Grand Challenges Research Phase 3: Faculty Opportunities for 2018

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

From Provost Karen Hanson: This is an invitation to participate in a new set of research opportunities focused on critical challenges facing Minnesota and the world.

Phase 3 of the Provost’s Grand Challenge Research Initiative includes i) a competitive call for proposals from interdisciplinary teams and ii) a new non-competitive credit-bearing seminar series for graduate and professional students. 

Interdisciplinary team proposals--pre-proposals due June 6, awards announced in January 2019-- will focus on three spotlighted Grand Challenges areas: Advancing Health through Tailored Solutions, Feeding the World Sustainably, and Enhancing Individual and Community Capacity for a Changing World--or challenges at the intersection of these areas. These are three of the five Grand Challenges identified in 2015 through a campus-wide process, advancing the research goals of Driving Tomorrow, the campus strategic plan. The other two areas, Assuring Clean Water and Sustainable Ecosystems and Fostering Just and Equitable Communities, were spotlighted previously.  

Detailed guidelines are available here. To support new or expanded collaborations with colleagues across disciplines, please consider participating in the Grand Challenges Research Expo Inspiring Ideas, Creating Change, to be held April 18 in Coffman Memorial Union. Small incentive awards will be offered to faculty who identify one or more new partners during the Expo and submit an idea that meets pre-proposal idea criteria.   

The new student seminar series will support engagement of graduate and professional students in interdisciplinary research and experiential and intercultural learning. Students who have participated on Grand Challenges Research teams will be featured in the April 18 GC Research Expo.  

These opportunities follow two previous phases of Grand Challenges research investments by the University. Phase 1 investments totaling  $3.6 million provided two-year awards to 29 teams, involving 270 faculty and partners; Phase 2, totaling $2.96 million, provided two-year awards to six interdisciplinary projects engaging more than 120 faculty and external partners and provided support for two research collaboratives. 

This message, in modified format, was emailed to all Twin Cities faculty and academic administrative leaders March 7, 2018.