (choose "Find Funding" at the top after you log in.  Students can access SPIN at and choose SPIN at the top. As mentioned above, Faculty can also schedule an appointment with ORDE for guided assistance as well as setting up notifications of funding opportunities.

As you search for funding for your research, you may come across a variety of funding mechanisms. Some mechanisms are grants, some are contracts and some are gifts. It is important to understand the type of funding you are seeking to assure CU Denver’s compliance with:

  1. Sponsor/donor terms and conditions,
  2. Federal costing and reporting standards,
  3. IRS and State of Colorado reporting requirements,
  4. Proper recovery of institutional costs, both direct and indirect, and
  5. Adequately monitoring the nature and extent of research across departments and colleges.

Different mechanisms may need to be processed in different ways through CU Denver. Further, the type of mechanism is important as this can impact how you track, document and report on your projects. The table below should help you get to the right person for the right type of funding. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the CLAS Research Services Senior Professional.




Collaborative Agreement

Not tied to specific performance dates

Specific period of performance

Specific period of performance

Specific period of performance





No obligations beyond routing stewardship reporting

Technical, financial & invention reports to sponsor

Technical, financial & inventions reporting as well as work product deliverables

Technical, financial & inventions reporting as well as work product deliverables


Terms & conditions with some flexibility

Terms & Conditions – typically restrictive

Terms & Conditions – Restrictive with flexibility through on-going work

Donation of cash or other tangible asset

Financial assistance

Purchase transaction

Purchase transaction

No scope of work

PI’s scope of work

Sponsor’s or PI’s scope of work

Sponsor’s & PI’s scope of work

Selection made a donor’s sole discretion

Awarded based on peer review recommendation

Awarded based on low bid/project design selection process

Awarded based on negotiation between PI and the agency


Grants, Contracts and Cooperative Agreements

Service or Sales Activities

Jessica Webb, Senior Director of Development, Office of University Development

(303) 315-2052

Carol Achziger, CLAS Grants Development Coordinator

(303) 315-7019

JoAnn Porter, CLAS Assistant Dean for Budget and Finance

(303) 315-7022

Contact when you have an idea that could be funded through a donation or gift.

Contact as soon as possible when you know of a funding opportunity or have made contact with a representative of an agency.

Contact as soon as possible when pursuing service or sales activities.