Colorado Higher Education Competitive Research Authority

Criteria and Process

Cost Share Criteria

As directed by Colorado statute (C.R.S. 23-19.7-103), the Board of Directors of the Colorado Higher Education Competitive Research Authority allocates funds to serve as a cost share from the State for proposals of Colorado public institutions of higher education for federal research funding.

The CHECRA was initially established in 2008 to enable the State to support public research institutions in competing for large National Science Foundation (NSF) proposals including, but not limited to, Engineering Research Centers, Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers and Science and Technology Centers. These awards are typically for periods of four to six years and $1 to $5 million per year and are of high value to the StateThe amount of the cost share provided is typically 10 percent to 30 percent, however is at the discretion of the Board of Directors. CHECRA funds also may be used to provide a cost share for other federal research funding if approved by a majority of board members.

The Board of Directors considers the following factors in determining allocation of funding:

  • The size of the award being sought from the federal agency;
  • The length of time of the award;
  • The contribution that the award would make to the State in terms of workforce development and training of graduate and undergraduate students, and other benefits

In 2015, the Board of Directors voted to modify their approach to providing cost share commitments. Beginning with 2015, the Board will continue to focus primarily on large NSF awards as described above, however will set aside a percentage of funding for joint projects of benefit to the State as follows:
At each annual meeting (or at another regular time set by the Board), the Directors will determine an amount approximately equal to 25% of the available funding for that year and will set those funds aside for projects brought forth for consideration jointly by two or more institutions that are in research fields deemed important to the State.   Board members will communicate about these “strategic funding opportunities” as soon as they are aware of funding opportunities and/or institutional interests and will seek to involve as many Colorado institutions as appropriate.

Process for Requesting a Cost Share Commitment

To request a cost share for a proposal being submitted to a funding agency, the Board member representing the institution (or another individual designated by the institution) provides to all Board members a summary of the proposed research; the amount of the requested cost share; and the benefits the award would bring to the institution and to the state.   The Board members vote within 30 days.  If a majority of Board members vote in favor of the cost share, the Board secretary will provide a letter signed by the Chair to the institution for submittal with the proposal.