Driving Tomorrow

Bird's eye view of campus

“Our University will be more nimble, innovative, and integrative, and thereby better serve our students and state. We will advance our mission, enlarge our shared aspirations, and meet the challenges of a diverse and changing world.”

—Provost Karen Hanson

To be preeminent in solving the grand challenges of a diverse and changing world


Many of the most pressing issues in society, from equitable access to health care to sustainable land use, are also the most complex. University researchers are increasingly coming together across disciplines to combine their areas of expertise and take a more comprehensive approach to solving these issues. The UMN's Grand Challenges Research Initiative aims to enhance this type of interdisciplinary research.

The second batch of Grand Challenges Research awards have been announced by Executive Vice President and Provost Karen Hanson. This second phase, which focuses on two of the University's five Grand Challenges focus areas, allocates $2.96 million over two years to support six interdisciplinary team projects--engaging more than 120 faculty and external partners--and two six-member, one-year Grand Challenges Research Scholar Collaboratives.