For CU Boulder Faculty and Staff

What is Outreach and Engagement?

Outreach and engagement embodies collaborative projects and mutually beneficial partnerships among CU Boulder and external groups that enrich both our academic and research missions and the communities we serve. Learn More

Add Your Program

Complete the online submission form to add a new CU Boulder outreach and engagement program to this website.

Add Your Program

Campus-wide Outreach and Engagement Support

The following CU Boulder organizations work to help faculty, staff and students across campus with outreach and engagement efforts and connect communities to campus resources, programs and initiatives.

  • Office for Outreach and Engagement

    The office works to support CU Boulder faculty and staff interested in working with community groups, K-12 populations and citizens in Colorado and beyond. Visit the web page to find out more about how we can support your outreach and engagement work through outreach awards, community partnerships, public programming and communications support. Learn More

  • CU Engage: Center for Community-Based Learning and Research

    The center provides support for community-based learning pathways for CU Boulder students from all majors and community-based research for faculty. Visit the website to find out more about how the center can help support your research and provide civic engagement opportunities for your students. Learn More

  • Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE)

    ODECE coordinates campus-wide initiatives and programs that promote diversity and inclusive excellence, enhance campus climate and strengthen community engagement through community partnerships. Visit the website to learn more about how you might partner with ODECE. Learn More

  • Volunteer Resource Center (VRC)

    The center is dedicated to helping students, staff and faculty explore volunteer opportunities and understand sustainable ways in which to create an impact and affect positive social change. The center matches students with volunteer programs that best fit their individual interests and needs as well as offers leadership opportunities for students. Visit the website to find out about how to connect your students to volunteer opportunities. Learn More

  • Outreach and Engagement Professionals Network

    This network was established to enhance collaboration, share best practices and increase professional development opportunities among CU Boulder staff and non-tenure track faculty serving in primarily supportive roles managing the daily tasks that advance outreach programs and community partnerships. Events are organized by a volunteer steering committee. Contact us for more information and to be added to the email list.

  • Outreach Strategy and Coordination Network

    This network was established to increase cross-campus communication about outreach and engagement efforts and share resources, knowledge and best practices, so that we can work together to more effectively represent CU Boulder to all Colorado communities and positively impact Coloradans. The network includes representatives from across campus and is coordinated by Strategic Government and Community Relations and the Office for Outreach and Engagement. Contact us for more information.

  • Strategic Government and Community Relations

    The office will help you make connections and enhance existing outreach by connecting you with local community leaders and policymakers. Learn More

  • Strategic Relations and Communications (SRC)

    SRC is here to help you elevate your communications to diverse audiences while integrating the themes of our campus strategic imperatives – Lead. Innovate. Impact. SRC provides media relations support, marketing and creative services, campus communications, video, web, social media, and government and community relations assistance. CU Boulder has a team of communicators who can help design a communications strategy for outreach projects, discuss the news process and determine how to most effectively publicize an outreach event. Start with your department or campus communicator or the Office for Outreach and Engagement communications manager to discuss your project or to let them know about an upcoming event. SRC works closely with your campus communicator and the Office for Outreach and Engagement to support your outreach efforts. Learn More

Funding and Recognition

  • CU Boulder Outreach Awards and Other Community Impact Funding

    The Office for Outreach and Engagement provides funding for outreach and engagement projects that extend research, teaching and creative work through mutually beneficial partnerships with the community. The annual CU Boulder Outreach Awards fund faculty-led outreach and engagement projects that connect research, teaching and creative work with public needs. The office also provides a limited amount of funding throughout the year for outreach and engagement projects and travel that do not fit within the guidelines or time frame of the Outreach Awards. Learn More
  • Faculty Fellows and Graduate Fellowship Programs

    CU Engage provides support for community-based research for CU Boulder faculty and students from all disciplines. The Faculty Fellows Program is a cohort-based professional development opportunity that enables CU Boulder faculty members to design and sustain academic courses that embed academic content learning in structured community engagement experiences. The Graduate Fellowship in Community-Based Research is a two-semester fellowship that enables doctoral students to gain training, research advising and access to professional networks for projects that embody collaborative, community-based forms of research or creative work. Learn More
  • Other Funding Sources

    Find information and links to other Boulder campus funding sources. Learn More

  • Anne K. Heinz Staff Award for Excellence in Outreach and Engagement

    The award recognizes a staff or non-tenure-track faculty member who has distinguished him/herself through demonstrated professional commitments to success with community outreach and engagement initiatives. The call for nominations is sent out during the spring semester. Nominees must be currently employed CU Boulder staff or non-tenure track faculty serving in a primarily supportive role that is largely technical and hands on, managing the daily tasks involved with advancing an outreach program and community partnership. The award is presented at the annual Outreach Award Luncheon each spring. Contact the Office for Outreach and Engagement for more information.

Resources and Information

Evaluation Tools

  • CU Boulder Ethnography and Evaluation Research

    Many universities seek to share faculty expertise and university resources beyond the confines of campus, yet evaluating the impact of such efforts on external audiences is a challenge. The Office for Outreach and Engagement commissioned Ethnography and Evaluation Research to examine the needs, opportunities, and challenges for evaluating faculty outreach activities across colleges and disciplines at the University of Colorado Boulder. The resulting four-part report and summaries offer faculty and staff resources for evaluating the impact of various types of outreach and engagement. Learn More

  • Michigan State University – Points of Distinction: A Guidebook for Planning and Evaluating Quality Outreach

    Helpful tools to assist academic units, faculty leaders and the higher education community plan, monitor, evaluate and reward outreach efforts. Download

  • National Co-Ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE)

    Provides evaluation resources, examples and tools to assess the impact of your outreach and engagement project. Learn More

Research University Engaged Scholarship Toolkit

  • Offers an annotated guide to the best information available on engaged scholarship, as well as models, exemplars and original essays. Developed by The Research University Civic Engagement Network (TRUCEN) coordinated by Campus Compact. Learn More


University Risk Management provides assistance and guidance in planning and preparing for university sponsored on- and off- campus activities. Learn More

Child Protection Policy

Programs for children must be in compliance with state and federal law as well as the university's child protection policy. Learn More

Permissions/Release Concerns

Before you take photographs or videos of participants in your outreach activities, be sure to have participants sign a waiver. Most K-12 schools have photo permissions on file for their students and will be able to identify any students who should not be photographed. Check with the school in advance of any photography. See an example of a photo permission form. Download Example

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Guidelines

Routine program evaluation does not require IRB approval, as long as the information gathered is used to make improvements to a program, or to otherwise specifically evaluate only the program under review. For example, parents and children who participate in an outreach program might be asked to complete a questionnaire about their experience participating in the program.

Prior IRB approval is required for data that are designed to develop (i.e., form the basis for a future contribution), contribute to or result in generalizable knowledge, such as information that is universally or widely applicable and that might, for example, appear in a peer-reviewed publication, thesis, or dissertation.

Not sure about your project? Visit the Human Research and IRB website for more information. Learn More

Publish Your Work

In addition to publishing in the outreach, engagement or service sections of publications in your discipline, consider submitting to other publications focused on outreach and engagement work.

The Engagement Scholarship Consortium (ESC) website has a comprehensive list of outreach and engagement journals and publications. Learn More