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In 2002, Charlie and Jane Butcher had a broad vision of collaborative and interdisciplinary research in the biosciences at the University of Colorado. Leveraging CU’s research strengths, their vision was to break down the barriers between academic disciplines to find solutions to the most challenging health issues we now face.

Charlie and Jane Butcher provided a generous gift that supported a symposium and seed grants for faculty embarking on these new collaborations. Additional symposia and grants followed in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013. These well-attended symposia attracted speakers from around the world who are dedicated to interdisciplinary science.

Through this program, nearly 60 grants totaling $5.5 million were given to CU researchers across all four campuses during the last decade. So far, these awards have resulted in more than 120 scientific publications and produced data that helped recipients receive more than $26.2 million in new grants.

After a decade of success with the Butcher Seed Grants for faculty, the program is evolving to serve the next generation of interdisciplinary scientists. The program is now offered to graduate students and postdoctoral associates, and will feature a scientific poster session for these young researchers to find collaborators. The Butcher Innovation Awards for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars are made possible by the offices of the Chancellors and the Interdisciplinary Quantitative (IQ Biology) program, which is generously supported by NSF IGERT grant number 1144807.