Faculty are invited to participate in a new set of research opportunities aimed at addressing critical challenges of Minnesota and the world. The second phase of the Provost’s Grand Challenge Research Initiative, launching in January 2017, includes both a competitive call for proposals from interdisciplinary teams (pre-proposals due March 20) and a call for nominations for participation in a Grand Challenges Research Scholar collaborative for an extended period of interdisciplinary engagement (due March 1).
Provost Karen Hanson has announced that the University's first Grand Challenges research grants, totaling $3.6 million in support, have been awarded to 29 teams of faculty from across the Twin Cities campus. The two-year grants will seed ambitious interdisciplinary collaborations addressing critical challenges facing Minnesota and the world, in alignment with the vision and goals of Driving Tomorrow.
TC faculty are invited to submit proposals by June 15, 2016, for Grand Challenges Exploratory Research Grants of up to $60,000. The grants, built on the campuswide GC Research process of the past year, are part of a two-track initiative--along with Interdisciplinary Research Work Groups--to advance strategic research goals for the campus. Guidelines and FAQs have been posted.
A campus-wide process identified a set of five interrelated Grand Challenges where we are well positioned to have major impact as a research campus. These areas capture exceptional strengths that build directly on the expertise of our faculty. We now look to continued faculty leadership in shaping University investments that will advance the transformational research goals of our Strategic Plan.
A Campus Conversation on Feb. 16 drew 250 faculty and staff members (half in Northrop's Best Buy Theater and half joining online) to discuss the recommendations of the Grand Challenges Research Team. Provost Hanson was joined by three faculty members from the team to discuss how the U will advance the research goals as a key component of the Strategic Plan. View video of the Campus Conversation | More about the report of the GC Research Team
From Provost Karen Hanson: I am delighted to convey to you the report of the Grand Challenges Research Strategies Team. This group of distinguished faculty consulted widely and worked diligently to produce this thoughtful report and its excellent recommendations. The team has identified a set of research foci that will leverage the breadth of the University of Minnesota's research power in order to address the grand challenges of our time.
I invite you to join me from noon to 1 pm Tuesday, February 16, in Northrop's Best Buy Theater, for a Campus Conversation about part of our strategic plan: organizing and supporting Grand Challenges research. By that date, we will all have in hand the recommendations of the Provost's Grand Challenges Research Strategies Team--the product of a thoughtful process shaped by the expertise of a dedicated committee of distinguished faculty across the breadth of our disciplines, as well as by robust discussions with the broader campus community.
Many of you participated in the series of recent Grand Challenges Research Forums to help shape core components of the University's scholarly future. In all, the five forums drew about 600 faculty, staff, and students to discuss our wide-ranging research strengths. The discussions (summary notes are here) brought into sharper focus the 130 ideas submitted by faculty during our Call for Ideas process--and potential opportunities to integrate and expand the impact of work to address critical societal challenges.
I’m writing to encourage you to attend some very important campus conversations scheduled for October.
As you may remember, the Grand Challenges Research Strategies Team, composed of and led by distinguished faculty, solicited ideas for “grand challenge” research priorities this University could fruitfully embrace. The Team received 130 submissions (with 350+ faculty identified as leads or co-leads). It grouped the submissions under some broad themes, and it has now planned campus forums to discuss, integrate, and enrich the ideas suggested by faculty in those submissions.
As the fall semester gets under way, I want to give you an update on our progress in implementing the Twin Cities campus strategic plan and to extend thanks to all of you for the exceptional work you do every day to advance our University's tri-fold mission of research, education, and service.